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College basketball expert Mike Spector analyzes Wednesday's Big 12 matchup between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Iowa State Cyclones.
ANALYSIS

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech Prediction: Will the Cyclones Get Back On Track?

The Iowa State Cyclones are coming off their first loss of the season, a highly anticipated matchup in a battle of unbeatens against Baylor. However, the Cyclones need to pick themselves up quickly, as they welcome a Texas Tech Red Raiders team capable of an upset. So here are our picks and predictions for the only matchup of the night featuring two ranked teams in No. 25 Texas Tech against No. 11 Iowa State.

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Wednesday, January 5

Game Time: 9:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPNU

Click Here for Iowa State vs Texas Tech Odds

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Iowa State vs. Texas Tech Prediction

Texas Tech (10-2) has won four of their last five games, with the only lass in that span coming on a neutral court to Gonzaga. In head coach Mark Adams’ first season, the Red Raiders are the same stingy defensive team they were known for under Chris Beard. Texas Tech ranks tenth in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, and they defend the rim at an elite level, allowing opponents to shoot just 44.3% inside the arc (32nd-best in the country). The Red Raiders are also a disruptive team defensively, forcing turnovers on 24.3% of opponents’ possessions, which ranks in the top-20.

Iowa State never led in their matchup with top-ranked Baylor, but that does not mean they were not competitive. There were a lot of positives to take away from their 77-72 loss, namely the fact that they forced the Bears into 19 turnovers. In addition, Kansas transfer Tristan Enaruna is asserting himself as a go-to scorer for the Cyclones. Enaruna scored in double figures just twice in the first 11 games. However, he has scored 42 points in the last two games, including a season-high 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting against Baylor’s imposing front line. Had Iowa State been able to knock down a perimeter shot (went 1-for-14 from 3-point range) against the Bears, they have pulled off the upset.

The biggest question entering this game is the health of Red Raiders star Terrence Shannon. Per Carlos Silva Jr. of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Shannon is unlikely to suit up against the Cyclones, which would be his fourth consecutive missed game due to back spasms. Shannon is an NBA-caliber player who averages 14.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists this season. Unfortunately, Texas Tech’s offense looked mediocre against top competition in his absence, as Gonzaga held the Red Raiders to a season-low 55 points and 37.5% team shooting percentage.

Without Shannon available, it will be difficult for Adonis Arms and Kevin McCullar to pick up the slack. The two averaged four turnovers per game between them, but we expect that number to increase against Iowa State’s underrated pesky defense. “Hilton Magic” did not carry the Cyclones to a victory against Baylor, but they will get back in the win column tonight.

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech Pick

  • Iowa State -3 (-110)

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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