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SEC-Big 12 Challenge: How to watch Ole Miss vs. Iowa State

It’s a big opportunity for two ranked teams trying to get off the skid.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been Kentucky vs. Kansas that’s taken up most of the real estate on the ESPN ads pushing Saturday’s SEC-Big 12 Challenge, which makes sense for a couple of brand name programs currently housed inside the top-10 poll.

But don’t sleep on the day’s other ranked showdown, a surprisingly high-stakes showdown between No. 20 Ole Miss and No. 24 Iowa State. Both teams rocketed out of the gates to climb into the rankings—ISU won 12 of its first 14 games and Ole Miss started 13-2. But both have cooled off in the last couple weeks, with the Rebels dropping two of their last three and the Cyclones losing three of five.

Saturday then offers a critical chance to regain momentum and pick up a resume-boosting win for both clubs. Ole Miss is reeling from its worst outing of the season, a 74-53 pummeling in Tuscaloosa.

“Short memory, got to go to Iowa State,” head coach Kermit Davis told the Ole Miss Spirit earlier this week. “Really excited about the Big 12/SEC challenge. I think it will be our third straight sellout in a row, which I don’t think has ever been done here in The Pavilion.”

How to watch

Tip-off: 11 a.m. CT
TV: ESPN
Online: WatchESPN

Tale of the tape

. Ole Miss Iowa State
. Ole Miss Iowa State
NET rank 32 16
Record 14-4 (4-2 SEC) 14-5 (4-3 Big 12)
Strength of schedule 62 36
Record vs. Group 1 teams 2-4 3-4
Best win 25 Auburn 14 Kansas
Adj. offensive efficiency rank 28 15
Effective FG% rank 18 36
Adj. defensive efficiency rank 66 25
Opp. effective FG% rank 49 54
Adj. tempo rank 129 204
Advanced stats via KenPom.com