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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Seems like it was just a few hours ago what Iowa State was ready to join Kansas in a first place tie at the top of the Big 12 standings. A win over Baylor was going to put them at 11-4, knotted up with the Jayhawks. And, the Cyclones led the Baylor game late. Then…

*COLLAPSE! Iowa State fell apart in the closing minutes and lost to Baylor

*STUNNER! Iowa State then fell apart late in the closing minutes of a loss at Kansas State

Suddenly 11-4 is only 10-6. And, suddenly, Iowa State is in a three-way tie for third place in the crowded upper half of the deepest league in the land.



Kansas 12-4

Oklahoma 11-5

Iowa State 10-6

Baylor 10-6

West Virginia 10-6

It’s not out of the question that Iowa State could fall to 10-8! Obviously they’re hosting a team that’s ahead of them in the standings Monday Night. The season finale this weekend will be on the road at improving TCU. If you can lose at Kansas State, you can lose at TCU!

Clearly the battle with Oklahoma is going to be huge on this final “Big Monday” of the regular season. Iowa State desperately needs to get back on track heading into the Big Dance. They were darkhorse darlings as recently as the final minutes of the Baylor game. Now, everyone’s wondering what all the hype was about. And, serious analysts are wondering if those late game collapses are hinting at a full-on late season collapse as this run-and-gun team may be running out of gas.

Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about this very important Big 12 battle that will go a long way toward shaping the seeding in the conference tournament…


Adjusted Offensive Efficiency

Oklahoma: 110.2 per 100 possessions (#41 in the nation)

Iowa State: 117.7 per 100 possessions (#8 in the nation)

Iowa State outscores people. A very efficient offense at a fast pace helps them run away and hide from lesser lights. But, there has to be concern now that the team is losing its legs. Will they shoot like a top 25 offense from this point forward? Oklahoma isn’t as effective as you’d like in terms of Dance potential. They can at least hold their own on this side of the floor.


Adjusted Defensive Efficiency

Oklahoma: 89.4 per 100 possessions (#7 in the nation)

Iowa State: 98.1 per 100 possessions (#90 in the nation)

If you believe that defense wins championships, then you’re much more enthusiastic about Oklahoma’s chances later this month than you are about Iowa State’s. A bad defense that gets tired can’t protect leads! Oklahoma is in the hunt at the top of its standings because of its defense. They have a big advantage in the category tonight.


Pace Ranking

Oklahoma: #39

Iowa State: #8

Both teams like to run, which means viewers will be treated to an exciting game on ESPN. A strike against Iowa State in that their guest won’t be taken out of its comfort zone. Be sure you pay close attention to the last 10 minutes of regulation to see if Iowa State has the legs to play a full game vs. a quality opponent. That may be their biggest issue at the moment.


Against the Spread

Oklahoma: 14-12

Iowa State: 13-12

Iowa State had been at 13-10 before those last two losses. A money-maker is now down a few cents on vigorish. Note that Oklahoma won the first meeting in Norman 94-83. Iowa State should have revenge on their minds. But, obviously, they allowed 94 points! The fading Cyclone defense may be in big trouble vs. this opponent in another fast paced game.

JIM HURLEY will look through all the tangibles and intangibles to help you find the winner. This game will likely be part of the package given the slight slate (four college board games, five in the NBA). You can purchase the final word for Monday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about “rest of season” packages that take you through all of the NCAA Tournament or all of the NBA Playoffs.

The final week fun continues Tuesday in the SEC with the best percentage opportunity for college basketball to see a Kentucky LOSS until at least the Sweet 16 round of the Dance. Here’s what’s ahead!

Tuesday: College Basketball…Kentucky at Georgia in the SEC

Wednesday: College Basketball…Notre Dame at Louisville in the ACC

Thursday: College Basketball…Wisconsin at Minnesota in the Big 10

Friday: Early Look…Kansas at Oklahoma in the Big 12

Saturday: College Basketball…Duke at North Carolina in the ACC.

Sunday: College Basketball…Wisconsin at Ohio State in the Big 10

After that, we’ll preview the major conference tournaments…looking at key stats and angles that will help you pick winners. Then…it’s onto the NIT and the NCAA Tournaments. March always flies by…so make sure your seat belts are fastened for JIM HURLEY’S wild ride to THE WINNER’S CIRCLE!


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Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley

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