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The best sports weekend of the year is finally here. On day one in the Midwest Region number 8 seed Iowa is facing off against the 9 seed Auburn. In addition to these two seeds being closely ranked and neither team having a clear edge, there is also history between the two coaching staffs.
Auburn’s head coach Bruce Pearl is a former Iowa assistant, which should only light his fire to prove himself with a win this game. Iowa on the other hand, had a down year compared to their recent success, but they are still a good basketball program that can ruin a handful of brackets if they can play their best basketball. That is a big if, however, and because they struggled to find their identity all season long, they’re now tasked with starting the tournament against a team who’s been forced to claw their way through the gauntlet of an SEC just to get to this point.
As with all 8 vs 9 games, this will be tough to predict. When March Madness comes around, the best teams seem to find another gear to put themselves into. That’s what these teams need to do, especially if they want to find their way out of the first weekend and beat the Houston team that will likely be waiting for them in the round of 32. Iowa has shown in the past that while their state might have more cornfields than basketball courts, they are consistently one of the premiere programs in the nation. Even in the midst of a down year, they still score the basketball at an incredibly high level.
The Hawkeye’s will be laser focused on getting back to the round of 32, and using it as momentum to start a run. Bet on Iowa and get up to $1,111 in Bonus Bets from BetFred!