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Illinois vs. Iowa State 2024 Sweet 16 Odds and Preview

By Hank Blaine

The last of the four Sweet 16 games from the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Thursday is from the East Region in Boston as No. 3 Illinois of the Big Ten faces No. 2 Iowa State of the Big 12 with the Cyclones as short favorites. Both were conference tournament champions.

The winner of this game faces either No. 5 San Diego State or No. 1 UConn on Saturday also in Boston for a trip to the Final Four — most likely UConn.

The Illini are 11-3 all-time vs. Iowa State, though the programs have played only three times in the last four decades, most recently meeting on Nov. 20, 2018, in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Iowa State Cyclones 2024 March Madness Sweet 16 Game Information

Why Bet on the Illinois Fighting Illini?

No. 3 Illinois (28-8) routed No. 14 Morehead State 85-69 in Round 1 of this tournament and then No. 11 Duquesne 89-63 on Saturday in Round 2. Terrence Shannon, Jr., and Marcus Domask combined for 52 points as the Illini shot 59.3 percent (35-for-59) from the field. Illinois jumped out to leads of 16-6, 24-9 and 32-11 before eventually owning a 50-26 lead at the break. The game was over then.

“Hats off to Illinois,” head coach Keith Dambrot said. “I thought they played well. We couldn’t quite get our feet underneath us to guard them well enough to be in the game. It was actually a typical offensive game for us, but a little atypical defensively. Some of the things they do are different from what we have seen most of the year, and we had trouble guarding the ball, which was ultimately our undoing.”

The Illini’s 89 points were their most in an NCAA Tournament game since March 26, 2005, when Illinois came from behind in historic fashion to defeat Arizona, 90-89, in overtime. Illinois is now 44-34 all-time in NCAA Tournament games and 5-3 all-time as a No. 3 seed.

Shannon Jr. secured his seventh 30-point scoring effort of the season – including his third in the Illini’s last four games – while shooting 10-for-14 from the field. Shannon missed only one shot in the second half, and his 30-point performance was the third-ever for Illinois in NCAA Tournament history. He also tacked on four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Shannon has back-to-back NCAA Tournament games with 20+ points, one shy of the Illinois record of three consecutive 20+-point games accomplished by Don Sunderlage (1951), Nick Anderson (1989), and Luther Head (2005). Shannon has scored 20+ points in six consecutive games, tied for the fourth-longest streak in program history, and the most since Alfonso Plummer from Nov. 26 to Dec. 11, 2021.

Domask recorded his fourth consecutive game in double figures, pouring in 22 points on 56% shooting. Dishing out seven assists, his fourth outing in a row with at least seven helpers, Domask grabbed two of his three rebounds on the offensive glass and tallied a season-high two steals. With 13 players registering minutes in the 26-point win, Illinois secured its ninth appearance in the Sweet 16 (first since 2005) and pushed its season win total 28, the third-most in program history.

Why Bet on the Iowa State Cyclones?

No. 2 Iowa State also has had it pretty easy in this tournament, beating No. 15 South Dakota State 82-65 in Round 1 and then No. 7 Washington State 67-56 in Round 2 on Saturday. The Cyclones were tested early vs. Wazzu, as they fell behind 7-0 and were held to just two field goals in the first 11 minutes of action.

ISU adjusted and outscored the Cougars by 11 in the second half to claim its 29th victory of the season – making this season the second most-winnings in school history. ISU moves to 23-22 all-time in NCAA Tournament appearances and 7-6 in second round games. The team earned its seventh Sweet 16 appearance in school history.

Iowa State moved to 30-1 all-time under Coach TJ Otzelberger when four or more players finish in double figures, as Tamin Lipsey (15), Curtis Jones (14), Milan Momcilovic (10) and Keshon Gilbert (10) powered the Cyclone offense. The post trio of Hason Ward, Tre King and Robert Jones combined for 21 rebounds, and they handled WSU’s leading scorer, holding Isaac Jones to just eight points.

Lipsey is ISU’s best player and is a finalist for multiple national awards, including Defensive Player of the Year. He is averaging 12.5 points, 4.9 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game and one of just 17 NCAA Division I men’s basketball players since 1996-97 to average those numbers in a season.

Otzelberger has been named a finalist for the 2024 Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year along with Dan Hurley (UConn), Lamont Paris (South Carolina) and Kelvin Sampson (Houston). In his third season at the helm, Otzelberger has led the Cyclones to a Top 10 ranking for the second time, as the Cyclones sit 29-7 overall on the year and are currently ranked No. 4 in the nation after winning the Big 12 Championship.

Illinois vs. Iowa State Betting Trends

  • Illinois is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • Fighting Illini are 6-0 SU in its last 6 games.
  • The total went over in 5 of Illinois’ last 5 games.
  • Iowa State is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 games.
  • Cyclones are 5-0 SU in its last 5 games.
  • The total went under in 8 of Iowa State’s last 10 games.

Illinois vs. Iowa State 2024 Sweet 16 Expert Prediction

Illinois takes the win on Thursday night and heads into the Elite Eight.

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2024 March Madness Tournament previews and articles, and don’t forget to check out the latest college basketball odds on our online Crypto sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

READ MORE: San Diego State vs. UConn 2024 Sweet 16 Odds and Preview