NCAA Prediction: Iowa State Cyclones and Missouri Tigers
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
by Mike Stewart
The Tigers squandered a 19-point second half lead at No. 4 Kansas last weekend and lost 87-86 in overtime. Iowa State, tied with Baylor for third place, has won three in a row and six of eight.
The Cyclones are coming off an impressive win at Kansas State and have pulled within a game of the Missouri in the standings. Missouri won 76-69 at Iowa State in early January.
Iowa State Cyclones (21-8): Royce White continues to be a dominant force, being the only player in Division I to lead his team in scoring (12.8), rebounding (9.2), assists (5.1), steals (1.2) and blocked shots (1.0). Scott Christopherson has also had the hot hand over the last three games, averaging 23.7 points and shooting 74 percent (14-19) from 3-point range. He is third at ISU in career 3s with 187 and needs four to move into second. The Cyclones lead the Big 12 and rank seventh in the nation in 3-pointers per game (8.9).
Missouri Tigers (25-4): The Tigers lost their first home game last week to Kansas State and have dropped two in a row for the first time. Marcus Denmon paces four players in double figures, averaging 18.2 points. Kim English averages 13.9 points, while Ricardo Ratliffe is at 13.8 with a team-best 7.4 rebounds. Ratliffe is also among the nation's field goal leaders, hitting better than 71 percent. Mizzou is fourth in the nation in field goal percentage (49.7), fourth in free throw percentage (77.0) and seventh in scoring (79.7).
1. Iowa State has tied the Big 12 record for victories differential over a previous season at plus-8. Last year the Cyclones were 3-13; they already have 11 wins with two games remaining.
2. Missouri has won the last eight meetings in the series, which could come to an end after this game as Mizzou heads to the SEC next season. ISU's last win in Columbia was a 66-65 victory in January 2007.
3. Missouri is fourth in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio and eighth in turnover margin (plus-4.3).
NCAA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Tigers 77, Cyclones 69.
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