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Iowa State Cyclones vs. Kansas State Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/25/14

Kansas State Wildcats (14-5) at Iowa State Cyclones (14-3)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm (Hilton Coliseum)

The Line: Iowa State Cyclones -9.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3.com

Storyline: #16 Iowa State hopes to put the brakes on a three-game slide Saturday when they host a 22nd-ranked Kansas State side looking for a longer stay in the national rankings this time around.

The Breakdown: After breezing through their nonconference schedule unscathed and opening Big 12 play with an 87-72 trouncing of then #7 Baylor, the Cyclones have gone from contender to pretender, dropping their last three and looking like anything but the team that reeled off 14 straight to begin the season. The focus now shifts from winning the conference outright to just surviving it. Against Texas in its last outing, Iowa State shot a dismal 39.3 percent from the field and connected on just 11 of 32 from outside the arc, while allowing the Longhorns to shoot 27 of 65 from the floor and committed 18 turnovers. Sophomore Georges Niang had a team-high 18 points to go along with 6 assists and 5 rebounds, and senior F Melvin Ejim added 17 points and 10 boards. On the season, Iowa State ranks 6th nationally with 85.1 ppg and 43rd at 47.7 percent shooting. Ejim leads the team with 17.7 ppg, followed by senior G DeAndre Kane at 16.7 ppg.

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Kansas State Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/25/14

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Kansas State is 4-2 in conference and followed its second entry into the Top 25 with a 67-64 loss to Texas Tuesday. The Wildcats hit 26 of 61 from the field and just 4 of 16 from distance, while allowing the Longhorns to shoot 45.6 percent from the floor. Junior F Thomas Gipson had a game-high 25 points to go along with 5 rebounds and senior G Shane Southwell added 13 points and 3 assists. K-State traded blows with the Horns all the way to the final moments when junior Texas F Jonathan Holmes hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for the victory. Through 19 games, the Wildcats are averaging 67.8 ppg on 42.7 percent shooting. Freshman G Marcus Foster leads the team with 13.7 ppg, followed by Gipson at 12.5 ppg.  

Rick’s Pick: The line in this matchup currently favors Iowa State by 9.5. The wheels are wobbling for the Cyclones and if there’s any hope at all at keeping their Big 12 hopes alive, it starts with a win here. K-State continues to surprise, though, even when they lose. If not for Holmes’ three, the Wildcats had the momentum against Texas if it would’ve gone to overtime. In any case, in an attempt to thwart getting burned once more by K-State, look for a closer game than the line.

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