Sweet 16+-
Mar 27, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; The Iowa State Cyclones run on the court during a practice day before the semifinals of the East Regional in the 2024 NCAA Tournament at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State Men’s Hoops Takes on Illinois in Sweet 16

The second Sweet 16 matchup in the East Region tips off at 10:09 p.m. with the Illinois Fighting Illini taking on the Iowa State Cyclones. Each team won their first two games of the tournament by double digits.

Illinois’ Road to the Sweet 16

Illinois (28-8) is the third seed in the East Region, and they won their first two games of the tournament in convincing fashion. They beat Morehead State 85-69 in the first round, and they beat Duquesne 89-63 in the second round.

The leading scorer for the Illini is guard Terrence Shannon Jr. Shannon has averaged 23.3 points per game this season, and he has continued this play into the NCAA Tournament. He scored 26 points against Morehead State and 30 points against Duquesne.

Forward Marcus Domask is second in scoring for the Illini. He averages 16.1 points per game, and he had 22 points against Duquesne.

How the Cyclones Advanced

Iowa State (29-7) is the second seed in the East Region, and they also won their first two tournament games by double digits. They beat South Dakota State 82-65 in the first round, and Milan Momcilovic led them in scoring with 19 points. The Cyclones beat Washington State 67-56 in the second round, and Tamin Lipsey led them in scoring with 15 points.

Their two leading scorers are guards Keshon Gilbert and Tamin Lipsey. Gilbert averages 13.7 points per game and Lipsey averages 12.5 points per game. However, Momcilovic, a freshman, has stepped up for Iowa State. He has had double-digit points in each of their tournament games.

The Matchup

Iowa State is favored by 1.5 points according to ESPNBET. This will be the biggest test for each team so far in the tournament. Iowa State showed more signs of struggle against Washington State than Illinois did against Duquesne. This game could come down to how Iowa State shoots, since they shoot close to 50%. Tip-off is at 10:09 p.m., and it will be televised on TBS/truTV.

About Jackson Colding

Jackson Colding is a second-year journalism sports and media student at the University of Florida.

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