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Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Texas

The Longhorns are in town.

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

After a clubbing of West Virginia, the Cyclones have their eyes set on the Longhorns that’s coming off a big win over Kansas at home. Can Iowa State take another step forward in the Big 12 conference?

Last Time Out

Lindell Wigginton scored a season-high 28 points as Iowa State cruised past West Virginia 93-68 on Wednesday night with it’s fourth win in five games.

Wigginton’s previous high for points this season was 18 on Saturday in a Top 25 road win at Mississippi, a sign that he may be finally starting to turn things around. Marial Shayok scored 18 of his own points on 8-of-12 shooting. Iowa State also shot 26 of 39 inside the 3-point line and 29 of 33 from the free throw line.

After a somewhat sluggish start, Iowa State closed the first half on 18-6 run to jump ahead by 17. West Virginia hung around, using its press defense to slow down the Cyclones and pull to within 61-51 with just under 10 minutes left.

Iowa State then hit seven straight shots, a stretch capped with Wigginton’s three-point play to make it 74-56 with 6:12 to go. Nick Weiler-Babb also aded 14 points with six rebounds and four steals.

About Texas

After a big win against No. 11 Kansas, the Longhorns, who are 12-9 on the season, are looking to capitalize on their new-found momentum against Iowa State. However, the Longhorns have struggled on the road this season, boasting just a 1-4 record away from Austin.

Iowa State is a team that likes to force other teams into mistakes and turnovers, but Texas only turns the ball over 11 times per game. Texas has the 38th-best adjusted offense in the entire country according to KenPom, and averages 72 points on 42% shooting from the field and 33% from 3PT range.

On the defensive side of the ball, Texas has the 35th-best adjusted defense according to KenPom, allowing around 66 points per game.

Opponent Player To Watch

Most would say Jaxson Hayes and his 55 blocks on the season, but I will go with Kerwin Roach. The senior guard is the leader on the team and is their leading scorer at just over 14 points per game. Roach is a 34% 3Pt shooter and will look to create chances for himself from deep. He’s the engine of the Longhorn offense, and slowing him down will go a long way towards notching another critical Big 12 victory.

What Will Happen

The Cyclone big men will be busy down low trying to contain Jaxson Hayes, and the guards will be busy with Kerwin Roach. This certainly won’t look like the game we saw in Hilton on Wednesday night, with Texas providing a much stiffer test. I think this will be a tense afternoon for Iowa State fans, but at the end of the day the Cyclones will come away with this one, while making the fans nervous for the almostentire game. I think Texas may be finally finding a bit of a groove, but not just enough yet.

Pick: Iowa State-77 Texas-72

Pick Three

1-Cameron Lard has one foul in the first half

2- Iowa State out-rebounded....again

3- Jaxson Hayes has three blocked shots

Game Notes

The Matchup: No. 20 Iowa State (16-5, 5-3 Big 12) vs. Texas (12-9, 4-4 Big 12)

Where: Ames, Iowa - Hilton Coliseum (14,384)

When: Saturday, Feb. 2, 1 p.m. (CST)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio Talent: John Walters (PxP), Brent Blum (Analyst)

TV: ESPN2 Talent: Rich Hollenberg (PxP), Robbie Hummel (Analyst)

Webcast: WatchESPN

Sirius/XM/Internet: 105/200/954 (internet)

Live Stats: