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Staff Picks: No. 24 Oklahoma

Bill+Fennelly+coaches+his+squad+against+North+Dakota+State+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Dec.+10%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Bill Fennelly coaches his squad against North Dakota State at Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 10, 2023.

Pavle Markovic, Sports Reporter

No. 24 Oklahoma 85, Iowa State 78

It feels like Iowa State sits in the same spot it was in when it came off its three-game losing streak. The Cyclones are coming off of another low and have the opportunity to host another conference game where they could bounce back from their previous woes. That’s what I see from Iowa State’s upcoming game against No. 24 Oklahoma.

Obviously, being at Hilton Coliseum has favored the Cyclones this season, with a 10-1 record at home, but it doesn’t help their case when they host a Sooner team that has found success both at home and on the road. Oklahoma sits at a 10-1 record in the Big 12, which is the highest in the conference, and it has a 4-1 record on the road, with its only loss coming against then-No. 12 Kansas State back in early January.

The thing that stands out between these two teams is that they’re both nearly identical in scoring offense and defense in the Big 12. While Iowa State does shoot the ball better (46.4%) and force its opponents to shoot worse than the Sooners (38%), it has looked eerily similar between these two programs, despite their differing records.

Another statistic these two teams share is leading the Big 12 in rebounds. Oklahoma holds a slight edge over Iowa State in the rebound category (43.9-41.9), but both teams rely on getting important rebounds to find success in their games.

In the end, I believe that this game will come down to the end, with both teams throwing out high-scoring performances, to which I have No. 24 Oklahoma coming into Hilton Coliseum and taking down Iowa State as the Cyclones enter another free fall with yet another loss.

Brett Twelmeyer, Sports Reporter

No. 24 Oklahoma 78, Iowa State 75

There is a lot at stake for Iowa State in this game. The team has been in a bit of a rut recently, and this could continue into Saturday’s game.

The loss against UCF was a bad one. Yes, it was on the road, but UCF was and still is in last place in the conference. With added time to prepare due to the bye this week, Iowa State will either be ready to go or will be shaking off the rust.

At home, Iowa State is undefeated in conference play, which should play to the Cyclones’ advantage. The problem No. 24 Oklahoma presents is its 10-1 Big 12 record and 6-1 record on the road. The lone road loss for Oklahoma was against then-No. 12 Kansas State.

Iowa State and Oklahoma are in different positions at this point in the season. Iowa State is 1-4 in its last five games while Oklahoma enters on a seven-game winning streak with three of those wins coming on the road.

At the end of the day, I think Oklahoma’s ability to win conference games on the road will be the reason it will win. Iowa State can keep it competitive since it is at Hilton, but I don’t see the Cyclones pulling this one off.

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