Texas and Iowa State rank first and third in the Big 12 in scoring defense and are two of four Big 12 teams limiting opponents to less than 40% shooting so don’t expect too many offensive fireworks in this one.
No. 21 Texas is 1-3 on the road while No. 15 Iowa State is 10-1 at home.
Among Big 12 teams, only Kansas and defending national champion Baylor have better odds to win the national championship than Texas (+3300). There are still skeptics when it comes to Iowa State’s championship chances despite a strong start to the season.
Only Ochai Agbali of Kansas has better odds to be named national player of the year among Big 12 players than Marcus Carr of Texas.
Game: Texas (13-3) at Iowa State (13-3)
Location: James H. Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
Day/Time: Saturday, January 15, 2 p.m. ET
Television: Big 12 Now/ESPN+
Texas Longhorns at Iowa State Cyclones
Longhorns Getting After It on the Defensive End
The numbers don’t lie. There are 350 men’s Division I basketball programs and none of the other 349 do a better job of slowing the opposition than the Texas Longhorns.
Texas’s average of 53 points per game is the best in the nation. Some of that can be attributed to the methodical pace that the Longhorns play at. Opponents are attempting just 49 shots per game against Texas.
The Longhorns are 13-0 when holding opponents under 60 points and are allowing just 44.5 points in the 13 wins. That number jumps to 71.3 in the three lossees including 86 allowed in a loss to Gonzaga.
It has been a team effort as nine different players average more than 15 minutes per game and eight Longhorns have started at least three games. Texas is among the national leaders in steals and forced turnovers and that aggressive mentality will be on display when the Longhorns play at Iowa State.
Texas didn’t allow a fast-break point to be scored in a win over Oklahoma the last time out as the Longhorns held one of the Big 12’s best offensive teams to 52 points. A more impressive number was Oklahoma’s 40.4 field-goal percentage considering that coming into the game, Oklahoma was third nationally with a 51.2 field-goal percentage.
— Cedric Golden (@CedGolden) January 13, 2022
Texas has covered against the college basketball spreads in four of its last five games.
Another Test for Brockington, Iowa State
There might be other players in the Big 12 with higher national profiles than Iowa State’s Izaiah Brockington but he is the only player to rank in the top five in the Big 12 in both scoring and rebounding.
In some ways, Brockington is the perfect player to be the face of the Iowa State program. Just like their star player, the Cyclones are still flying under the radar.
Iowa State was tied with Kansas State at +12500 for the longest odds to win the Big 12 title coming into the season. Even with Iowa State being ranked 15th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, much of the chatter in the Big 12 centers around defending national champion Baylor, perennial top-10 team Kansas as well as Texas and Texas Tech.
Iowa State only by five points to Baylor, by one to Kansas and beat Texas Tech since the start of the new year. All Brockington did in those three games was average 16.7 points and 8.7 rebounds. He also had 20 points in a loss to Oklahoma.
It’s been a pretty strong start for a player who began his collegiate career as a reserve at St. Bonaventure before playing for two seasons at Penn State. Now he ranks fourth in the Big 12 in scoring at 17 points per game and is second with an average of 8.1 rebounds per game.
Iowa State has gone under the total, set by the Las Vegas odds, in 10 of its last 13 games.
Is Another Texas-Iowa State Game Headed over the Total?
Iowa State’s Tyrese Hunter is second in the Big 12 with 2.3 steals per game, The freshman guard has nine steals in his last two games and he matched his season-high with five steals in the loss to Kansas the last time out.
Texas leads the conference in free-throw shooting connecting on 77% of its foul shots while Iowa State is making 71% from the foul line.
The last five games between Texas and Iowa State have gone over the total. Taking it one step further for those who bet online, 11 of the last 12 games between Texas and Iowa State have gone over the total.
Although these are two exceptional defensive teams, the total of 121½ is certainly on the low side so it won’t be surprising to see another Texas-Iowa State game go over the total.