Iowa State has opened some eyes on the way to its highest ranking in 13 years, while Auburn is off to a far less impressive start heading into the Big 12-SEC Challenge.
Returning to action following a week off, the 17th-ranked Cyclones look to continue their dominance at home Monday night when they take on the Tigers.
Following victories over then-No. 7 Michigan and at BYU, Iowa State (5-0) cruised to a 110-51 win over Missouri-Kansas City last Monday in its first home game as a ranked team in eight years.
The Cyclones, who haven't been ranked as high as 17th since the 2000-01 season, recorded their highest point total in 15 years en route to the sixth-largest victory in program history.
''The great teams do it every night," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "You can't have off days, and that includes practice. I give our guys a lot of credit. They're coming to work every day.''
DeAndre Kane had 20 points and eight rebounds and Sherron Dorsey-Walker added 17 points for Iowa State, which used a 27-0 first-half run to pull away from the Kangaroos.
Kane is on a roll heading into this contest, totaling 41 points on 15 of 22 shooting and 19 rebounds in his last two. The senior transfer from Marshall has averaged 16.4 points, 8.4 boards and 4.8 assists.
The Cyclones rank second among Big 12 teams with 90.4 points per game and a 51.1 field-goal percentage. They're also the only team in the league with six players averaging double-figures.
"We share the ball," Kane said after his team's third win by at least 30 points. "We've got a lot of guys that can score, a lot of guys that can rebound. But it all starts with defense.''
Iowa State has held three opponents under 30 percent shooting on the way to a Big 12-leading 35.2 opponent field-goal percentage.
The Cyclones hope to continue that trend as they seek their 39th win in 42 home games and 18th straight in Ames against a non-conference opponent.
The Tigers (4-1) received a scare from winless Tennessee State on Tuesday when they narrowly escaped with a 78-73 victory.
Chris Denson, averaging an SEC-best 20.8 points, had all of his 17 in the second half, while Tahj Shamsid-Deen chipped in with 16 and KT Harrell added 14.
Denson and Harrell lead the Tigers into their first road contest, averaging a combined 38.2 of the team's 79.8 points per game.
"That's why you have veteran players, to lean on when you go into environments that we are going to see going to Iowa State, coach Tony Barbee said. "It's an opportunity and it is going to be a challenge. They have a very good team, and that's a hard place to play."
The Tigers will have to tighten things up defensively after allowing Murray State and Tennessee State to shoot a combined 50.5 percent in recent single-digit wins. They also gave up 111 points in a 19-point loss to Northwestern State on Nov. 15.
This is the first meeting since Iowa State's 79-60 win in the second round of the 2000 NCAA tournament. Auburn took the only other matchup, 89-87, on Dec. 29, 1986, in El Paso, Texas.
- Sports & Recreation