There’s no rest for the wicked for the two combatants in the #12 Richmond vs #5 Iowa betting matchup as part of the NCAA Tournament 1st round action. Both of these squads had long weekends en route to winning their respective conference tournaments, playing four games in four days.
Iowa is a -10 point favorite in this matchup, and they do boast one of the most prolific scorers in the country in Keegan Murray (23.3 ppg). The Hawkeyes ran one of the fastest tempos in the country en route to 83.3 ppg (5th in the country), but Richmond has a couple of marquee players of their own hence the 150.5 O/U. Let’s get the Madness underway.
Richmond Can Hang Here
The Spiders are probably going to have to put up some points to stay with Iowa on Thursday afternoon, which on paper could be trouble considering Richmond is 70th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Spiders averaged 72.2 ppg even while playing in the Atlantic 10 and with the nation’s 92nd toughest strength of schedule.
Throw the paper out the window though, because this is March Madness and it’s the #12 vs #5 matchup. Plus there might not be a hotter scorer in the country right now than Richmond guard Jacob Gilyard, the 5th year Senior that had a 26 and a 32 point outing in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Gilyard is the NCAA’s all-time steals leader (466) and played every single minute in the A10 Tournament.
For as great as Gilyard is, he’s not even the Spiders’ leading scorer as Tyler Burton leads that category with 16.5 ppg. The 6’7″ Burton is close to a mirror image of Iowa’s Murray, as the Richmond forward is also solid on the boards (7.4 rpg) and can shoot from long distance (38.2% from three).
Can Hawkeyes Stay Hot
Iowa had their ups and downs over the course of the season, but Fran McCaffrey has to be happy with his team going 9-1 in their last 10 games. The Hawkeyes got a miracle 3-point bank shot from Jordan Bohanon to complete the 80-77 comeback win over Indiana in the B10 Tournament semifinals and then pulled away from Purdue late 75-66 in the Championship Game.
Bohanon is in his 6th year in Iowa City, and that experience will be invaluable on Thursday afternoon at the neutral site in Buffalo. Iowa’s chances at advancing rest almost solely on the shoulders of Keegan Murray though, the #4 scorer in the country at 23.6 ppg. Murray had just 19 points in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game, but in a way that shows just how deep Iowa is in their 7-point win over #9 Purdue.
Free #12 Richmond vs #5 Iowa Betting Pick
The Spiders can’t be overlooked here as they run a rotation that features six seniors. Gilyard is a pest defensively and Burton seems like he can nearly go toe to toe with Murray on both ends of the court.
61% of the public likes Iowa even giving double digit points in this matchup. Sure the quality of competition ramps up a bit, but Richmond also held all four opponents in the A10 Tournament under 65 points. The Spiders are going to threaten here, and 10.5 is way too many for Iowa to be giving after a long weekend.
Richmond 65 – Iowa 69
Free Pick: Richmond +10.5