Villanova vs. Iowa prediction and preview. Who’s Got Next analyzes the NCAA Tournament’s second round matchup between the Wildcats and Hawkeyes.
How they got here
Villanova beat No. 15 UNC Asheville 86-56; Iowa beat No. 10 Temple 72-70 in OT.
Why Villanova will win
Villanova can beat teams in a lot of ways, and when guards Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono are rolling, the Wildcats are tough to beat. Forward Daniel Ochefu is a tough rebounder who can help ‘Nova control the tempo by dominating the glass, and he’s a rim protector. Villanova’s defense forces teams to work hard on every possession, and its length helps create a lot of live-ball turnovers. If the Wildcats can take care of the ball and establish a post game early, ‘Nova could be headed to the Sweet 16.
Why Iowa will win
Iowa escaped a first-round battle with Temple by executing down the stretch, and the steady play of point guard Mike Gesell was huge. He didn’t score a lot of points, but he provides a rudder for the Hawkeyes few teams can match. Forward Jarrod Uthoff can score inside and outside, and his ability to stretch the floor will force Villanova’s bigs away from the bucket. The X-factor for Iowa will be guard Peter Jok. When he’s productive, it gives Iowa balance on the floor. Villanova’s superior athleticism will be tough for Iowa to handle.
Villanova vs. Iowa Prediction
Villanova plays with a lot of confidence whereas Iowa is trying to regain it. Iowa was taken to the limit in the first round, and this is a team that hasn’t been great when fatigued. Look for the Wildcats to take control early and cruise to an easy victory by pulling away after the break.
Villanova vs. Iowa Final Score Prediction: Villanova 77, Iowa 65.