By RossWB on March 17, 2022 at 12:37 pm
go hawks go
© Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: (12) Richmond Spiders (23-12)
WHEN: approx. 2:10 PM CT (Thursday, March 17)
WHERE: KeyBank Center (Buffalo, NY)
TV: TruTV (Brad Nessler, Brendan Haywood, Evan Washburn)
RADIO: Hawkeye Radio Network (TuneIn, or local listings) | XM 203, Sirium 136
STREAM: March Madness
MOBILE: March Madness Live
TWITTER: @IowaHoops | @IowaAwesome | @IowaOnBTN
LINE: Iowa -10.0 (TOTAL: 151.0)
KENPOM: Iowa -9.0 (80% win probability)

NOTE: Don't forget to follow all the action during the game and chat with your fellow Iowa fans in the Go Iowa Awesome discord! (More info here.)

We back, folks. Back in the NCAA Tournament. Back after four of the most enjoyable days in recent (and not-so-recent, if we're being honest) Iowa basketball history. But it's time to lock in again and focus because Iowa has a job to do: beat Richmond, move on to the second round. We want to see Iowa end that irritating 22-year Sweet 16 drought, but they can't have a chance at doing that if they don't win today.

So what do we know about Richmond? The 12-seed Spiders went 23-12 this season and finished the year ranked 84th in the KenPom rankings. They were a bid thief, needing to win their conference tournament (the Atlantic-10 Tournament) to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament... which they did. Like Iowa, they won four games in four days, Thursday to Sunday. So from a wear-and-tear perspective, they're in roughly the same place as Iowa, although their wins were a little harder than severla of Iowa's -- three of their four wins last weekend came by five points or fewer. 

The Spiders rank 70th in offensive efficiency and 105th in defensive efficiency, but just 192nd in tempo -- they're not looking to push the pace, unlike Iowa. They're a decent shooting team (51.5 eFG%, 106th), but a terrible offensive rebounding team (22.4%, 327th). The one thing on offense that they're excellent at is avoiding turnovers -- they turn the ball over on just 14.4% of possessions, ninth best in the nation. Iowa's been effective at forcing turnovers, but it may be difficult to do so against the Spiders. 

Richmond is loaded with experience, with four senior starters and a junior. They have three double-figure scorers, led by forward Tyler Burton (6'7", 215 lbs), who is averaging 16. 3 ppg (as well as a team-high 7.7 rpg). Forward Grant Golden (6'10", 255 lbs) averages 14.1 ppg (and 6.1 rpg) with a 54.5 eFG%. Waterbug point guard Jacob Gilyard (5'9", 160 lbs) averages 13.3 ppg and leads the team with 5.4 assists per game. He also averages 3.1 steals per game and his steal rate of 4.8% is 7th best nationally. Iowa's guards will need to be careful around him. 

But ultimately Richmond doesn't seem to have the size or physicality to really stymie Iowa. Nor are they sharp-shooters. They're a good team and their success is predicated on being patient and not making mistakes. Iowa will need to be patient themselves and take advantage of the opportunities that they get. Also: Iowa has Keegan Murray -- and Richmond doesn't have anyone like that. 



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