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Iowa State Men’s Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Oklahoma Pt. 2

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NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Last Time Out

Do we have to? Iowa State was dominated on both ends for 35 minutes by Texas. Iowa State without a fully functional Caleb Grill seems to be a completely different team even with Kunc back in the rotation. Grill’s presence is especially missed on the defensive end, that suffocating Cyclones defense has lessened as the season has progressed.

That was an ultra-emotional game in a hostile environment. Today and Monday will hopefully be a bit of a reprieve for this team. A chance to sure things up before their last conference game in Waco, and then post-season play.

About Oklahoma

Oklahoma has quietly replaced Texas Tech as the worst team in the Big 12. Oklahoma is coming off an 11-point home loss to the Red Raiders. In fact, the Sooners are 1-6 in their last seven. Porter Moser has struggled to replace the production that he lost over the offseason. Oklahoma isn’t a bad team relative to college basketball, they’d be a dark horse in the ACC to win the conference this year. The Big 12 is just not the place to be if you’re an average team.

Player to Watch

Grant Sherfield has been the engine to this Oklahoma offense. He leads the team in points and can easily get 20+ in a game. However, I think the opposing team’s best player being a score first guard plays right into the Cyclone’s strategy. Sherfield will get a whole host of Iowa State guards' defensive attention today. If the Cyclones can force an off game from Sherfield, it’ll force a lot of role-players to really step up to stay in this one.

Pick 3

  1. Tre King baseline dunk sends Hilton into a frenzy.
  2. Iowa State out-rebounds the Sooners by 5+
  3. The Cyclones cover -7

What Will Happen?

Refer to number 3. This Oklahoma team doesn’t have a lot left to play for, they’re off the bubble, they’re slipping and sliding, I like the Cyclones today. I think the defensive intensity is ramped up, and Otz will have these guys ready to play. There really isn’t must-wins in the Big 12, especially now that we’re securely out of the Big 12 title race, but you gotta beat OU at home, and WVU at home come Monday. That’s just what good teams do.

This team is a good team, and a great team if they cover -7. Iowa State wins 70-58.