One of the more competitive and interesting second-round matchups of the tournament takes place on Thursday night as the No. 8-seed Iowa State Cyclones (22-10) face the No. 9-seeded Connecticut Huskies (20-13) at a KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
The tip off takes place at about 9:20 p.m. ET. The game will be television on TBS.
If you're looking to watch the game online, it can be seen on March Madness On Demand, which shows every NCAA Men's Tournament game for a one-time payment of $3.99.
Iowa State are led by forward Royce White. The 6'8 sophomore is the top scorer (13.1 points) and leads the club in rebounding (9.2), blocks (0.9), assists (5.1) and steals (1.2). A do-evertything player, White finished in the top five in the Big 12 in both rebounding and assists.
The Cyclones also have a pair of seniors guards who are solid contributors. The backcourt of Chris Allen and Scott Christopherson average a combined 24.3 points per game.
Fred Hoiberg's squad have slipped in the last two weeks with two losses in three games. However, Iowa State have victories over Kansas, Baylor, and Kansas State this season.
UConn, the defending champions, have been off their game this season, but have the talent to make noise in the tournament.
The Huskies have perhaps the two best players in the nation in underclassmen Andre Drummond, a 6'9 forward, and Jeremy Lamb, a sharp and steady shooting guard, who are both predicted to be selected within the first five picks of the 2012 NBA Draft.
Jim Calhoun's squad had a stretch where they lost six of seven games in the competitive Big East. Still, the Huskies have talent in players like sophomore guard Shabazz Napier, who is averaging 12.7 points per game
PREDICTION: This should be a tight game from the start between these two evenly matched teams. The Cyclones will rely heavily on White, and for the backcourt to contain Lamb. Meanwhile, the Huskies need a big night from Drummond, who needs to get a lot of touches down low. Expect this game to come down to the team that knocks down their free throws in the last five minutes.
PREDICTED SCORE: UConn squeaks by Iowa State, 70-66