The New Hampshire Wildcats and Iowa State Cyclones look to build momentum going into the 2024 calendar year and hook up in Ames to close out 2023 on Sunday.
New Hampshire Wildcats vs. Iowa State Cyclones (-28.5, 151)
Iowa State has been elite defensively, ranking second behind only the Houston Cougars in points allowed on a per possession basis with forced turnovers being a big reason for their success.
Much like their overall defensive points allowed per possession, Iowa State ranks second in the country behind Houston in turnovers forced both on a per offensive play and a per possession basis, but now has to play one of the best offenses at taking care of the ball they’ve seen this season.
New Hampshire entered the weekend 44th in the country in turnovers committed per possession and run a system where at most times, all five players on the floor can handle the ball and take shoes from the outside.
Each of New Hampshire’s top five scorers are all making at least 35.5% of their 3-pointers, which is the biggest weakness Iowa State has, ranking 181st in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.
The edge New Hampshire has on the perimeter extends to the defense as well as opponents are making just 27.6% of their 3-point shot attempts against New Hampshire this season, which ranks 15th in the country.
The 3-point shooting defense of New Hampshire travels as well with the Wildcats allowing teams to make 27.9% of the 3-point shots in games outside of New Hampshire.
Iowa State enters ranked 25th in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage, which appears to be a byproduct of playing one of the weakest home non-conference schedules in the country with the team making 45.2% of their 3’s at home and just 27.1% of their 3’s in games played in a road or neutral court environment.
The Wildcats have the best perimeter defense to enter Hilton Colosseum this season and it will snap Iowa State’s run of eight straight covers as at least a 14-point favorite to begin the season.
The Play: New Hampshire +28.5