Here’s a preview of the Iowa State Cyclones and the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Game 2 of the 2021 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
No. 10 Iowa State (2-21, 0-18 in Big 12) vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State (14-9, 9-8), 8:30 p.m. CT, ESPNU (time is dependent on completion of Game 1)
Season series (2-0): Oklahoma def. Iowa State, 79-72, in Norman, Oklahoma, on Feb. 6; Oklahoma def. Iowa State, 66-56, in Ames, Iowa, on Feb. 20.
Winner gets: a Thursday game with No. 2 seed Kansas at 5:30 p.m. CST
READ MORE: 2020-21 Big 12 Basketball Individual Awards
Projected starting lineups
Iowa State: G Rasir Bolton, G Jalen Coleman-Lands, G Javan Johnson, G Tyler Harris, F Solomon Young (Note: Bolton hasn’t played since Feb. 27 due to injury. If Bolton cannot play, G Tre Jackson is likely the starter)
Oklahoma: G Austin Reaves, G Umoja Gibson, G Elijah Harkless, G De’Vion Harmon, F Brady Manek.
Player to watch
Iowa State: Coleman-Lands. With Bolton’s injury status in question, Coleman-Lands, the senior transfer from DePaul, will be the player the Cyclones will lean on for scoring. Coleman-Lands is averaging 14.3 points per game going into the Big 12 Tournament, but he’s averaged nearly 20 points per game in the Cyclones’ last four games. The Cyclones endured a winless season, the fourth in Big 12 history, but Coleman-Lands fought all season.
Oklahoma: Manek. He’s fought all season to get back into the form that can help the Sooners inside, and it looks like he’s finally there. Manek has averaged just 10.5 points per game this season. But, he exploded for 20 points and nine rebounds in the Sooners’ loss to Oklahoma State last week. He hasn’t been consistent since he had to miss games due to COVID-19 protocols, but he’s shown the flashes of being the player the Sooners need in this moment.
Heading into the Tournament
Iowa State: The Cyclones didn’t win a single Big 12 game this season, the fourth team to accomplish that in league history. It’s left head coach Steve Prohm’s job in question, regardless of what happens in Kansas City.
Oklahoma: The Sooners lost their last four games of the season, but lost each of them by five points or fewer. Three of those four losses were to ranked teams. The fourth was to Kansas State. You hate to go into a tournament like this with that kind of momentum, but the Sooners have played well and that shouldn’t be ignored.
Number to know
Iowa State: 76.6. That’s the number of points the Cyclones give up per game, which is the worst average in the Big 12 this season.
Oklahoma State: 2.4. That’s the number of 3-pointers Gibson hits each game for the Sooners, which is fourth-best in the Big 12.
Who wins?: Oklahoma. I don’t see a scenario in which the Cyclones could pull off what would be a massive upset of the Sooners. Oklahoma needs this game, oddly enough, to avoid a fifth straight loss and losing more seeding in the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma wins in a walk, and the Steve Prohm job watch begins.
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