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12/8 Big Ten Preview: Iowa vs Iowa State

Preview the Big Ten’s only matchup for Thursday, as Iowa faces Iowa State at home.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Iowa Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The non-conference action continues for the Big Ten and one of the conference’s best rivalry games will tipping off on Thursday night. Iowa will face arch-rival Iowa State at home as Iowa looks for its first win in the series since 2012. It should be an epic battle and a chance for Iowa to get back on track after a rough start to the season.

You can preview all the games below. All spreads are based on KenPom.

Big Ten Game of the Day:

-Iowa State at Iowa

  • Time/TV: 8:00PM ET - ESPN2
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa State (-6)

Through 11 games this season, it’s hard to feel good about where Iowa sits. The Hawkeyes are 4-5 overall and have yet to record a win against a top 250 KenPom team. Unless things turnaround in the near future, there’s a decent chance that this becomes a lost season for Iowa’s program.

But even with these struggles, Iowa will get a huge opportunity to resurrect its season on Thursday night against arch-rival Iowa State at home. Iowa will be an underdog heading into the game, but don’t tell that to the players or fans. In a rivalry that routinely brings about the unexpected, don’t count on anything until the final buzzer.

Iowa State will also enter the matchup with some mixed feelings about this season. Admittedly, Iowa State’s struggles have been microscopic in comparison to Iowa’s hiccups, but the team has already lost twice and nearly dropped a home game against Indiana State. The vulnerabilities are there and it will be up to Iowa to expose them.

The biggest matchup in this game is going to come in the backcourt, where Iowa will try to slow down an All-American candidate in Monte Morris. He has been fantastic all season and it will be up to Jordan Bohannon and Christian Williams to figure out out a way to defend him.

If there is a path to victory for Iowa, the team is going to need huge performances from Nicholas Baer and Cordell Pemsl. Iowa’s frontcourt should matchup relatively well against Iowa State’s group and the Hawkeyes will have to play up to that challenge.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Iowa State

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Thomas’ Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 26-25-2