Big 12 College Basketball Handicapping Selections: #15 Iowa State Cyclones at Kansas State Wildcats

#15 Iowa State Cyclones at Kansas State Wildcats
Fred Bramlage Coliseum – Manhattan, Kansas
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Kansas State -2
Current Line: Kansas State -1
Opening Total: 141
Current Total: 142
Opening Money Line: Kansas State -120 / Iowa State +100
Current Money Line: Kansas State -115 / Iowa State -105

Kansas State is a slight favorite at home against Iowa State in a key Big 12 battle Saturday.

Kansas State is a slight favorite at home against Iowa State in a key Big 12 battle Saturday.

The Big 12 is considered by many to be the deepest conference from top 10 bottom in the country. With the exception of last place TCU, any of the other 9 teams can beat any of the others on a given night. The 22-5 Iowa State Cyclones travel to the 19-9 Kansas State Wildcats Saturday. Iowa State is 10-5 in the Big 12, and tied with Texas for second. Both teams are behind 13-2 Kansas who has already clinched their 10th straight Big 12 title. Kansas State is 9-6 in conference and tied for third with Oklahoma. Both Iowa State and Kansas State are projected to make the NCAA tournament.

Kansas State leads the series against Iowa State 135-81, including 78-25 in Manhattan. Iowa State won the first meeting this season in Ames 81-75 January 23.

Iowa State is coached by Fred Hoiberg. The Cyclones have losses at Oklahoma, Kansas twice, at Texas and at West Virginia. Iowa State has wins over Michigan, at BYU, Auburn, Northern Iowa in Des Moines, Iowa, George Mason, Akron, and Boise State (all in a tournament in Honolulu), Northern Illinois, Texas Tech twice, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State,  TCU twice, Texas, and West Virginia Wednesday 83-66. The Cyclones have won 4 straight games and 7 of their last 8. The Cyclones are 12-13 ATS this season and the total is 13-11-1 this season.

Iowa State is outscoring teams 84-73 this season. The Cyclones are #4 in scoring nationally and #262 out of 351 teams in points allowed. Iowa State is shooting 47.5% from the field and 34.1% from 3 point range. ISU is #35 nationally in field goal percentage. The Cyclones make 69.1% of their free throws. ISU opponents are shooting 40.6% from the field and 32.8% from 3 point range. The Cyclones average 39 rebounds per game and opponents average 35.5 per game. Iowa State is #22 in rebounding and #33 in rebounds allowed. The Cyclones average 18.6 assists, 10.6 turnovers, 6.4 steals and 3 blocks per game. Opponents average 13.5 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.

Forward Melvin Ejim averages 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Georges Niang averages 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Guard DeAndre Kane averages 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Dustin Hogue averages 10.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1 assist per game. Matt Thomas, Naz Long, and Monte Morris all average at least 6.3 points a game.

Kansas State is coached by Bruce Weber. The Wildcats have losses to Northern Colorado, Charlotte and Georgetown in a tournament in Puerto Rico, at Kansas, at Texas, at Iowa State, at West Virginia at Baylor and at Oklahoma.. Kansas State has key wins over Oral Roberts, Long Beach State twice (once in Puerto Rico), Ole Miss, Gonzaga in Wichita, Tulane in Brooklyn, George Washington, Oklahoma State,  TCU twice, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech twice (including 60-56 in Lubbock Tuesday night) , Texas and Kansas. Kansas State has alternated wins and losses over the last 5 games. The Wildcats are 15-10-1 ATS and the total is 9-16 this season.

Kansas State is outscoring teams 69-64 this season. The Wildcats are #39 in points allowed nationally. Kansas State is shooting 43.6% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are #221 or worse out of 351 teams nationally in scoring, field goal percentage and three point shooting. Kansas State is #326 in free throw shooting at 64.8% from the line. Wildcat opponents are shooting 40.2% from the field and 28.4% from 3 point range. Kansas State is #38 in field goal defense and #5 in three point defense. The Wildcats average 36.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.8 per game. Kansas State averages 15.2 assists, 12 turnovers, 6.1 steals, and 2.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.7 assists, 13 turnovers, 6.2 steals and 3.6 blocks.

Guard Marcus Foster averages 15.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Forward Thomas Gipson averages 11.7 points and 6.2 points per game. Guard Shane Southwell averages 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Guard Will Spradling averages 8.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Wesley Iwundu averages 6.7 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Forward Nino Williams averages 6.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Nigel Johnson, Jevon Thomas, D.J. Johnson, and Omari Lawrence will also get time in the rotation.

Iowa State is 3-8 ATS against teams with winning records, 3-10 overall and in Big 12 games, 1-4 against teams with winning home records, 1-5 in road games, and 0-7 in Saturday games. Four of the last five games in this series have gone over. Iowa State is 7-2-1 ATS against Kansas State recently.

Kansas State is 9-2 ATS at home, 23-6-1 against teams with winning road records, 13-4 against teams with winning records, 9-3 after a cover, 9-4 after a straight up win, and 13-6 overall. The home team is 9-4-1 ATS in this series recently.

Both of these teams are much better at home. The Wildcats lost the season opener at home to Northern Colorado but haven’t lost at home since. Iowa State wants to play this game in the high 70′s or low 80′s while Kansas State would rather play in the 60′s. Whichever team controls the tempo will win. I like the Wildcats at home.

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