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Illinois vs. Iowa State: Picks, Predictions, Odds and Player Props

No. 3 Illinois and No. 2 Iowa State go head-to-head to close out Thursday’s last 16 games, with both teams seeking their first appearance in the regional final in nearly 20 years.

Illinois outpaced No. 14 Morehead State 85-69 before taking down No. 11 Duquesne 89-63, while Iowa State took down No. 15 South Dakota State 82-65 and No. 7 Washington State 67-56.

Now, the #1 ranked defense will take on the #1 ranked offense, as per KenPom, in what should be an entertaining game.

Let’s dive into our Illinois vs. Iowa State predictions for Thursday’s game.

Illinois vs. Iowa State betting picks and predictions

Illinois ML +100

The Fighting Illini have won nine of their last 10 games and are led by the trio of Terrence Shannon Jr. (23.3 PPG), Marcus Domask (16.1 PPG) and Coleman Hawkins (12.3 PPG).

They are the #1 ranked offense per KenPom and have scored 70 points or more in 31 of their 34 games and 80 points or more in 26 of their 34 contests this season.

Iowa State carries the #1 ranked defense per KenPom, so Thursday’s matchup is similar to when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. However, the Fighting Illini have faced strong defenses this season and handled them with ease.

Rutgers is the #5 ranked defense and gave up 76 and 86 points to Illinois, Michigan State is the #11 ranked defense and allowed 71 and 80 points to the Fighting Illini and Brad Underwood’s team scored 71 and 78 against Purdue, who are the 15th ranked defense.

Therefore, expect Illinois to score at least 70 points against Iowa State, which only one team has done in the Cyclones' last 11 games (73-65 defeat at Houston).

T. J. Otzelberger’s squad is just 5-6 when they give up 70+ points, and they’ve scored 80+ points in just 11 of their 36 games.

If Illinois controls the glass, they should control the tempo of Thursday’s game, so expect the Fighting Illinois to turn this game into a track meet.

Coleman Hawkins Over 10.5 Points

Expect Iowa State’s defense to focus on slowing down Shannon Jr., which should give Hawkins plenty of scoring opportunities.

The 6’10’ senior is averaging 12.3 points per game this season and has improved his three-point shooting immensely, hitting 37.8% of his shots from behind the arc.

Expect Shannon Jr. and Domask to penetrate the Cyclones’ defense, which should free up Hawkins for a few threes.

Not only should the Illinois big man receive plenty of open opportunities from deep, expect Underwood to play him for the majority of the game.

He’s averaging 31.4 minutes per game this season and he’s scored 11+ points in 20 of the 26 games when he’s played 29 minutes or more.

So long as he sees 30+ minutes, he should surpass his points total.

Read more Men's College Basketball Tournament coverage on site

Illinois vs. Iowa State odds

Illinois

+100 ML

Iowa State

-120 ML

Spread

Iowa State -1.5

Total

O/U 134

Illinois vs. Iowa State player props

Player points

Terrence Shannon Jr.

O/U 21.5

Marcus Domask

O/U 15.5

Keshon Gilbert

O/U 13.5

Tamin Lipsey

O/U 12.5

Curtis Jones

O/U 11.5

Coleman Hawkins

O/U 10.5

Read Illinois vs. Iowa State: How to watch, TV Channel, streaming, start time, injury report and stats on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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