The Big 12 Conference is going to be brutal this season, and road wins will be at a premium.
We knew those things to be true prior to No.9 Iowa State traveling to Oklahoma on Saturday, but the game reinforced both points emphatically.
Oklahoma made 13 3-pointers and had a career rebounding performance from forward Ryan Spangler, who grabbed 15 caroms and scored 16 points, to hand the Cyclones their first loss of the season 87-82.
Making matters worse for the Cyclones, guard DeAndre Kane injured his left ankle and had to be carried to the bench by a pair of his teammates with 22.3 seconds remaining. Kane would likely be the Player of the Year in the Big 12 if the season ended today and likely an All-American.
Kane had 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Both teams had four players in double figures. Not a surprise considering each team was averaging 87 points a game.
Kane had X-rays taken on his ankle and they showed no fractures. He told reporters he might be able to play Monday against Kansas.
If Kane is out for any length of time, it would be a huge loss, especially considering the upcoming schedule.
The Cyclones next six games include Kansas home and away, trips to Texas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State and a rematch with the Sooners.
Oklahoma answered the biggest questions going in. Could it hold the Cyclones under their average and could it keep up with ISU offensively. Buddy Hield making six of his 12 3-point attempts helped.
If there were any ISU doubters left going into this one, they probably wanted to see the Cyclones prove they could win tough road games. Their only quality road win came early in the season at BYU.
While the Cyclones failed to earn that road win here and satisfy those doubts, there won't be any shortage of opportunities to get one as the season progresses.
Nearly every team in the league has showed they are tough to beat on their home courts regardless of the opponent. That is always the case at Kansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Baylor. But even Texas and and the Sooners have now protected their home courts well.
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