Iowa vs. Colorado: How to pick, bet Sweet 16 odds in 2024 Albany women’s March Madness bracket

Caitlin Clark’s historic run continues this weekend, as she leads her Iowa Hawkeyes to a Sweet 16 matchup with the Colorado Buffaloes (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC). We’ll get you ready for this March Madness showdown, providing you with some key stats and trends as well as our predictions and best bets. 

What more can we say about Caitlin Clark? She’s the best college basketball player of all time, and all she and the Hawkeyes need now is a national championship. They have as good a shot as any program, with the No. 1 offense in the country, an eight-game winning streak, and a chip on their shoulders from losing last year’s title game to LSU. 

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Colorado, who finished fifth in the Pac-12 this season, is used to having its hands full. The Buffaloes had one of the more difficult schedules of the 2023-24 campaign, and they came out with some huge wins. They have a balanced scoring attack, plenty of experience, and good size. They’ll need all of the above — and near-perfect execution — to outscore Clark and the Hawkeyes. 

Can the Buffaloes stampede the Hawkeyes to mount the upset? Or, will Clark and company take care of business once again? Let’s look at the BetMGM betting odds for Iowa vs. Colorado, identify some key stats and trends, and make our predictions and picks against the spread for this Sweet 16 clash.

Iowa vs. Colorado odds in Sweet 16

Updated Sweet 16 odds have Iowa as a relatively modest 7.5-point favorite entering Saturday’s matchup, according to BetMGM

  • Odds: Iowa (-7.5), O/U 160.5
  • Date: Saturday, March 30
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ABC/Sling
  • Arena: The Times Union Center in Albany, New York (buy tickets)
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Iowa (31-4, 15-3 in Big 10)

Iowa seems almost destined to make it back to the national championship for redemption, but it’s anything but a smooth path to get there. Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes will need to get through the winner of reigning-champion LSU vs. fellow powerhouse UCLA, but first they will need to outlast the pesky Buffaloes. 

Scoring never seems to be a huge problem for Iowa, although West Virginia played a physical game in the second round and held Clark and company to 64 points in defeat. The bad news: Iowa committed 15 turnovers and went just 5-of-22 from three-point range. The good news: the Mountaineers shot even more poorly than the Hawkeyes, and Iowa hit 25 of its whopping 30 free-throw attempts.

Key players

Caitlin Clark, G, Sr. (6-0): 31.8 ppg, 8.8 apg, 7.3 rpg

Kate Martin, G, Sr. (6-0): 12.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.5 apg

Hannah Stuelke, F, So. (6-2): 14.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.2 apg

Colorado (24-9, 11-7 in Pac-12)

The Buffaloes have endured a rollercoaster of a season. They put together massive wins over LSU when it was ranked No. 1 and USC when it was No. 6, and also bagged victories over Stanford, Utah, and Kansas State. However, they fizzled out a bit toward the end of the season, entering the tournament with seven consecutive losses to ranked opponents. 

Which version of the Buffaloes will we see this weekend? They have a balanced scoring attack, with six different players scoring nine or more points in Colorado’s second-round win over Kansas State. But do they have enough scoring to offset their mediocre defense and outscore the best offense in the nation?

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Key players

Aaronette Vonleh, C, Jr. (6-3): 14.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 bpg

Jaylyn Sherrod, G, Sr. (5-7): 12.9 ppg, 4.9 apg, 3.1 rpg

Frida Formann, G, Sr. (5-11): 12.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.1 apg

MORE: Buy tickets for the Sweet 16 in Albany!

Iowa vs. Colorado prediction

Colorado had a good run, but we think it stops here. The Hawkeyes have far too much firepower, they pass the ball far too well, and they rebound with far too much tenacity. And the Buffaloes can score, but not enough to compensate for their defensive shortcomings — never mind outscore Iowa.

If Clark goes on a sizzling run like she did against West Virginia, Iowa will cruise to a W. If the Buffaloes blitz her with double-teams, she’ll find Martin, Stuelke, or any of the other capable scorers on Lisa Bluder’s squad. The Hawkeyes have too many options, and Colorado has too many question marks. 

Four teams in the nation worry us when contemplating if the Hawkeyes’ chances of winning it all: LSU, USC, Stanford and, of course, South Carolina. Colorado isn’t in the same stratosphere.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Iowa 80, Colorado 68 — The Hawkeyes win (-350) and easily cover the spread (-7.5), with the score going well UNDER the total (160.5).

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