Notes, stats, lineups galore as the No. 4-seed Cyclones prep for tip against 5-seed Kansas State on Thursday at the Sprint Center
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coming up on tip for Iowa State vs. Kansas State, the first win-or-go-home type of game for the Cyclones this postseason, although the stakes aren't nearly as high as they will be this time next week.
Iowa State (23-7, 11-7) split the two games with the Kansas State already, each team winning on its home court.
If the Cyclones can top K-State (11:30, ESPN2), it'd set up a date in the semifinals against the winner of the No. 1 Kansas, No. 9 Oklahoma State game today at 2 p.m. (ESPN2).
"All the work you put in over the summer, you go into the fall workouts … everything we've done to this point is preparation to what we're going through now and that's the opportunity to win the Big 12 championship and hopefully compete for an NCAA championship," ISU coach Fred Hoiberg said.
ISU is 1-3 in Big 12 conference games under Hoiberg.
Vegas Line: Iowa State (-2); Kenpom: Iowa State, 72-70, with a 58 percent chance at winning.
Probable Starters (ht, yr, ppg, rpg, fg %)
KSU (20-11, 10-8)
PG: Marcus Foster (6-2, fr., 15.4, 3.3, 39.7)
SG: Will Spradling (6-2, sr., 8, 3.1, 39.1)
F: Wesley Iwundu (6-7, fr., 6.8, 4.3, 45.9)
F: Nino Williams (6-5, jr., 6.5, 3.6, 51.4)
F: Thomas Gipson (6-7, jr., 11.8, 6.6, 55.9)
PG: DeAndre Kane (6-4, sr., 17.1, 6.7, 5.9*, 49.3)
G: Monté Morris (6-2, fr., 6.1, 3.7*, 40.1)
F: Dustin Hogue (6-6, jr., 10.4, 8.6, 54.4)
F: Melvin Ejim (6-6, sr., 18.2, 8.6, 51.3)
F: Georges Niang (6-7, so., 16.2, 4.3, 46.8)
KSU is one of eight teams with seven top-50 RPI wins, including No. 1 Kansas, No. 9 Iowa State, No. 18 Oklahoma, No. 21 Gonzaga, No. 23 Texas, No. 24 Oklahoma State and No. 32 George Washington.
The Wildcats are 31-35 all-time in the Big 12 tournament.
KSU is 53rd nationally in points per game allowed (64.9) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (28.8).
Its adjusted defensive efficiency of 94.5 is No. 22 nationally and its effective defensive field goal percentage of 45 is No. 25.
Foster takes 31 percent of available shots when he's on the court, the 59th-highest mark in the country.
Williams' offensive rebounding rate of 13.6 is No. 44 nationally.
Since going 4-for-6 from distance in a win over ISU on March 1, Shane Southwell — who will probably come off the bench for KSU — is 1-for-5.
The Cyclones are one of four schools with three players averaging 16 points per game.
Morris is on pace to break the NCAA record with a 5.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Conference Player of the Year Melvin Ejim finished league play second in scoring (18.2) and was the only player in a "power conference" to average at least 18 points and eight rebounds while shooting at least 50 percent from the field and 32 percent behind the arc.
Kane scored 20 points or more in four of ISU's last five games and is averaging 21.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the last six.
Niang has scored 17 or more points in 11 of the last 14 games, dating back to Jan. 18, but has shot 20 percent, 28.6 percent and 43.8 percent on two-point field goals the last three games.