While the matchup of Kansas State versus Iowa State on Saturday in Ames doesn't quite have the appeal it might have had a couple of weeks ago it should still be an interesting to watch.
K-State is sitting at 15-8 overall and 3-5 in conference and definitely can not lose this game if they want to end their season playing in the NCAA Tournament.
The Cyclones on the other hand are trying to stop their season from going into a total freefall. After a very impressive start to the season the Cyclones have dropped five straight conference games, two of which were in Hilton Coliseum.
Neither team will be playing at full strength as K-State is trying to overcome the loss of Freddy Asprilla and Wally Judge from their roster. The Cyclones will suit up just seven scholarship players on Saturday with Calvin Godfrey sitting out due to suspension.
Two statistics should determine who comes out of this game on top: rebounding margin and 3 point percentage. The Cyclones have been outrebounded in seven of their eight conference games this year, their record in conference not surprisingly is 1-7.
On the positive side for Iowa State is that they rank first in the Big 12 in 3 point field goal makes. If they can knock down a strong percentage of three pointers while sticking somewhat close to K-State in the rebounding category then this game would tilt in favor of the Cyclones.
If K-State can play defense as well as they did in their last game against Nebraska then they should be able to get a vital road victory under their belt. The Wildcats should have the advantage in the post with Curtis Kelly possibly getting ready for a late season surge and Jordan Henriquz-Roberts providing some length to disrupt Iowa State.
The Wildcats need their inside outside combo of Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly to provide some senior leadership.
Kansas State has won four straight games in Ames and they will look to avoid a return of Hilton Magic this Saturday. The game is scheduled to tip at 12:45 Central Time and can be seen on the Big 12 Network as well as ESPN3.