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Big 12 Championship Finals Primer: No. 1 Houston



Big 12 Championship Finals Primer: No. 1 Houston
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Who: No. 7 Iowa State (26-7, 13-5 Big 12) vs. No. 1 Houston (30-3, 15-3 Big 12)

The place: T-Cell Coronary heart (18,500) – Kansas Metropolis, Mo.

When: Saturday, March 16, 2024 – 5 p.m.

Tipping Off: For the sixth time in program historic previous – and fifth time throughout the remaining ten years – Iowa State will play throughout the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Sport. The Cyclones are 5-0 all-time in Big 12 title video video games.

With wins on Thursday and Friday night, Iowa State has earned the third-most wins in a single season in program historic previous. Merely the 1999-00 (32) and 2013-14 (28) teams have claimed further single season wins in a Cyclone uniform.

Iowa State’s opponent throughout the championship recreation – Houston – is the top-ranked workforce throughout the nation and has obtained 11 straight contests with its remaining loss approaching Feb. 3 at Kansas. The Coogs are ranked as a result of the consensus main workforce based mostly on KenPom, ESPN’s BPI and the NET.

The two teams met twice this season, with the home workforce taking each recreation. The Cyclones handed Houston its first lack of the season once more in January, whereas the Cougars returned the favor, downing Iowa State in Home Metropolis on Feb. 19.

Not solely is tonight’s recreation a rubber match for the season sequence, nonetheless the Cyclones and Cougars are tied at 4 wins apiece of their eight totally different conferences. This could be merely the second neutral web site meeting between the two teams, with Houston proudly proudly owning a 1-0 file in neutral contests as a result of it beat ISU in Charlotte in 1990.


  • UNLV change Keshon Gilbert, a St. Louis native, averages a team-best 13.7 elements per recreation and really hit his stride throughout the latter half of the season.
    • Gilbert recorded a triple-double in direction of New Hampshire earlier this season, going for 10 elements, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
      • His triple-double – the eighth at school historic previous – locations him with Lipsey, Haliburton, Monté Morris, Royce White, Jamaal Tinsley, Curtis Stinson and Marc Urquhart as members of the illustrious membership.
    • Gilbert is first throughout the Big 12 in free throws tried (187) and second in FT made (136).
      • He is second on the workforce in assists (142) and steals (63).
    • Gilbert has two Big 12 Newcomer of the Week awards to his establish this season.
    • He’s recorded a team-best eight 20-plus degree outings.
  • Tamin Lipsey has been his commonplace stat-stuffer self for the Cyclones so far this yr, as a result of the Ames native is averaging 12.4 elements per recreation to affiliate with team-highs in assists (155) and steals (87).
    • Lipsey leads all Big 12 avid gamers in steals and steals per recreation.
      • He is fifth and fourth respectively, nationally, in these lessons.
    • Lipsey set the varsity file for steals in direction of PVAMU, choosing the Panthers’ pockets eight events.
      • The sooner file, seven, was held by Fred Hoiberg and Justus Thigpen.
      • He has recorded a steal in all nonetheless two video video games in his occupation.
    • In direction of DePaul, Lipsey recorded the seventh triple-double at school historic previous, going for 15 elements, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
      • Lipsey turned the first Cyclone since Tyrese Haliburton in 2020 to file a triple-double.
  • Iowa State freshman Milan Momcilovic has been a relentless all through his rookie advertising and marketing marketing campaign, as a result of the first-year from Pewaukee is averaging 10.8 elements per recreation – the third-most on the workforce.
    • He is one amongst 5 Cyclones to realize a minimal of 20 in a recreation this season.
    • Momcilovic is averaging most likely essentially the most elements per recreation by an ISU true freshman since Lindell Wigginton’s 16.7 in 2017-18.
      • He is the third highest-scoring true freshman throughout the Big 12, behind Baylor’s Ja’Kobe Walter and Yves Missi.
  • Curtis Jones has been stellar off the bench throughout the once more half of the season, establishing himself as a result of the workforce’s sixth man and among the many best throughout the conference.
    • Jones is the one ISU participant since 2012 to realize in double-figures in 13-straight video video games off the bench.
    • He had seven steals at TCU earlier this season in his lone start, tying him for the second-most steals in a single recreation in Iowa State historic previous.
      • It’s the main time ever that two Cyclones recorded video video games with seven-plus steals in a single season.
  • Robert Jones leads the workforce in offensive rebounds (78) and blocks (31).
    • Jones tied a season-high with 18 elements in direction of Okay-State throughout the quarterfinals on Thursday night time.
  • Tre King leads the workforce in rebounds, as a result of the senior out of Lexington, Ky., averages 5.1 per recreation and has an entire of 169 boards.
  • Hason Ward, C. Jones, Jackson Paveletzke, Demarion Watson and Omaha Biliew make up the bench unit for the Cyclones.
  • Iowa State forces the second-most turnovers per recreation (17.70) throughout the nation – tops throughout the Big 12.        
    • The Cyclones widespread 10.5 steals per recreation, moreover tops throughout the Big 12 and second throughout the nation.
  • As a head coach, Otz is 166-97 whole and has led the Cyclones to a 67-34 file over the previous three seasons.

