Winless in conference play during the regular season, the Iowa State Cyclones look to pull off an upset on the first day of NCAAB picks action at the Big 12 Tournament in a matchup against the Oklahoma Sooners.
Iowa State Cyclones vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 – 9:30 PM ET at T-Mobile Center
Oklahoma would obviously like to avoid the embarrassment of becoming Iowa State’s first – and possibly only – conference victim of the campaign, though a loss wouldn’t cost the Sooners an invite to March Madness. The latest from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Oklahoma a No. 6 seed, the Sooners falling to No. 25 in the latest AP poll after closing on a 4-game skid. Just as obviously, the Cyclones would like to salvage one victory over a Big 12 opponent after becoming the fourth Big 12 team to suffer through a 0-win schedule, and first since the 2013-14 TCU Horned Frogs.
Teams Meet in Big 12 Tourney for Third Time
Should the Cyclones get off the schneid with an upset, we’ll have to tune into ESPN near the end of Wednesday’s fixture to see it happen. Oklahoma is -11 or -11.5 at the best betting sites after opening -12. The total has been on the rise, going out 138½ and getting bumped up to 140.5.
Each of the two clashes this season worked out well for Oklahoma fans with straight-up wins, and equally well for Iowa State backers who had winning spread tickets. The first contest took place February 6 in Norman where the Sooners claimed a 79-72 win as 14-point chalk, the second coming two weeks later in Ames where Oklahoma posted a 66-56 decision giving up 11.5. The game in Oklahoma was tied with under nine minutes to go before the Sooners pulled away; in the contest at Iowa State, the Cyclones dug a big early hole and rallied to take the lead midway through the second half only to see the Sooners pull off a similar ending.
In sweeping the season series, Oklahoma now has a three-game win streak in the rivalry and a 119-91 lead overall. It’s the third collision between the two in the Big 12 Tournament, the sides splitting the previous two during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns. The Sooners and Cyclones have faced off 25 previous times in Kansas City, Oklahoma owning the 13-12 edge.
Cyclones Lead Big 12 in Free Throw Shooting
Not a lot was expected from the Cyclones this season, though going winless in league play wasn’t really a thought. They were picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12 along with
Kansas State and TCU, and that trio lived up to expectations by bringing up the rear of the conference. There were chances to have picked up the one elusive win along the way for Steve Prohm’s troops, but it never came as a result of falling too far behind early to make late rallies count for something, or playing well the first 30 minutes only to be unable to close things out in winning fashion.
It was more a case of the former last Saturday in a 61-56 defeat at Kansas State to finish off the schedule. Iowa State, getting five on the NCAAB lines, trailed by as many as a dozen early in the second half, and just couldn’t make that deficit up despite winning the glass battle by a pronounced 41-28 margin. The Cyclones were without leading scorer Rasir Bolton over the final three games due to an ankle injury, and the junior guard is questionable for Wednesday’s game.
Sooners Failed to Cover Last Five Games
Things were really looking up for Lon Kruger and the Sooners a couple of weeks back before the team stumbled to the finish line with four consecutive setbacks. Setting the skid in motion was a 62-57 loss at Kansas State as 10-point chalk, and that was followed by back-to-back defeats to Cade Cunningham and rival Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma has been idle since falling at home last Thursday to Texas, the Longhorns getting two points in the 69-65 final. The Sooners played very poorly the final eight minutes of the first half, but had a 54-53 lead with eight minutes to go in the second half before running out of steam. Oklahoma committed only three turnovers and came away with eight steals, but struggled to find the basket by shooting 37% (22-59).
The Sooners’ late swoon can’t really be traced to one aspect of their game going consistently south in the four losses. I’m going to bank on the breaks going their way, especially if Bolton isn’t on the floor for Iowa State, and lay the points for my play.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.