Iowa Vs. UConn: Hawkeyes Face Top Dogs As Underdogs In Sweet 16

Posted By Russ Mitchell on March 25, 2021 - Last Updated on March 26, 2021

More often than not, if you stay in the NCAA women’s tournament long enough, you’re going to run into the UConn Huskies.

That’s especially true for fifth-seeded Iowa, who advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 86-72 win Tuesday over fourth-seeded Kentucky. Top-seed UConn also cruised with an 83-47 pounding of eighth-seeded Syracuse in the River Walk Region.

ABC will carry the game, which tips off Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The point spreads, moneylines and totals continue to change. Check your favorite sportsbook for any updates:

TeamsDraftKingsFanDuelBetfredBetMGMBetRivers
IowaSpread: +14.5 (-110)
Total: O 156 (-109), U 156 (-113)
Moneyline: +600
Spread: +15.5 (-114)
Total: O 155.5 (-115), U 155.5 (-105)
Moneyline: +980
Spread: +14.5 (-110)
Total: O 155.5 (-120), U 155.5 (-105)
Moneyline: +700
Spread: +15.5 (-110)
Total: O 155.5 (-115), U 155.5 (-105)
Moneyline: +950
Spread: +14.5 (-110)
Total: O 156 (-109), U 156 (-113)
Moneyline: +600
UConnSpread: -14.5 (-110)
Total: O 156 (-109), U 156 (-113)
Moneyline: -1000
Spread: -15.5 (-106)
Total: O 155.5 (-115), U 155.5 (-105)
Moneyline: -1800
Spread: -15.5 (-106)
Total: O 155.5 (-120), U 155.5 (-105)
Moneyline: -1400
Spread: -15.5 (-110)
Total: O 155.5 (-115), U 155.5 (-105)
Moneyline: -2000
Spread: -14.5 (-110)
Total: O 156 (-109), U 156 (-113)
Moneyline: -1000

Johnny Avello, director of race and sports operations at DraftKings, originally thought the Huskies will be favored by about 12 points in the game. The line was closer to 15 about 24 hours before tipoff:

“They certainly do have the history in this tournament. That’s always a good. You know … playing Connecticut is good and bad. It’s good in that you get to play high-quality team, it’s bad that they very rarely lose.”

The UConn-Iowa game will feature the two best freshmen guards in the country.

Betting background on UConn women

AP First Team All-American Paige Bueckers leads the Huskies (26-1). Bueckers entered the NCAA Tournament averaging 19.7 points, 6.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma told the Associated Press:

“Name one player that has taken a team this young to where we are today. Who’s done more than her? And if you can give me a better argument, then I would say I’ll vote for them, too. But I don’t think you can.”

Iowa can’t focus exclusively on Bueckers; however, sophomore Olivia Nelson-Ododa averages 13 ppg and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game. She was recently named the Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Another sophomore, AP Honorable Mention All-American Christyn Williams averages 15.5 points per game. She’s a member of the All-Big East First Team.

UConn’s only loss came Jan. 28 when they traveled to Arkansas. The No. 15 Razorbacks came away with a 90-87 win. The Iowa contest will be the third tournament game in 2021 for both teams, but it will be a first for Auriemma. He returned to the team Wednesday after recovering from COVID-19.

UConn is 99-11 all-time as a No. 1 seed. The Huskies have advanced to the last 12 Final Fours.

Betting background on Iowa

Iowa has made 13 consecutive postseason appearances, counting two Women’s NIT bids. COVID-19 shut down the 2020 NCAA Tournament, but the Hawkeyes reached the Elite Eight two seasons ago.

Iowa’s standout freshman, Caitlin Clark, was named a second-team AP All-American on March 17. She entered the NCAA Tournament averaging 26.7 points and 7.2 assists. She matches Bueckers by shooting about 47% from the three-point range.

Junior F/C Monika Czinano led the country in field goal percentage going into the NCAA Tournament, making 67.8% of her shots. She averages 19.5 points per game. Sophomore G/F McKenna Warnock averaged 11.8 ppg going into women’s March Madness.

Coach Lisa Bluder said:

“I’m extremely thrilled. Look at our team at the beginning of the year – no one had us receiving votes in the Top 25. We kept believing in ourselves. I am so happy for my team. We’re a young team and we’re going to build on this.”

The UConn-Iowa winner will face sixth-seeded Michigan (16-5) or second-seeded Baylor (27-2) in the Elite Eight.

Photo by Eric Gay / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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