Iowa State vs Kansas

A year later and here we are again. A familiar position against a team that continues to have Iowa State’s number. The two losses to the Jayhawks this season came in a much different fashion than last but in both games this year the Cyclones were in both games. Especially the game in Lawrence, a game that I would probably put in the top five performances of the season for Iowa State.

In that second game against Kansas, ISU fought back from a huge early deficit and went toe to toe and blow for blow with Kansas when the Jayhawks played very, very well. The game was tied with a couple of minutes left when there was a weird flagrant foul on ISU and then some turnovers that ballooned the final margin to bigger than reality. The game was right there for the taking. Continue reading

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Iowa State vs Kansas State

Let me just lead off with how glad I am to not be talking about a seven game losing streak in the Big 12 tournament. That got ditched last year, finally, in a win over Oklahoma thanks to Will Clyburn’s second half heroics. ISU was also in the 4/5 game but this year they are the 4 seed squaring off with Kansas State.

Again ISU will be facing a team that they lost to on the road within two weeks prior to the Big 12 tournament. That should help at least a little bit with the mental preparation and approach for the Cyclones. The rematch report from the first meeting in Ames is below and on the left while the recent ISU loss in Manhattan is on the right. Continue reading

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The Fulcrum of Wins & Losses

Yeah, so maybe I invented a new use for the word “fulcrum” but sometimes coming up with titles is the hardest part of what I do. And let’s be honest, if you came here for witty titles that’s your problem. Plus, I think what I’m getting fits pretty well with that whole concept.

It is something I look at when I preview the next opponent for ISU, at what point does there offensive scoring assure them a win or a loss and the same deal for the defense. Kind of a rough break even point. This gets done frequently with raw points scored in a game but doing it on a per possession basis should give a more accurate picture. Continue reading

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Iowa State vs Oklahoma State

When the Cyclone basketball schedule came out this was one of the dates circled for ISU home games. The Cowboys were voted by many to threaten and possibly dethrone Kansas from atop the Big12 standings and we all assumed it would be a good place for Iowa State to score a big victory and help with getting into the NCAA tournament. However, as my pal Brent Blum says, “basketball happened.”

The Cyclones raced out to a very much unforeseen 14-0 start and a top ten ranking in all of college basketball. Led by the emergence of DeAndre Kane and the returning nucleus of Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim the Cyclones have been ranked since the third week of the season (November 18th) thanks to an early win over Michigan. Continue reading

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Senior Day History, Iowa State Basketball

I love senior day. If you’ve read much of my meanderings before you probably already knew that. Senior day is approaching for this basketball season which is crazy, because not only has this season flown by but the four years of Melvin Ejim trotting into Hilton Coliseum has flashed before my eyes. I can hardly remember him as a freshman.

Senior day is a funny thing; loaded with emotion that can fuel great upsets and fantastic wins or cause jitters and tight play that could lead to a loss. This is an important game for Iowa State just for the sake of snapping the two game losing skid and trying to get things back on track before the conference tournament and the Big Dance. The players and coaches likely know already, but this is still a very good team and losses in Manhattan and Waco in a span of four days doesn’t change that. Continue reading

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Iowa State at Baylor

If you’re concerned with seeding for the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City next week, this game with Baylor is extremely pivotal for the Cyclones to get to the #3 seed. I of course, am one of those keeping an eye on it but the more I think about it (or perhaps talk myself out of its importance while ISU is ever so slightly and slowly slipping down the standings) the less I think it matters.

That is due to matchups. Even if ISU gets a #3 in KC their most probable opponent will be Oklahoma State. That is no walk in the park. Especially when you figure they will have gotten the #3 by beating OSU five days prior and then have to beat them a third time. But, I detailed most of that here. Continue reading

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The Uselessness of Bench Scoring

This is going to be decidedly quick and to the point to shoot down a traditional stat that means next to nothing yet gets quoted and passed around as if it has some bit of importance attached to it. Bench scoring. Whether or not you care about this game by game stat or not it is bound to be quoted and it is bound to be used in an argument as if it actually matters. I like debunking dumb things so, proceed.
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The Home Stretch

Any discussion about the Big 12 race must always start with mred’s bracket generator which can be found here: http://bball.notnothing.net/big12.php?sport=mbb. On his site you can plug in every conceivable result and have the seeding for Kansas City automatically generated. It. Is. Awesome. Even now with just ten league games remaining it is extremely useful.

First, Iowa State’s loss yesterday wasn’t a big deal in terms of expectations but a win would have gone a very long way in securing the 2nd or 3rd seed in Kansas City, almost guaranteed. But, like the game in Ames they had a couple of bad lulls, it just so happened that they weren’t lulls that gave up leads they were lulls that allowed the Wildcats to pull away. They had time to make up for the first half lull but the time was too short to do so at the end of the game after Monte Morris tied it up with a three ball. Continue reading

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Iowa State at Kansas State

Kansas State is not ranked. But if you ask me, should the Cyclones come away with a win in Manhattan it may be the most impressive win of the year. Right now that label likely goes to a win over Michigan or Iowa or Texas at home or at Oklahoma State. But playing a team that has been in and out of the rankings all year that is undefeated in their “Octagon of Doom” is a very tall task.

Saturday is a pivotal day in sorting out the 2-5 spots in the Big 12 Standings with ISU and KSU clashing while Texas plays at Oklahoma. The results on Saturday will go a long way to deciding how the race shakes out in a week and a half. Continue reading

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Big 12 Home & Away Splits

I have been doing this for a couple of years but kind of fell asleep on it this season. I always find it interesting to look at each team’s four factors during conference play and then split them by home and away games. It took a while this year but I finally got around to it. After splitting them to home and away you can then look at the margins to see which teams are affected the most and where exactly that happens.
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