Texas Tech vs. Iowa State Prediction: Expect Points in This Big 12 Quarterfinal Matchup

College basketball expert Mike Spector offers his best bet for the Big 12 quarterfinal matchup between Iowa State and Texas Tech Thursday night on ESPN2.
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Texas Tech vs. Iowa State Prediction: Expect Points in This Big 12 Quarterfinal Matchup

While many associate Kansas and Baylor as the most dominant Big 12 schools in recent years, the Iowa State Cyclones have won four of the last seven Big 12 Tournament championships. However, the Cyclones have the third-worst odds (+3500) to win the tournament, while the Texas Tech Red Raiders have the third-best odds (+350). Do any of these pre-tournament expectations factor into our analysis of this matchup?

Here are our picks and predictions for the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal matchup between the Iowa State Cyclones and Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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

Date: Thursday, March 10

Game Time: 9:30 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN2

Click Here for Texas Tech vs Iowa State Odds

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Texas Tech vs. Iowa State Over/Under Movement

Texas Tech vs. Iowa State Prediction

Iowa State (20-11, 7-11) may not be happy about their record in league play, but they still over-achieved relative to their last-place expectations from the conference preseason media poll. The Cyclones followed a four-game winning streak with consecutive losses to end the regular season, but none of their last five conference wins came against teams in the top four of the league. In early January, Iowa State beat Texas Tech 51-47 at Hilton Coliseum but went 1-5 against the league’s top four teams after that win.

Texas Tech (23-8, 12-6) lost two of its last three games to end the regular season, which followed an impressive four-game winning streak that included wins over Baylor and Texas. The Red Raiders have lost three of their last four road games but will hope their fans come out in droves to support them in Kansas City.

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While just 98 combined points were scored in the first meeting between these teams, the second meeting was a much higher-scoring game, as Texas Tech won 72-60. The high point total had much to do with Texas Tech’s 38 free throw attempts, which offset the Red Raiders’ 3-for-16 performance from 3-point range. However, the fact that Iowa State could not contain Texas Tech off the dribble and keep them out of the paint is concerning entering this matchup. Mark Adams’ team will likely use that advantage again and not settle for perimeter jump shots consistently.

Conversely, one would figure Iowa State’s abysmal 3-point shooting in their two regular-season meetings with Texas Tech at some point would have to regress. Iowa State went a combined 8-for-43 (18.6%) from deep against the Red Raiders but shot 30.6% as a team in overall league play. 

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As long as Iowa State’s turnover problems continue, their ceiling offensively will be limited. The Cyclones rank 288th in the country in turnover percentage and committed 31 combined turnovers in their two games against Texas Tech. However, those turnovers could also lead to increased scoring from the Red Raiders, as they may be able to get out in transition more and not have to generate offense in the half-court consistently.

For as poorly as Iowa State has played on offense at times, they did average 70 ppg against Baylor (one of the country’s best defensive teams) and 71.8 ppg during their four-game winning streak. 

Texas Tech’s No. 1 ranked defense in adjusted defensive efficiency (per KenPom) will always keep their projected totals low, but we feel this line is under-inflated. The over is a profitable 13-11 when Texas Tech is favored and is 11-7 in Iowa State’s 18 conference games this season. Look for the over to cash once again in this quarterfinal matchup.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Iowa State Cyclones Pick

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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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