The Ohio State men’s basketball team will face Iowa State in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Cyclones before they tip off against the Buckeyes.
They have an impressive resume for a 6-seed
Iowa State enters the tournament with a record of 23-11. They went 9-9 in conference play, and won the Big 12 tournament.
Their best wins of the season were against Kansas, one at home in December and another in the Big 12 Championship Game. They also had a pair of wins over Kansas State, and knocked off Texas Tech.
These programs have played before
This will be a rematch of a classic NCAA Tournament game from earlier this decade. You might remember Aaron Craft knocking down a 3-pointer with less than a second to play to lead No. 2 seed OSU over the 7th-seeded Cyclones in the round of 32 in 2013.
ISU missed the tournament last year, but made it every year from 2012-2017.
They like to play small-(ish) ball
Michael Jacobson is the only player bigger than
He’s a 6-foot-9 redshirt junior who averages 11.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
The rest of the starters are all listed as guards; Marial Shayock (6-foot-6), Nick Weiler-Babb (6-foot-5), Tyrese Halliburton (6-foot-5), and Talen Horton-Tucker (6-foot-4).
For a team like Ohio State that’s not particularly deep in the front court, this is not a terrible matchup.
Their heaviest player is a backup forward named Cameron Lard. Do with this information what you will.
The name to know for offense
Iowa State’s leading scorer is Shayok. He averages 18.6 points per game, and shoots 49.4 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from behind the arc.
Shayok has only been held in single digits in points twice all season. One was an upset loss against TCU. The other was in a home loss against Kansas State, the only time the Wildcats beat ISU in three tries.
He’s also their best free throw shooter, at better than 88 percent.
If the Buckeyes can keep Shayock under wraps, that would be a huge step toward advancing.
The other player to watch from outside is guard Lindell Wigginton, who shoots 38.1 percent from 3. He was the Cyclones’ leading scorer in the Big 12 Championship Game against Kansas.
Here’s how the Buckeyes and Cyclones stack up
|Ohio State||Iowa State|
|Points Per Game||69.3||77.7|
|Points Allowed Per Game||65.6||68.8|
|Adjusted Offense Rank||#75||#9|
|Adjusted Defense Rank||#27||#59|
|Field Goal Percentage||43.6%||47.7%|
|Free Throw Percentage||72.6%||72.8%|