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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 7:00 PM

The mainstream media, the computers, and handicappers everywhere are struggling to pin down the true level of ability in the Big 12. It can seem like a very deep conference of talented teams if you only look at the positives. It can seem like a group of overrated pretenders if you only look at the negatives. Head-to-head results are largely muddying the waters, with teams taking turns winning and losing.

Well, we know for sure that somebody is going to lose two in a row when the Texas Longhorns visit the Iowa State Cyclones Monday night on ESPN. Both teams lost Saturday, in very unimpressive fashion.

*Texas (-4) lost to Kansas 75-62 (missing the spread by 17 points)

*Iowa State (-9) lost at Texas Tech 78-73 (missing the spread by 14 points)

Both were bad results. Texas had already lost at home to Oklahoma (and Stanford in non-conference action), so this really cements a level of “pretender” no matter how good the Horns look when they win. A loss in Ames would drop Texas below .500 in Big 12 play, with two of its three wins coming over projected also-rans TCU and Texas Tech.

Iowa State had been on a bit of a roll of late, earning a home win over Kansas and a road victory at tough West Virginia. Their only league loss had been a one-pointer at Baylor, which covered the spread. Falling so flat in Lubbock was a surprise. Maybe they were looking ahead to Texas!

Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about this Big Monday matchup…


Adjusted Offensive Efficiency

Texas: 107.5 per 100 possessions (#63 in the nation)

Iowa State: 113.8 per 100 possessions (#20 in the nation)

If you watched the Kansas game, or other Texas losses, you know that the offense is very much a work in progress. Their biggest scoring weapon is still putbacks on offensive rebounds. Nobody can shoot! Iowa State is a team of shooters who play at pace. So, that could cause big headaches for the Horns.


Adjusted Defensive Efficiency

Texas: 89.8 per 100 possessions (#11 in the nation)

Iowa State: 96.5 per 100 possessions (#83 in the nation)

On the other hand, this is a defensive mismatch. Texas has great athletes who take pride in ferociously protecting their basket. Iowa State has a bunch of shooters who want to run down the floor and shoot! This could allow the Horns a lot of easy looks, or dunks off putbacks in a way that creates a shootout. Both teams have ways to score if Iowa State can rain treys over the Texas athletes.


Pace Ranking

Texas: #219

Iowa State: #13

As we mentioned in the Texas/Kansas write-up…Texas is a bit faster than that in terms of true pace. They have so many possessions “extended” by offensive rebounds that it makes them look slow in the math. Iowa State tries to play a track meet every time out. So, this game should have a lot of pace to it…particularly since home teams tend to enforce their preferred tempo.


Against the Spread

Texas: 10-7 (but 3-6 their last nine)

Iowa State: 8-7 (but 3-4 their last seven)

Great game for matchup handicappers to attack. If you believe that Texas can win the paint handily, then they could offer real value here. But, if you think there’s no way the Longhorns’ spotty offense can keep up with Iowa State’s blow-and-go approach, it looks like a blowout the other way. Remember that Iowa State beat Kansas on this floor…and Kansas just won by double digits in Austin!

JIM HURLEY will be working very closely with his sources to make sure NETWORK clients get the best plays on the Monday board. Maybe it will be here. Maybe it will be in Syracuse/North Carolina…the other Big Monday TV game. Maybe some BIG, JUICY WINNERS will come from the Monday NBA card. You can purchase the final word for Monday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Be sure to ask about including the Super Bowl with any basketball package.  

Tomorrow we begin in-depth statistical coverage of the Super Bowl. We’re going to crunch the numbers all week to give you a full understanding of the offensive and defensive strengths of both teams. Here’s the schedule…

Tuesday: Analysis of the Seattle Seahawks’ OFFENSE

Wednesday: Analysis of the Seattle Seahawks’ DEFENSE

Thursday: Analysis of the New England Patriots’ OFFENSE

Friday: Analysis of the New England Patriots’ DEFENSE

Saturday: Super Bowl preview with JIM HURLEY’S key indicators

Sunday: Super Bowl game day notes

It’s one of the most anticipated Super Bowls ever…and we’re going to provide our most intensive coverage ever! And, between now and the big game, we’ll be encouraging you to build your bankrolls with nightly basketball. The road to Super Bowl Sunday starts with Big Monday. Go GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK so you can make THE SCORE OF A LIFETIME this Sunday!


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Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley

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