Iowa State hits road to battle No. 14 Michigan

A pair of 5-2 teams square off in Ann Arbor ranked Michigan Wolverines.

Iowa State is facing its first ranked opponent of the season, and the Cyclones recently had a four-game win streak stopped with a 69-62 loss at home to Northern Iowa. ISU, which plays its basketball out of the Big 12 Conference, will face another team from Michigan's Big Ten when it faces in-state rival Iowa next Friday. The Cyclones will begin league play at home against Texas on January 4, 2012.

Michigan, which some believe will challenge for the top spot in the Big Ten this year, opened the season with four straight wins. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, they have lost two of their last three, the most recent of which being a 70-58 decision at Virginia on Tuesday as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Michigan opens league play later this month against Penn State.

The all-time series between Iowa State and Michigan is tied at 4-4, and this is the first meeting since 1992.

Iowa State has four double-digit scorers on the roster, and its top five performers are all averaging at least 9.6 ppg, helping the team put up 78.4 ppg. The Cyclones are shooting 47.4 percent from the field, which includes a 41.9 percent effort from three-point range, and they own a +8.6 rebounding margin as well. Defensively, ISU yields 68.4 ppg on typical shooting outputs of 44.9 percent overall and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc. Royce White has had a tremendous start to the season, as he is averaging a double-double with 14.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Chris Allen and White each scored 15 points in the recent loss to Northern Iowa, as the Cyclones shot 42.3 percent from the floor, but made good on only 4-of-18 three-point tries (.222). Conversely, UNI nailed nine treys, and its reserves outscored ISU's, 34-15. Despite the lackluster long-range effort against the Panthers, the Cyclones have hit 10 or more three-pointers in five of their seven games this season.

Michigan drained 10 three-pointers and put three players in double figures, but a crippling 17-4 deficit in points from the foul line coupled with a 36-26 rebounding disadvantage proved to be too much to overcome as the team dropped a 12-point decision at Virginia earlier this week. Zack Novak led the way for UM with 12 points, while Trey Burke added 11 and Evan Smotrycz chipped in with 10. The team's leading scorer on the year, Tim Hardaway, Jr. (15.4 ppg), missed seven of his nine field goal attempts to finish with just five points. In addition to Hardaway, Jr's exploits, the Wolverines have also gotten solid efforts from Burke (11.0 ppg) and Novak (10.1 ppg) this year, helping the team put up 66.7 ppg on 48.3 percent field goal efficiency, which includes a 34.7 percent showing from downtown. Defensively, the Maize and Blue are permitting just 58.7 ppg, with foes hitting their total shots just 41.3 percent of the time.