From the Notes:

  • The Cyclones are the No. 2 seed throughout the occasion … that’s the second time the Cyclones have been this seed, proudly proudly owning a 5-0 file in these video video games … ISU was moreover the No. 2 seed in 2015, as a result of the Cyclones went 3-0 to win their second-straight Big 12 Championship.
  • Iowa State has obtained 18-straight video video games at Hilton Coliseum, the fifth longest full of life dwelling profitable streak throughout the nation.
    • ISU, McNeese and Samford are the one undefeated teams throughout the nation at dwelling with a minimal of 18 wins.
  • Iowa State has obtained 15 of its remaining 21 video video games on the occasion, profitable the title in 4 of the ultimate 9 completed tournaments.
  • Iowa State ranks second throughout the nation in turnover share at 25.9 %. ISU has been throughout the excessive six throughout the nation in each of Otzelberger’s seasons, score sixth in 2022 (24.6%) and second in 2023 (25%).
  • Iowa State is one amongst 4 schools throughout the nation, and the one Power Six school, to drive 25 or further turnovers in quite a lot of video video games in direction of NCAA Division I opponents this season.
  • Tamin Lipsey and Keshon Gilbert each have triple-doubles to their names this season – making ISU the one workforce throughout the nation with quite a lot of avid gamers boasting a triple-double.
    • There in the mean time are eight at school historic previous.
  • Solely six avid gamers throughout the nation are averaging a minimal of 12.4 elements, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.9 steals per recreation this season. Two of them reside throughout the Cyclone backcourt in Tamin Lipsey and Keshon Gilbert, with ISU being the one school throughout the nation with quite a lot of avid gamers hitting these marks.
  • Lipsey had a school-record steal streak of 34-straight video video games snapped this season. It was the second longest streak throughout the nation. He has a steal in 63 of the 65 video video games he has carried out.
  • The Cyclones are 29-1 under T.J. Otzelberger when 4 or further avid gamers score in double figures.
  • The six highest-scoring Cyclone outputs under Otzelberger have all come this season, along with a pair of 100-point performances. 9 of the ten highest under Otz have moreover come this season.
  • Otzelberger was named a semifinalist for the Naismith Coach of the 12 months. There are 10 semifinalists for the award. Last yr Otzelberger made it on to the late season watch itemizing of 15.
  • The Cyclones have scored 90 or further elements six events this season. It is essentially the most events hitting that mark in a season as a result of the 2016-17 workforce did so eight events.
  • As of this morning, the Cyclones are ranked No. 8 throughout the NET. The Cyclones slot in at No. 9 throughout the KenPom rankings and are No. 7 in ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.

Switching Sides:

  • In its first yr as a Big 12 institution, Houston obtained the outright Big 12 widespread season title, incomes two further conference wins than the second-place Cyclones.
    • Houston was picked to finish second throughout the preseason poll behind Kansas, incomes two first-place votes in its inaugural Big 12 basketball advertising and marketing marketing campaign.
  • The Coogs will compete of their conference title recreation for the sixth consecutive season, having been in five-straight American Conference title bouts earlier to their first throughout the Big 12.
  • Since 2017-18, the Cougars are the nation’s second-winningest workforce with a 205-37 file. Solely Gonzaga (211-29) has the subsequent commonplace over that time.
  • The Cougars private the nation’s longest full of life streak with 83 consecutive weeks throughout the AP Prime 25.
  • Jamal Shead, an Honorable Level out Preseason All-Big 12 Workforce member, earned Big12 Participant of the 12 months along with Defensive Participant of the 12 months this earlier week.
    • He turns into the first participant in Big 12 historic previous to earn every within the similar season.
    • Earlier to this yr, Shead was the 2022-23 American Conference Defensive Participant of the 12 months.
  • Houston has 9 returners from remaining season, three freshmen and two first-year transfers on the roster.
  • Analytics love the Cougars, as they’re ranked No. 1 all through the board throughout the NET, KenPom and ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.
  • Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson is in his tenth season on the helm of the Houston basketball program. Having 35 years of experience as a head coach, Sampson and the Cougars are 262-77 all through his tenure and he holds a 762-347 whole file. His son, Kellen, is an assistant on staff.
    • Sampson and the Cougars have gone to the ultimate 5 NCAA Tournaments, making 4 visits to the Sweet 16, two Elite Eight berths and one journey to the Final 4 (2021).