I love when Davidson makes the NCAA Tournament. It reminds me of all the great Cinderella moments they had when Stephen Curry was in college. It’s amazing how one player’s NCAA Tournament success could put them on the map long-term.
Iowa hasn’t been in the NCAA Tournament in almost a decade. It took the Hawkeyes nearly a decade to find their identity after Steve Alford left. Iowa is now a physical team that relies less on guards and more on wings/forwards.
Davidson has an enrollment of less than 2,000 students, but their program has been larger than life. Head coach Bob McKillop is one of the best basketball coaches in the game. Can he get Davidson to another Elite Eight?
How many Big Ten teams can push deep into the tourney?
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Iowa makes its first NCAA Tournament since Steve Alford left to coach New Mexico. Head coach Fran McCaffery has improved in every season he’s been on the job. Iowa’s team identity is much different than the last time they were in the Big Dance. Their offense flows through the paint. Aaron White and Jarrod Uthoff are tall, athletic players that fills up the box score.
Davidson joined the Atlantic 10 this season and they flourished. They finished in first place in the regular season. The Wildcats bring the same style that brought them to the NCAA Tournament in the past. They are high-scoring (6th in points per game in the nation) and they always move the ball around to get the best shot (3rd in assists in the nation). They don’t have the biggest roster, but their guards are excellent shooters.
Davidson is a trendy pick to beat Iowa in the second round. I believe the upset will happen. Iowa ended the season on a roll, but that’s when they played the cake part of the schedule. They only played three ranked teams mid-January. Davidson is built for the NCAA Tournament. Strong guard play and perimeter shooting is key for any team in the early rounds.
Prediction: #10 Davidson Wildcats
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.