How Iowa stacks up against No. 10 seed Davidson
IOWA CITY, Ia. – In Davidson, Iowa will face a smaller version of Wisconsin — an extremely efficient team that shoots the 3-pointer well and doesn't commit turnovers.
"System is probably comparable to a UNI or Wisconsin type," Iowa's Aaron White said, less than an hour after CBS' Selection Sunday telecast flashed the Hawkeys as a No. 7 seed in the South Region against the 10th-seeded Wildcats. "A lot of shooters. Play the same type of defense as those guys."
So, the bad news there is that Iowa was swept by Wisconsin by a combined 43 points and lost to Northern Iowa by 12 points on a neutral court.
The good news is Iowa has much more size and defeated the teams' only common opponent — North Carolina by five points in Chapel Hill; Davidson lost to the Tar Heels by 18 points on a neutral court.
Junior Jarrod Uthoff said he "didn't know who they were" when the small, private North Carolina school popped up as Iowa's opponent for the 6:20 p.m. game Friday at KeyArena in Seattle.
All Davidson did in its first year in the Atlantic 10 Conference was win the regular-season championship with a 14-4 league record.
The Wildcats rank second to Wisconsin nationally in turnover percentage, coughing up the ball on only 14.3 percent of their possessions. By comparison, Iowa is 70th at 17.4 percent.
But despite starting two guards that stand 5-foot-11, plus a frontcourt that goes 6-4, 6-4 and 6-7, Davidson is able to shoot well from everywhere on the floor, ranking 17th nationally from both 2-point range (53.5 percent) and 3-point range (39.3 percent).
The Hawkeyes go 6-2, 6-6, 6-9, 6-9 and 7-1 — for a total height advantage of 26 inches, or 5.2 inches per starter — and rank 213th on twos (46.9 percent) and 217th on threes (33.2 percent).
But Davidson only beat two NCAA Tournament teams — Virginia Commonwealth (once out of three times, including a loss Saturday in the A-10 Tournament) and Dayton.
Iowa defeated seven tournament teams — Ohio State (twice), Maryland, Indiana, Hampton, North Carolina, North Dakota State and North Florida.
The Hawkeyes opened as two-point favorites fresh off of Thursday's humbling 67-58 loss in the Big Ten Tournament against Penn State, a game in which they shot 26.3 percent from the field.
"They're in a good place," said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, who while coaching North Carolina-Greensboro for six seasons battled 26th-year Davidson coach Bob McKillop in the Southern Conference. "There's never a positive to losing. But we had a chance to get some rest."
White and point guard Mike Gesell agreed that the Penn State loss had been flushed and the Hawkeyes were recharged after Sunday's bracket reveal.
After Iowa's previous loss, on Feb. 15 at Northwestern, Uthoff said this team could win out in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes did just that, winning six in a row.
These Hawkeyes know they can get hot again. A No. 7 seed (Connecticut) won the national title last year.
Friday's Iowa-Davidson winner would likely draw No. 2 seed Gonzaga in its home state Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16 in Houston.
"We can make a run in this tournament," Uthoff said. "It's just a matter of whether we do it or not. If we buckle down and play together and play hard, we'll get the job done."
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
BY THE NUMBERS
79.9 points per game (Tyler Kalinoski leads with 17.0)
35.9 rebounds per game (Jordan Barham, 6.0)
17.2/9.6 assist/turnover ratio (Jack Gibbs, 4.8/2.4)
.397 3-point percentage (Kalinoski, 91 made)
F PeytonAldridge, 6-7, Fr. (9.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
G Brian Sullivan, 5-11, Jr. (13.1 ppg, 3.9 apg)
G Tyler Kalinoski, 6-4, Sr. (17.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.2 apg)
G Jordan Barham, 6-4, Jr. (11.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
G Jack Gibbs, 5-11, So. (16.0 ppg, 3.8 ppg, 4.8 apg)
Location: Davidson, N.C.
Record: 24-7, 14-4 A-10 Conference
Tournament Record: 8-13, 12 appearances
Last appearance: 2013, lost to Marquette, round of 64
Coach: Bob McKillop, 3-7 in seven appearances
Davidson closed the regular season on a nine-game winning streak to narrowly win the A-10 regular season. They're one of the best in the country offensively, averaging more than 80 points and making more than 10 three-pointers a game. This is also a smart, unselfish team, ranking in the top five nationally in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Wildcats are one of the best outside shooting teams in the country, hitting at 40 percent from 3-point range. Tyler Kalinoski was the Atlantic 10 player of the year.