A&M is currently tied for 3rd in the conference, but though tie-breakers, they are sitting at 5th. They have an RPI of 16, and a SOS of 5. They are 5-7 against RPI Top 50, but 11-0 against teams of RPI 51 and below (ISU sits in the 100s).
What that tells me is that they beat who they should beat for the most part, and they've lost some games against some tough opponents. Donald Sloan is the man, averaging 18 points per game his Senior season. Bryan Davis is a long, athletic, Senior Forward who averages 10 points, and 7 boards per game. Look for both of these guys to have big games.
Actually, scratch that. Expect those guys to be contained, but for someone in their starting 5 to have a career high. I'm going with Dash Harris. He averages only 5 a game, but I'm guessing we leave him wide-open and he drops like 30 points or so... It's the Iowa State way.
As far as the matchup goes, A&M is favored by a couple of points. When looking at the Four Factors, you can see that ISU only has an edge on shooting... But honestly, when has there been a game in the Big 12 season, where we actually shot the ball better than our opponents? We've seen some decent defenses combined with the fact that we don't play any defense, so typically we shoot much lower than our opponents, the biggest single factor in a game.
The things I'll be looking for from this team is the effort they're giving at the beginning of the game, and the interactions between the coach and players. In my opinion, he's lost his players a while ago, and that's one of the big reasons why this team is hurting so bad. McDermott is a great guy, but once you lose your players, there's really nothing you can do.