Iowa State (21-10) vs. Oklahoma (20-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 14, 12:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sprint Center (18,972) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Iowa State 16-1, Oklahoma 12-2. Away Record: Iowa State 4-8, Oklahoma 5-7. Neutral Record: Iowa State 1-1, Oklahoma 3-1. Conference Record: Iowa State 11-7, Oklahoma 11-7. Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 111-80.
GAME NOTES: With both teams needing just three wins to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament, the fifth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones and fourth-seeded Oklahoma Sooners will square off in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Big 12 Conference Tournament.
The winner will advance to face the victor of the Kansas/Texas Tech bout.
Fred Hoiberg's Cyclones were one of the best home teams in the nation, losing just one of their 17 games played in Ames. However, the team went a combined 5-9 in away and neutral games despite displaying a clear ability during its home games. Iowa State concluded its regular season with back-to-back wins over Oklahoma State (87-76) and West Virginia (83-74).
Will Clyburn poured in 27 points for Iowa State as it coasted past the Mountaineers on Saturday. He also managed to register a double-double with 10 boards as the Cyclones hit on 56.5 percent of their field goal attempts including 14-of-23 from beyond the arc. Korie Lucious added 21 points for Iowa State, George Niang notched 14 and Chris Babb 11. Clyburn leads the way with 15.2 ppg to go along with 7.1 rebounds. Tyrus McGeee adds 13.5 ppg while Melvin Ejim pulls down 9.3 rpg. The Cyclones are particularly dangerous from beyond the arc, as they lead the nation in 3-pointers per game (10). They have made 10 or more treys in 11 of their last 13 games, and their total of 309 threes now stands as the single-season school record.
After these schools split their regular season series, Oklahoma owns a 111-80 all-time series edge. Both sides successfully defended their home floors with ease. Iowa State won, 83-64, on Feb. 4 before the Sooners avenged their setback on March 2 with an 86-69 decision.
OU's last game resulted in a disappointing 70-67 setback at last-place TCU over the weekend. The Sooners fell behind by 25 early in the second half before rallying behind a 16-0 run to make it a one-point game with 4:27 remaining. However, TCU ultimately prevailed as the Sooners finished 0-of-16 from beyond the arc. Iowa State (78.7) and Oklahoma (73.6) ranked first and second in the Big 12 (league games only) in scoring. OU has scored at least 83 points in five of its last six games (averaging 83.0 in the six).
Romero Osby paces Oklahoma with 15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest, while Steven Pledger nets 12.0 ppg. Osby has scored in double-figures in nine- straight games and is averaging 24.5 ppg over his last four outings. In the loss to TCU, Osby scored 19 points, Andrew Fitzgerald posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 boards and Buddy Hield tallied 10 points and nine rebounds.
Oklahoma's season-ending loss does not inspire much confidence as it prepares to face a very tough Iowa State squad. The Cyclones live and die by the 3- pointer, which can lead to a deep run in March as easy as it can yield an early exit.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa State 74, Oklahoma 70
03/14 10:39:15 ET