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12/7 Big Ten Preview: Iowa and Iowa State Renew Rivalry

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

There is only one game tonight with Iowa traveling to face their dreaded rival Iowa State.

Game of the Night

Iowa Hawkeyes at Iowa State Cyclones

  • Time/TV: 7:30 PM ET ESPNU
  • Line: Iowa State -7.5

Iowa will look to bounce back tonight in a rivalry game on the road against Iowa State. The Hawkeyes are 5-3 and are coming in off of an awful loss at Purdue that wasn’t even as close as the 19 point deficit implied. Iowa has been scoring points, especially against lesser opposition, but the team has lacked a personality offensively and has yet to find that go to guy that can take over a game. That becomes even more problematic when you realize that the Hawkeyes defense is once again rough, a yearly tradition under head coach Fran McCaffery.

Ben Krikke is leading the team in scoring with 18.4 points per game, but the backcourt has underwhelmed outside of Tony Perkins. Iowa has limited turnovers and scored plenty of points, but it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out once they start to consistently play better defensive teams. Their opponent today is an Iowa State squad with an adjusted defensive ranking in the top 10 per KenPom.

Iowa State had a pair of loss to Virginia Tech and Texas A&M in Feast Week, but have taken care of business versus everyone else. Their schedule has been pretty soft outside of their two losses so it’ll be curious to see how they fare against an okay Iowa squad. The Cyclones are led in scoring by guard Tamin Lipsey, who is averaging 15.1 points per game. Forward Milan Momcilovic has came on recently, leading the team in scoring against Virginia Tech and Texas A&M.

The Hawkeyes have scored but don’t really have a set identity on offense. That doesn’t fare well heading on the road in a rivalry game versus a team with one of the better defenses in the country. Even more so when you realize the Hawkeyes haven’t proven they can stop anyone on the defensive side of the ball. It should be closer than last time out, but Iowa drops another game tonight.

Pick: Iowa State