When Iowa State and Colorado meet in the first round of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship today, it will be the third encounter of the year between the Cyclones and Buffaloes.The schools split the prior meetings – each team winning on its home floor – so the neutral site of the Sprint Center will be the tie-breaker. History normally gives some clues, but I’m not certain which meeting from earlier this season you would favor as the trendsetter. Colorado ran away from the Cyclones in Boulder and scorched the nets from the field (50%) and beyond the arc (47%). CU had a +13 rebound margin. Cyclone big man Calvin Godfrey missed that game. The rematch in Hilton Coliseum was much different. With Godfrey dominating the action in the lane (he hit 10-11 shots and scored a career-best 23 points), Iowa State posted a 95-90 victory. The Cyclones had a +8 margin on the boards, a major change from their rebounding deficit at Colorado. One of the intriguing things about the Cyclones and Buffaloes this season is how much they have re-invented their styles under first-year coaches. Both teams like to score and that’s a change from recent seasons. Fred Hoiberg’s club is fourth in the league in scoring (up six slots from a year ago) and Tad Boyle’s team is third in Big 12 points per game (up three spots from 2010). In the last meeting, 185 points were scored. You might look for more of the same this time around and, hopefully, Godfrey can establish himself on both ends of the court once again.
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