The Iowa State Cyclones and Miami Hurricanes have both busted plenty of March Madness brackets but now they face off in the Sweet 16 on Friday night.
Regardless of who wins, we'll see a double-digit seed advance to the Elite 8 in the Midwest region and March Madness odds expect that team to be the No. 10 seed Hurricanes, who are slim 2.5-point favorites.
Here are our best free Iowa State vs. Miami March Madness picks and predictions for tonight, March 25, with tipoff at 9:59 p.m. ET.
Iowa State vs Miami odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
This line hit the board with Miami installed as a 1-point favorite with the Over/Under at 136.5 and both have seen sharp movement. As of Wednesday afternoon, Miami is now at -2.5 while the total has plummeted to 133, with some books still offering 133.5.
Iowa State vs Miami predictions
- Prediction: Miami -2.5 (-110)
- Prediction: Under 133.5 (-110)
- Best bet: Iowa State TT Under 65.5 (-115)
Predictions made on 3/23/2022 at 1 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Iowa State vs Miami game info
• Location: United Center, Chicago IL
• Date: Friday, March 25, 2022
• Tip-off: 9:59 p.m. ET
• TV: TBS
Iowa State vs Miami betting preview
Iowa State: No injuries to report.
Miami: Harlond Beverly G (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 7-1 in Iowa State's last eight games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600. Find more NCAA betting trends for Iowa State vs. Miami.
Iowa State vs Miami picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
This is an intriguing matchup because both of these schools entered the NCAA Tournament with completely different narratives.
The Hurricanes looked shaky at the beginning of the season and then picked up steam in conference play, where they went 14-6 with a road victory against Duke.
The Canes have a high-powered offense that ranks 19th in the country with a 47.7 FG% but their poor defensive play (293rd in opponent FG%) was expected to send them packing early in March. Instead, they forced 18 turnovers and held USC to 66 points in the opening round before limiting high-octane Auburn to 61 points on just 30% shooting in the Round of 32.
The Cyclones looked like a Top-25 team at the start of the season but then fell apart in Big 12 play where they went just 7-11. Iowa State is built the complete opposite of Miami, ranking 10th in the country in defensive efficiency while sitting a horrific 271st in offensive efficiency.
The Cyclones won ugly in the first two rounds, beating LSU 59-54 and defeating Wisconsin 54-49. Against LSU, they forced 19 turnovers and held the Tigers to 54 points and just 4-19 shooting from beyond the arc. Versus Wisconsin, they made the Badgers (the school with the lowest turnover rate in the country) cough up the ball 16 times and shoot just 2-22 from 3-point range.
One thing to note is that while Miami has shown defensive improvement lately, ISU hasn't shored up its biggest liability. The Cyclones are averaging just 56.5 points per game on 35.1 FG% in the tourney and that was with Tyrese Hunter catching fire in the first round, going 7-11 from deep.
Considering that Hunter was connecting on less than 25% of his three-point attempts before that game and followed up on that performance by going 0-10 from the field versus the Badgers, it's safe to say that Iowa State can't count on another hot-shooting night.
The Cyclones have been winning despite their offense not because of it. Meanwhile, Miami clearly has the more efficient offense and is making strides on defense.
While Iowa State is one of the best teams in the nation at defending the 3-point shot, the Hurricanes have been proving that they can win (and cover) even when their outside shots aren't falling. In addition, one of Miami's biggest weaknesses, rebounding, won't be exposed against an ISU squad that also struggles on the glass. We're taking Miami on the spread.
Prediction: Miami -2.5 (-110 at bet365)
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The total has seen some massive movement, ticking down more than three points since the opening number. That said, we still like the Under to cash.
While the Hurricanes have been vulnerable defensively over the entire season, they've looked very good in that area lately and now take on one of the worst offensive teams in the country.
The Cyclones sit outside the Top 200 in adjusted pace and eFG% are averaging just 61.5 ppg since conference play began. However, they do an excellent job of forcing turnovers and rank 18th in the country in scoring defense with 62.3 ppg allowed.
It's also worth mentioning that both of these teams have played lower-scoring contests against quality opponents. The Under is 8-3 in Miami's last 11 games against teams with a winning percentage above .600 while Iowa State is 7-1 to the Under in its previous eight contests in the same situation.
Prediction: Under 133.5 (-110 at bet365)
When it comes right down to it, Iowa State has been winning but has still looked awful offensively. While I'm a bit wary of fading the Cyclones on the spread again, I feel much better at fading them on their team total of 65.5, especially with Miami's aggressive scrambling defense currently doing a fantastic job of rotating and frustrating opposing ball-handlers.
Pick: Iowa State team total Under 65.5 (-115 at bet365)