clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament 2016: Villanova vs. Iowa preview

New, 72 comments

After taking care of business against UNC Asheville, the Villanova Wildcats are preparing for Iowa.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It could have been you, Temple...

After the Iowa Hawkeyes got past the Owls on a buzzer-beating tip-in at the close of overtime, they became the next opponent for Villanova. The Wildcats took an 86-56 victory over the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs, led by a big time performance from Daniel Ochefu, who appears to be feeling much better after last week's battle with an ankle injury.

Villanova was 13-of-28 from beyond the arc in the game, looking for the long-ball more often against UNCA's zone defenses. They were a highly-efficient 57.9% from the floor as well, with 21 assists on 33 made field goals, and scored a lot of their easy points off of 14 turnovers their defense forced.

Iowa will be a tougher test. While the Wildcats have a bad reputation in the round-of-32 the last few years and many will have them falling out of their brackets this weekend, they are still the favorites. By seeding as well as by statistics; if you trust Ken Pomeroy, that is.

Looking forward to Iowa on Sunday, here are three things to look for:

Iowa isn't the best rebounding team

There could be a lot of second-chance points in this game, since Iowa has struggled at keeping their opponents off of the offensive glass this season. They are pretty good at grabbing their own offensive rebounds, but their opponents seem to to just as well; they grab about 31.1% of their caroms on offense, while their opponents have averaged 31.4%.

They were out-rebounded by Temple, 49-38, and the Owls tied them on the offensive glass with 13 apiece. Their seven-foot-one big man Adam Woodbury grabbed just 5 boards in that game as well.

Woodbury averages 8.5 boards per game to lead the Hawkeyes, while Jarrod Uthoff has averaged 6.4.

Jarrod Uthoff is the headliner

If you watch enough college basketball, you have probably heard of this kid. The 6'9' senior forward is definitely the leader of this team. He has led the team this season with averages of 31.2 minutes, 18.9 points, and 2.7 blocks. He shoots 43.8% from the floor, 41.2% from deep, and 86.3% from the charity stripe.

Only one other Hawkeye is even averaging double-digit scoring; Peter Jok.

Uthoff's stats were also among some of the best in the Big Ten conference this season. He is a rare player who averaged more than two blocks and two 3-pointers per game; and he is a finalist for the Wooden Award.

Iowa likes to shoot the 3

The Hawkeyes take about 35 percent of their field goals from outside the three-point arc. They're connecting on just under 38% of those this season, and 6-foot, 6-inch junior Jok has contributed at a 40% clip. Uthoff isn't too far behind that mark, either.

Point guard Mike Gesell isn't a huge scorer, but he also is capable from distance, making over 38%. He averages 6.3 assists per game as well, which helps his teammates find their opportunities.

They have at least four players who have connected on over 40% of their attempts on the roster this season. While Uthoff and Jok are the key scorers for this team, Iowa has multiple options that can shoot the ball, making them a dangerous team on the offensive side.