When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
Radio: KMBZ (98.1 FM)
Betting line: Iowa State by 13.5
About Iowa State (15-5, 3-5 Big 12): After going 2-22 in 2020-21, unable to win a single game in Big 12 play, nobody was expecting much from the Cyclones in their first year under head coach T.J. Otzelberger. Now ranked No. 23 in the nation, Iowa State has been one of the biggest shocks of this college basketball season and Otzelberger is a candidate for coach of the year. The Cyclones are one of just four teams in the country with six Quad 1 victories. Some of their best wins are against then-No. 25 Texas Tech (now No. 13), then-No. 21 Texas, Iowa and then-No. 25 Xavier (now No. 21). KenPom ranks Iowa State No. 28.
About Missouri (8-11, 2-5 SEC): The Tigers have lost four of their last five games, most recently coming up just short against No. 1 Auburn, 55-54. Head coach Cuonzo Martin elected not to foul with his team down one late, instead letting the clock run out for well over 30 seconds, which ultimately stripped Mizzou of a chance for a historic upset. Though it hasn’t necessarily resulted in wins, the Tigers have shown improvement on the defensive end of the floor in recent games, which they’ll look to continue. KenPom ranks Missouri No. 133.
Missouri meets a familiar foe of years past when it takes on Iowa State in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. It’s just their third meeting since the Tigers switched conferences though.
The Cyclones present quite the challenging matchup. They boast one of the best defenses in the country, which ranks top-10 in defensive efficiency (89.1), turnover percentage (25.4%) and three-point percentage (26.9%), according to KenPom.
A major key for Missouri in this matchup will be containing the star guard duo of Izaiah Brockington and Tyrese Hunter.
Brockington, a transfer from Penn State, was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List, leads the Big 12 with seven double-doubles and is averaging 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 39.5% from deep. Hunter, a freshman recently named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list, is averaging 10.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. They combined for 44 points in an overtime road win over Oklahoma State last time out.
It’s also going to be a tough environment on the road at Hilton Coliseum, which is known to get quite loud. KenPom gives Mizzou a 12% chance of victory and the ESPN BPI has the odds at 8.5%.
Iowa State 69, Missouri 54