Iowa State vs. Arkansas-Little Rock prediction and preview. Who’s Got Next analyzes the NCAA Tournament’s second round matchup between the Cyclones and Trojans.
How they got here
Iowa State beat No. 13 Iona 94-81; UALR beat No. 5 Purdue 85-83 2OT
Why Iowa State will win
The Cyclones don’t worry too much about defense, and that’s not always a problem considering Iowa State’s offensive capability. Forward Georges Niang is experienced, and his leadership and ability to put the ball in the basket helps cover a lot of ISU’s flaws. That said, Iowa State’s weak interior defense allows a lot of easy baskets for opponents, and if the Cyclones are going to get to next weekend, they’re going to have to do a better job with weakside help inside. Controlling the tempo is everything.
Why UALR will win
The Trojans showed incredible heart in the first round by rallying past Purdue and scoring a double-overtime victory, and they never believe they’re out of a game. There’s a reason this team won 30 games this year. Guard Josh Hagins took over vs. the Boilermakers, and he will have to get busy going to the bucket to get ISU’s bigs in foul trouble. UALR will be just fine with running with the Cyclones, but this is a team that will feel more comfortable in the halfcourt game. Look for the Trojans’ defense to create a lot of turnovers.
Iowa State vs. Arkansas-Little Rock Prediction
Iowa State is experienced, and although UALR has the look of a Cinderella, it’s easy to forget why the Trojans struggled so much through most of their win vs. Purdue. Their lack of size inside will be an issue, and Niang will be too much in a close one.
Iowa State vs. Arkansas-Little Rock Final Score Prediction: Iowa State 88, Arkansas-Little Rock 83.