What will happen on the college basketball betting lines when the Iowa State Cyclones and Oklahoma Sooners meet? They both overcame bad first halves to win Big 12 tournament quarterfinals on Thursday night.
The Oklahoma Sooners Can Win Because…
Their defense can save them. Oklahoma shot only 35.7 percent from the field against Oklahoma State on Thursday, but the Sooners not only won, they won by 15 points, 64-49. Oklahoma limited Oklahoma State to 34.5-percent shooting, and only 3 of 21 made three-pointers. Oklahoma State got to the foul line only 15 times. The Sooners allowed under 27 points in both halves. They allowed more than 10 points to only one Oklahoma State player. They allowed only two points to Oklahoma State’s bench, which collectively played 54 minutes in that game. The Sooners took away the legs of Oklahoma State’s perimeter shooters by making them run a lot. Oklahoma State’s best long-range shooter, Phil Forte, was 0 for 7 from three-point range.
If Oklahoma can shoot better, it should have a great chance against Iowa State because of its defense. If the Sooners can hit 43 percent of their field goals and 40 percent of their threes, they should be in good shape – hitting those two targets would probably make head coach Lon Kruger very happy.
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The Iowa State Cyclones Can Win Because…
They always seem to make big runs when other teams have them on the ropes. Iowa State came back late against North Carolina in last year’s NCAA tournament. This team came back from a 21-point deficit to beat Oklahoma a week and a half ago. This team just did come back from a 67-57 deficit with 3:56 left to beat Texas in the Big 12 tournament on Thursday. The Cyclones didn’t allow a single point in the final 3:56 and were continuously able to score down the stretch. This team comes up with big runs, and that’s intimidating for opponents such as Oklahoma.
Iowa State is also shooting the ball better than Oklahoma right now. The Cyclones hit 10 of 22 three-pointers against the Sooners, and they were a decent 40.7 percent from the field overall. Iowa State also doesn’t make many mistakes on offense. The Cyclones committed only five turnovers against Texas, and this is part of what kept them close enough to make that late 12-0 run in the final four minutes of the game.
The matchup Iowa State has to feel very confident about is point guard Monte Morris, going up against Oklahoma point guard Jordan Woodard. Morris was 9 of 15 from the field against Texas, 4 of 5 from three-point distance, and 2 of 2 at the foul line for 24 points. Woodard, on the other hand, was just 2 of 8 from the field and 7 of 8 from the free throw stripe for 11 points. Oklahoma has to win that matchup or at least be even in it. It’s not likely it’s going to do that.
Iowa State gets a big and boisterous crowd to come to the Big 12 tournament. The Cyclones have a rabid fan base, and the energy that crowd will give to their team should matter against an Oklahoma team that benefited from terrible shooting on the part of Oklahoma State. Take Iowa State with your NCAA basketball picks here.
NCAA Bakeball Pick: Iowa State -1 at Sports Interaction