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Big 12 Conference Basketball Clash: Texas at Iowa State

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Since the Hilton Coliseum was built in 1971, the Cyclones have compiled an impressive 503-166 (75.2%) record within its friendly confines, including going 70-10 (87,5%) under head coach Fred Hoiberg (57-4 last four seasons). Iowa State is a profitable 46-18 ATS as a home favorite of six points or less, including 10-2 ATS over the last three seasons. I also like the fact that the Cyclones are 13-5 ATS in their last eighteen games versus .601 or greater opposition, 18-8 ATS in their last 26 home games versus teams with a winning road record and 7-3 ATS in their last ten conference games.

Iowa State takes the court with an explosive attack that is averaging 79.7 points per game on 48.4% shooting from the field against teams that would combine to allow just 66.2 points per game to a mediocre offensive squad. Even more impressive is the fact that the Cyclones are a perfect 10-0 at home this season where they are averaging 83.5 points per game on 50.4% shooting from the floor. Iowa State leads the Big 12 Conference in both scoring (16th nationally) and field goal shooting percentage (18th nationally), and the Cyclones boast an extremely well-balanced attack.

In fact, eight different players have led the team in scoring this season, while nine different players have led the team in rebounding. Iowa State has also benefited from the addition of Jameel McKay, who became eligible on December 29 and has averaged 9.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game on 60.4% shooting from the field. The two-time NJCAA first-team All-American has 22 blocks in the last eight games, and his 2.8 blocks in conference games is second best in the Big 12 Conference. Iowa State’s offense is led by point guard Monte Morris, who is averaging 10.7 points per game and leads the conference in both assists (5.6; 19th nationally) and assist-to-turnover ratio (5.1; 1st nationally). The Cousy Award watch list member also owns a team-high 31 steals.

Iowa State ranks first nationally with 17.9 assists per game and fifth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6). The Cyclones have assisted on 63.4% of their field goals and ranks fourth nationally with a 57.2% field goal percentage on 2-point shots. Overall, the Cyclones are 13.5 points per game better than average offensively, which gives them an advantage over a very good Texas defense that is 11.3 points per game better than average (57.3 points per game to teams that would combine to average 68.6 points per game. Current form also favors the Cyclones as they are averaging 76.6 points (46.9% FG) over their last five games, whereas Texas is yielding 62.4 points over the same time period.

Meanwhile, Texas is averaging just 63.1 points per game on 39.0% shooting from the field on the road this season, while also averaging a mere 63.7 points per game in conference play (38.6% FG; 29.7% 3-PT). Since December 5, the Longhorns have only played two road games. In its five true road games this season, Texas scored a woeful 55 points against Connecticut, 51 points against Kentucky, 70 points against Texas Tech, 58 points against Oklahoma State and 66 points against TCU. The Longhorns have lost three of their last five games, including a 75-62 home loss to Kansas the last time out. In the two most recent meetings in Ames (February 18, 2014 & January 12, 2013), Texas has lost by an average margin of 14.5 points per game).

The Longhorns will certainly struggle to score against a solid Iowa State defense that is limiting opponents to just 65.6 points per game at home this season. With Iowa State standing at 8-1 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points over the last three seasons, take the Cyclones and invest with confidence.

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