Texas Gets the Nod vs. Iowa State in Big 12 Tournament

texas hoops

Willie Bee

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 12:15 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018 12:15 PM UTC

Several key players will be missing when Texas meets Iowa State on Wednesday, but that isn’t stopping us from making a free college basketball pick on the first day of the Big 12 Tournament.

No. 7 Texas (18-13 SU, 14-13 ATS) vs. No. 10 Iowa State (13-17 SU, 10-17-1 ATS)Free NCAAB Pick: Texas -6Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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This was supposed to be the season the Texas Longhorns took a big step forward. Instead, Texas took a step sideways, at best, and many think backwards. The Longhorns now enter the Big 12 Tournament needing to win at least twice to have a realistic shot at reaching the Big Dance as Shaka Smart begins to hear grumbling from an impatient Texas alumni.

A loss Wednesday would turn the volume up on that grumbling and leave Texas looking at the NIT. The Longhorns will be facing an Iowa State Cyclones team they beat twice during the regular season in the second game of the evening at Sprint Center in Kansas City, the tip expected to come around 9:30 PM (ET). Bookmaker has Texas -6 with 137 the total.

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NEWS: Congrats to freshman F Mohamed Bamba! Named to the National Ballot for the @WoodenAward (top 15 candidates). #HookEm https://t.co/D3uSuGv9D8 pic.twitter.com/zYkxg5V50b

— Texas Basketball (@TexasMBB) March 6, 2018
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Both Rosters Depleted By Injuries & Suspensions

There’s no doubt the loss of Andrew Jones left a big void on the floor and in the Texas locker room after the sophomore was diagnosed with leukemia. The ‘Horns were also recently burdened with news that Eric Davis Jr. is part of the ongoing scandal involving players who allegedly took money from ASM Sports, and the junior guard was held out of the final three games of the regular season. Davis is not expected to be activated for this game, and Mo Bamba is also questionable with a toe injury. The freshman missed the final two games of the schedule after averaging a double-double on the campaign.

Bringing up the rear of the Big 12 were Steve Prohm’s Cyclones. Following a 9-2 non-con slate that included nice wins over Boise State and Iowa, Iowa State never really recovered from an 0-4 start to the Big 12 fixture and limped to the finish line with 6 straight losses. Prohm was working with a short roster to begin the season, and his options got even shorter in February when the Cyclones lost Nick Weiler-Babb and Solomon Young to knee injuries that required surgery.

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

In a season that saw Texas play seven overtime games, we aren’t surprised one of them came against Iowa State in Ames. The Longhorns prevailed 74-70 in that one as 2½-point road chalk to beat the NCAA basketball odds, then won and covered the rematch in Austin, 73-57. Texas has a 3-game win streak over the Cyclones, covering each victory, and leads the series with a 21-16 record. ‘Over’ bettors have collected 8 of 11 in recent matchups.

This is a Texas team that also took ranked Duke and Gonzaga teams to overtime during the PK80 event back in November. Granted, Bamba, Jones and Davis were on the floor in those contests. Hopeful that Bamba can at least handle a little bit of action, I’ll lay the points on Texas for my free NCAA basketball pick.

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