clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional— No. 6 LSU vs. No. 11 Iowa State: How To Watch, Preview, and Gamethread

New, comments

CAN’T SPELL CYCLONES WITHOUT AN L AMIRTIE

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 10 Big 12 Tournament - Iowa State v Texas Tech Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

More often than not whenever there’s a collegiate national championship to be had in New Orleans, LSU finds its way there.

The football program has played for four national championships in New Orleans; women’s basketball went to its first ever Final Four the same year New Orleans was picked to host the event. Now the Big Easy plays host to the men’s Final Four and LSU earned the right to find its way back home. It won’t be easy and of course there’s a giant black cloud hovering over the program but LSU’s got a chance and that’s all anyone ever needs in sports.

Up first for LSU is a trip to Milwaukee where they’ll play Iowa State in the Midwestern Region’s 6-11 game. Iowa State’s 2021-2022 season kind of mirrors LSU’s: an undefeated start prior to conference play and a stumble when the calendar flipped from 2021 to 2022. Heck Iowa State had a more impressive showing in non-conference play beating three Tournament teams: Iowa, Creighton, and Memphis.

But the Cyclones struggled in conference play going 7-11 and went out with a whimper against Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament, 72-41. Iowa State’s currently riding a three-game losing streak and, incredibly, the 41 points against the Red Raiders wasn’t the fewest points scored; that honor goes to Oklahoma State who held the Cyclones to 36 points on Senior Day of all days.

Poseur alluded to it yesterday but it’s eerie how similar LSU and Iowa State are statistically. LSU shoots 44 percent from the floor, Iowa State shoots 43.9 percent; both teams barely cracked 30 percent shooting from three (32.1 for Iowa State, 31.9. for LSU).

But the biggest advantage for LSU might be the littlest thing: free throws. LSU’s attempted over 100 more free throws than Iowa State, and while the Tigers’ combined 73 percent shooting at the line is okay, it’s certainly better than the Cyclones 68 percent shooting.

Guard play is paramount in the tournament and Iowa State’s got a pretty good one in Izaiah Brockington. He too is a senior transfer—because Iowa State and LSU don’t have enough similarities—finding his way to Ames via Penn State and St. Bonaventure prior to that. Brockington made First-Team All-Big 12. He’s not a perfect clone of Xavier Pinson, instead he profiles more like a Skylar Mays: a bigger guard that rebounds well (a team-leading 7.1 boards per game) and can hit the three (32 makes on 85 attempts, which is 37 percent).

This feels like LSU basketball’s last hurrah for the foreseeable future. Nobody knows what the future holds. We can only guess who the next head coach will be and wonder what players from this team will be here in November, and all the while there’s surely some kind of sanctions heading their way that will change the program for the worse.

But all that can wait. For this team all that matters and all that is promised is Friday and after that who knows...

...so they might as well go win the whole f’king thing in New Orleans

How To Watch

TV: TBS

WHEN: 6:20 P.M.

WHERE: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

DraftKings Line: LSU -4 (-110); O/U 127.5 (-110 either way); ML: Iowa State +160, LSU -190