March Madness: Where Is Iowa State in Team Player Efficiency Ratings?

March Madness: Where Is Iowa State in Team Player Efficiency Ratings?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

One of the most successful seasons in Iowa State Cyclones’ men’s basketball history rolls on, with T.J. Otzelberger’s team securing a No. 2 seed for the first time since 2001 after going 27-7 and winning the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

Another reason for fans in the state to have strong interest this month in Iowa sports betting.

The Cyclones enter this week’s first round of the Big Dance against 15th seed South Dakota State (Otzellberger’s former team). Iowa State is a 16.5-point favorite at ESPN BET Iowa, with the two sides meeting in Omaha on Thursday evening.  

Iowa State is looking to advance past the Sweet 16 for the first time since falling to Michigan State in the Elite Eight in 2000, which also marks the farthest the school has made it since the NCAA expanded the field to 64 teams in 1985. – your source for Iowa sports betting promos - averaged out each team’s 2023-24 player efficiency ratings (PER) from We then ranked the teams based on highest average team PER. Based on this, the McNeese Cowboys have the most efficient team with an average PER of 20.36.  

Top 15 Highest Average Player Efficiency

RankTeamAvg. Player Efficiency Rating
1McNeese Cowboys20.36
2St. Mary’s Gaels19.82
3Montana State Bobcats19.10
4Alabama Crimson Tide19.09
5Gonzaga Bulldogs18.96
6Grand Canyon Antelopes18.22
7Stetson Hatters17.51
8Arizona Wildcats17.42
9Texas Tech Red Raiders17.28
10Baylor Bears16.87
11Colorado State Rams16.57
12UConn Huskies16.56
13Iowa State Cyclones16.18
14UAB Blazers16.15
15Florida Atlantic Owls16.03

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Iowa Cracks Top 15 in PER

Nationally, the Cyclones posted the 13th-best average Player Efficiency Rating in the nation, at 16.18, this season, sandwiched between No. 12 UConn (16.56) and No. 14 Alabama-Birmingham (16.15).

The leaders in PER across the land this year were McNeese (20.36), St. Mary’s (19.82), Montana State (19.10), Alabama (19.09) and Gonzaga (18.96). Grand Canyon (18.22) and Stetson (17.51) were the next closest nationally.

Iowa sports betting apps have varying odds on Iowa State. For example, the team at ESPN BET has Iowa State at +1700 to win the school’s first national title, ranking behind UConn (+375), Houston (+550), Purdue (+700), Arizona (+1100), UNC (+1300), Auburn and Tennessee (+1600 each).

To get that far, Iowa State will need to play in line with their year-to-date PER average, both against South Dakota State Thursday and in the next round. The Cyclones would meet the winner of No. 7 Washington State and No. 10 Drake, another Iowa school. also has had extensive coverage on the incredible career of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. Here is a look at Clark and the upcoming WNBA draft.



Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.