Cyclone men’s hoops in select company with KU, O-State, ‘Cuse, Spartans & Cal

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Six major college men’s basketball teams have offensive and defensive scoring averages ranked among their league’s top four.

Iowa State was fourth in both scoring offense (71.4) and defense (66.3) in the Big 12 this season.

Top-ranked Kentucky was the only school to lead its league in both categories. Kansas, Ohio State, Michigan State, California and Syracuse were the only other schools to rank in their respective league’s top four for offense and defense.

The Wildcats, Spartans and Orange are #1 seeds in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The Buckeyes and Jayhawks are seeded second. It’s pretty obvious that the nation’s elite teams play well at both ends of the court.

In Fred Hoiberg’s first season as coach, the Cyclones were a surprising third in league scoring (72.2) but last in defense (80.8).

Iowa State shaved 14.5 points off its per-game defensive average this year. That is second-best defensive improvement in conference history (Texas dropped 23.3 points off its defensive average in the second year of the Big 12).

Hoiberg’s team has good balance. That is a strong foundation as tourney play opens today.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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