Feb 20, 2013; Waco, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Melvin Ejim (3) scores over Baylor Bears center Isaiah Austin (21) during the second half at the Ferrell Center. Iowa State won 87-82. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn at Iowa State men’s basketball: Game preview and prediction


Another tough stretch for the Iowa State (5-0) men’s basketball team lays ahead. Before facing Northern Iowa and Iowa, they must get past Auburn (4-1) which is a part of the Big 12′s new conference head-to-head series against the SEC.

It’s been 13 years since both of these teams matched up together in the NCAA Tournament. That was back in 2000, during one of Iowa State’s higher moments in history. They’d like to add another win over Auburn in another bright spot in Cyclones history.

Auburn Tigers vs (17)Iowa State Cyclones

James H. Hilton Coliseum | Ames, Iowa
Tip-off: Monday, 6:00 PM CT | TV: ESPNU

This is the first road game for the Tigers this season, and they couldn’t have asked for a tougher place to give them a test. They’ve played nothing but cupcakes so far this season and lost to Northwestern State in their third game of the season after surrendering 72 points to them in the second half.

Yes, Iowa State, who didn’t move either up or down in this week’s Associated Press poll, will be heavy favorites at home tonight. But they can’t take the night off against a team that will have three seniors in the starting lineup.

What to watch for

There are two Tiger players to keep an eye on: guard Chris Denson, who’s averaging 20.8 points per game, and center Asauhn Dixon-Tatum, who has 10 blocks and has dominated the offensive glass – 18 of his 32 rebounds are on the offensive end. We’ll see if either Georges Niang, Dustin Hogue, or DeAndre Kane are tested at all in the rebounding department.

Prediction

It’s hard to tell whether or not Auburn is ready for this kind of game considering the talent they’ve faced this season. Among the bigger conferences, the Tigers are presented as one of the worst teams. They were picked last in the SEC preseason polls.

Unless the Cyclones are looking ahead to their in-state opponents, this should be another walk. Auburn will look like it belongs on the same court (unlike UMKC last week), but Iowa State should remain a convincing undefeated team heading into Des Moines this Saturday.

IAST 97, AUB 65 (Odds: IAST -16.5)

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