Sportsbooks expect the Iowa women to march on in the NCAA Tournament.
The Hawks (19-9) are the No. 5 seed in the River Walk Region. They’ll face No. 4 seed Kentucky (18-8) for a 2:30 p.m. matchup Tuesday at Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio. ESPNU will carry the game.
Iowa vs. Kentucky odds
Here are the Iowa sportsbooks listing the odds as of Tuesday afternoon:
|Iowa||Spread: -4.5 -112|
Total: O 160 -110
O 159 -110
O 159.0 -110
|Kentucky||Spread: +4.5 -109 |
Total: U 160 -110
U 159 -110
U 15.9 -110
Point guard Caitlin Clark averages 26.5 points per game and center Monika Czinano uses 67% shooting to average 19.6 ppg for Iowa.
Coach Lisa Bluder liked having four players in double figures in her team’s 87-72 first-round win over No. 12 seed Central Michigan:
“We’re really good when we add those extra dimensions. We are really clicking on all cylinders offensively.”
Betting background on Kentucky
Kentucky went into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 18 team in the Associated Press poll.
The Wildcats advanced to the second round with a 71-63 win over Idaho State of the Big Sky Conference. The team is led by first team All-American guard Rhyne Howard, who averages 20.4 ppg and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Howard’s coach Kyra Elzy acknowledged the matchup of superstar guards in the backcourt:
“Yes, I know everyone is talking about the matchup. Obviously, Caitlin Clark is a freshman phenom and Rhyne Howard is the best player in the game right now. But still, even those two players are on the court, it’s still a 5-on-5 basketball game.
“So, that is where your X-factor people will have to step up and make plays. But, as far as Caitlin Clark, her ability to score — she has deep range, she can stop on a dime. She’s consistent from the three-point line. But, I think one of the things besides scoring that makes her so dangerous is her ability to pass and find the open man, which makes it hard for the defense.”
Betting background on Iowa women
The Hawkeyes have won eight of 11 going into Tuesday’s contest with Kentucky. Iowa averages 86.6 points per game, but it scoring defense also gives up a generous 80.2 ppg, which pushes the betting total up.
“They are a very good basketball team that competes in one of the best basketball conferences in America but we think we are, too.”
The Iowa-Kentucky winner will play the winner of top-seed UConn or No. 8 seed Syracuse on Sunday in the Sweet 16.