Time: 1:30 p.m.
TV: Big 12 Network, Altitude
Location: Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
Iowa State 43 (No. 5 Big 12)
Kansas State 36 (No. 4 Big 12)
Line: Kansas St -7 (o/u 133.5)
Iowa State Players to Watch: F Royce White, 6-8 So. (12.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 4.9 apg); F Melvin Ejim, 6-6 So. (9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.2 apg); G Chris Allen, 6-3 Sr. (12.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.3 apg). Allen has made 18 of his last 38 3-point shots, including a 2-for-6, 12-point performance in Wednesday’s 72-54 win over Texas Tech.
Kansas State Players to Watch: F Jamar Samuels, 6-7 Sr. (10 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.2 apg); G Rodney McGruder, 6-4 Jr. (14.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 36.2% 3s); C Jordan Henriquez, 6-11 Jr. (6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.2 bpg). Henriquez has made eight of his last 15 field goals and has 15 rebounds and 13 blocked shots in the Wildcats’ last three wins.
Storylines: The Cyclones and Wildcats should be safe as far as NCAA bids are concerned, but both want to take matters into their own hands. Iowa State has clinched a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament after winning consecutive games, 3-of-4 and six of their last eight to move into a tie for third place in the Big 12 with Baylor. Kansas State has beaten back-to-back top-10 teams in the road (57-56 over Baylor on Saturday and 78-68 at Missouri on Tuesday) to improve to 8-7 in the conference (fifth place, a game ahead of Texas).
Keys: White hit a game-winning jumper with 1.8 seconds left as the Cyclones beat Kansas State 72-70 on Jan. 31. White had a great all-around game – as he has most of the season – with 22 points, eight rebounds, four assist, three blocks and a pair of assists. The Cyclones shot 51 percent from the field and made 5-off-11 from deep in the win. Kansas State is allowing opponents to score 63 points per game and is holding them to 39.6 percent shooting, including 30.7 percent from the 3-point line. The Wildcats also lead the lead in rebounds per game (38.2) and offensive rebounds (14.7). Iowa State leads the Big 12 and is ranked eighth nationally in 3-point shots made per game at 8.8. The Cyclones are one of only two teams in the country (Florida being the other) who have four players who have made at least 45 3s. K-State is 10-4 at home this season, including a 59-53 loss to Kansas in its last home game. The Cyclones are 4-5 on the road and have lost their last two games away from home.
The Bottom Line: White will lead ISU to a road upset.
The Pick: Iowa State 66, Kansas State 61
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