Illinois vs. Iowa State NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: How to watch, odds, and predictions

Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0).
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0). / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

The Fighting Illini and the Cyclones are set to square up in the Sweet Sixteen. Stars like Terrence Shannon Jr., Marcus Domask, and Coleman Hawkins will take the court once again as the two teams fight for a spot in the Elite Eight.

Illinois has a tough matchup ahead as the team takes on Iowa State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. 

The Cyclones are the No. 2 seed in the region and competed in one of the toughest conferences in the nation, the Big 12, this season. Iowa State trounced South Dakota State before handily defeating Washington State, easily making its way to the Sweet Sixteen.

Illinois had a similarly easy path to this round and the two teams are fairly evenly matched as they prepare for the head-to-head matchup. So, how can fans tune in to watch the game?

How to watch Illinois vs. Iowa State – NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

Illinois vs. Iowa State NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 odds

Iowa State may not be the best college basketball team in the state this season, yes I’m saying Caitlin Clark’s Hawkeyes are, but they’re pretty damn good. According to FanDuel, the Cyclones are favored by 1.5 points heading into the matchup.

The over-under is currently set at 145.5 combined points which I think the Fighting Illini and Cyclones could easily surpass.

The two teams are so evenly matched that I won’t be surprised when this team heads into overtime – if not double OT.

You’d need to wager $132 on the Cyclones and have them win for you to receive a $100 payout. You could also bet $100 on the Fighting Illini pulling off the upset and get a payout of $110 (much more profitable!).

Illinois vs. Iowa State NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 prediction

This game is expected to be close by almost all betting professionals and I agree (trust me, I’m not a professional). While I think the Fighting Illini will put up a good fight, I’m not sure they can outscore the Cyclones.

However, Iowa State averages just 75.5 points per game while Illinois usually puts up 84.6 points. The difference maker in this matchup will be the defensive games.

Illinois allows its opponents to score 73.4 points per game. Iowa State averages just 61.3 points per game for its opponents.

I highly doubt this game will get past the 70-point range for each team and I don’t think either team will necessarily run away with it. In the end, I do believe that Iowa State will walk away victorious.

This season is a good sign. Illinois basketball made it back to the Sweet Sixteen, things are looking up. I just don’t think they’ll make it to the Elite Eight.

illinois v iowa state. 76. 461. Prediction. 71. 481

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