Finally, here’s the two teams in the same side of the bracket as Iowa State. One of them will be playing the Cyclones in the second day of the tournament, either on the winning or losing side.
Oregon State Beavers
- Record: 6-2
- Preseason Pac-12 ranking: 10th
- RPI: 172nd
- SOS: 312th
- Head coach: Craig Robinson
- 53.7 field goal percentage (1st nationally)
- 17.5 assists per game (11th nationally)
- Gives up 33.9 rebounds per game (133rd nationally)
- Eight steals per game (49th nationally)
The Beavers suffered a similar opening game loss like their football team, losing to Coppin State at home. They haven’t had strong competition; outside of beating Maryland, their wins are all against teams with an RPI of 163 or worse.
This tournament will give them a big step up, with their opening round opponent, Akron, having an RPI ranking of 75.
One of the most threatening players are senior forward Devon Collier, shooting at an incredible 64.7 percent from the field. He leads an offensive attack that’s incredibly efficient and will be a force to stop.
However, their defense has been a mess but it is improving. They gave up 81 points to SIU-Edwardsville, who is 2-9 with a 336 RPI ranking, but have given up no more than 67 points in their last three games.
- Record: 5-2
- Preseason MAC ranking: 1st in West division
- RPI: 75th
- SOS: 186th
- Head coach: Keith Dambrot
- 12.1 assists per game (228th nationally)
- Give up 10.1 assists per game (39th nationally)
- 39.6 offensive rebounding percentage (21st nationally)
- 14.9 turnovers per game (37th nationally)
Akron has played a decent schedule this season, getting top 100 RPI wins over Oral Roberts and Detroit. However, this tournament will be more like the challenge St. Mary’s gave them earlier in the season, losing in a 85-63 blowout.
Of course, that shouldn’t be piled too hard on the Zips; the game was at 3:00 AM Eastern time. And having to travel a long way already this season will help them heading all the way to Honolulu.
Senor forward Demetrius Treadwell has been dominant with the team, taking the most shots and still firing at a good 47.1 percent from the field. He’s getting to the foul line taking 56 free throw attempts (29 more than the second-most) and has reeled in 61 rebounds (also 29 more than the second-most).