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Penn State at Iowa Preview: Critical Matchup with Hawkeyes Looms

Can Penn State set itself apart from the middle of the Big Ten?

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting The Opposition

Iowa is led by sophomore Keegan Murray, who is first on the team and second in the nation averaging 23 points per game. The 6’8’’ forward shoots 58% from the field, and also averages over eight rebounds in each contest. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A lot of pressure will be on John Harrar this afternoon.

The home team has two other double-digit scorers, forward and coach’s son Patrick McCaffery, and approximately 97-year old guard Jordan Bohannon.

What To Watch For

Will Penn State be able to force turnovers? The Hawkeyes rank near the top of the country in both assist-to-turnover ratio, and fewest turnovers per game, so if they take care of the ball effectively, the Nittany Lions will be under more pressure to not commit mistakes themselves. Oh, also Iowa is one of the highest-scoring teams, averaging almost 84 points a game. This last stat may actually benefit the Nittany Lions and their desire to shoot from long range.

Prediction

My predictions have been dangerously close (but wrong) twice in a row, so I hope I’m wrong again.

Iowa 87, Penn State 78