Why ESPN’s Jay Bilas is picking the Iowa Hawkeyes to top the Auburn Tigers

One prominent ESPN college basketball analyst is taking the Iowa Hawkeyes to send the Auburn Tigers packing in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

ESPN’s Jay Bilas likes Iowa to beat Auburn in the two teams’ opening game of March Madness. The longtime college basketball analyst actually picked every single 2023 NCAA Tournament game.

Here’s the rationale from Jay on what he sees in the matchup and why he likes the Hawkeyes.

How Iowa can win

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what Jay Bilas had to say about how Iowa can win this game. A lot of this will sound pretty familiar for Hawkeye fans.

Offense efficiency and execution, tempo, 3-point shooting. Iowa can simply outscore teams, rather than lock down teams and win with defense. The Hawkeyes win when their offense carries them, not when their defense locks down, which it rarely does. Iowa scores easily from multiple positions, and takes really good care of the ball. Iowa turns it over on only 14% of its possessions, one of the best turnover rates in the nation. That leads to more shots, more offensive-rebound chances, and more chances to get fouled.

Kris Murray, the lefty twin of NBA star Keegan Murray, is the headliner, and he has a complete floor game. Murray averaged 20 points on 47% shooting over this last 10 regular-season games, and is very consistent at a high level. A key will be getting shots for Payton Sandfort, who knocked in 46% of his deep shots over his last 10 regular-season games. Iowa pushes tempo, changes defenses to speed, slow and disrupt the game, and rarely fouls. This is a high-assist, low-turnover team that can make shots. – Bilas, ESPN.

How Auburn can win

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Bilas really likes the effort that he sees on a consistent basis from Auburn and their defensive traits.

Playing hard, defense, rim protection, offensive rebounding. Nobody, with the exception of Houston, plays harder more consistently than Auburn. The Tigers can really guard the ball, and rank in the Top 25 in defensive…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/why-espn-jay-bilas-picking-204545739.html?src=rss

Author : Hawkeyes Wire

Publish date : 2023-03-14 20:45:45

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