As the regular season for college basketball winds down, it’s resume building time for schools across the nation.Iowa State’s double-figure point victory over 13th-ranked Oklahoma State was most certainly a resume builder for the Cyclones. Everybody’s got an opinion and nobody’s got the final word on who will receive invites to the Big Dance. But, ISU put itself in a good place. The Big 12 – per recent RPI, KenPom and Sagarin ratings – is the second strongest conference in the nation. Rather than pick apart the good wins and bad losses and untangle lots of other statistical mumbo jumbo, consider these two facts about Iowa State’s performance in one of the nation’s strongest leagues this winter: There is a two-game divide between the upper and lower divisions. Iowa State is 10-7 and in fifth place and Baylor is 8-9 and in sixth place (the Cyclones also swept the Bears). Additionally, and more importantly, the Cyclones played eight games against the four teams ahead of them in the standings (Kansas, 5th in the RPI; Kansas State, 21st; Oklahoma, 24th; and Oklahoma State, 27th). Iowa State split all of those two-game series with the exception of Kansas. Both games against the Jayhawks went into overtime after peculiar finishes in regulation. Three wins against Top 30 schools in the RPI is a pretty strong resume. Official word on the tourney field won’t come for a few days and there are more opportunities for wins ahead. But, on “resume builder” week, the Cyclones did just that with its 11-point win over a team which entered the game having won 10 of its last 11.
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