Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Iowa State Cyclones Pick-OddsPrediction 1/4/14
Iowa State Cyclones (12-0) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-5)
College Basketball: Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm (United Spirit Arena)
The Line: Texas Tech Red Raiders +6 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
13th-ranked Iowa State takes its unblemished record to Lubbock Saturday to open the Big 12 season in a battle with Texas Tech.
The Cyclones, at 12-0, have racked up impressive results in reaching the best start in school history, ranking third nationally in points per game (88.2), 12th in rebounds per (42.3), 1st in assists (19.3) and 19th in field goal percentage (.493). Wins over Michigan, BYU and Northern Iowa in overtime have framed the season to this this point, but none has been more defining than their come from behind effort against then #23 Iowa Dec. 13. Iowa State shot an almost identical percentage from the field (.475 to Iowa’s .464), but willed themselves to the victory, answering every Hawkeye run with one of their own, including a 6-0 surge with under a minute remaining to steal the win. The Cyclones are led by senior F Melvin Ejim (17.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg), sophomore F Georges Niang (15.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and senior G Deandre Kane (15.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 6.1 apg).
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Texas Tech, meanwhile, comes in with a record of 8-5 and a slate littered with lowlights, including a 79-58 drubbing at then #2 Arizona Dec. 3 and back to back losses to LSU and Arizona State. The Red Raiders are fresh off their best offensive performance of the season, however, shooting 63 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc in a 100-69 rout of St. Mary’s Tuesday. Led by senior F Jay Crockett (13.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and junior F Jordan Tolbert (12.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) the Red Raiders are averaging 74.4 ppg on 47 percent shooting.
The line in this matchup is currently set at -6 for Iowa State and the Cyclones are likely looking ahead towards showdowns with Baylor and Kansas in the two games that follow this one, but Texas Tech doesn’t appear to have the guns to pull the upset, even if Iowa State’s on auto-pilot at the start. Look for the Cyclones to cover.
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