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5 Iowa State Basketball Games To Watch In 2014-15

Iowa State Basketball: 5 Games You Must Watch In 2014-15

Iowa State basketball
Soobum Im -- USA TODAY Sports

It was an exciting year for Iowa State basketball as the Cyclones won the Big 12 tournament and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 before losing to eventual champion Connecticut. Cyclones fans are stoked for more competition this season, and here is a look at some of the key games to watch.

5. Arkansas (Dec. 4)

Arkansas basketball
Dale Zanine -- USA TODAY Sports

5. Arkansas (Dec. 4)

Arkansas basketball
Dale Zanine -- USA TODAY Sports

This game is part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge and will be played in Ames on Dec. 4. Arkansas finished fifth in the SEC last year and made the NIT, where they fell to California in the second round. Still, both teams had more than 20 wins, so it should be a very competitive matchup.

4. Iowa (Dec. 12)

Iowa basketball
Rick Osentoski -- USA TODAY Sports

4. Iowa (Dec. 12)

Iowa basketball
Rick Osentoski -- USA TODAY Sports

Scheduled for Dec. 12 in Iowa City, no one needs to get up for this game. Although the teams belong in different conferences, bragging rights are always fun to talk about and they will be on the line when these teams meet two weeks before Christmas.

3. Oklahoma (Jan. 11)

Oklahoma basketball
Kirby Lee -- USA TODAY Sports

3. Oklahoma (Jan. 11)

Oklahoma basketball
Kirby Lee -- USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma finished second in the Big 12 last season, just ahead of Iowa State, so this Jan. 11 meeting in Norman will be one to watch as an early-conference showdown. This will be a battle for one of the top spots in the conference.

2. Kansas (Jan. 13)

Kansas basketball
Jasen Vinlove -- USA TODAY Sports

2. Kansas (Jan. 13)

Kansas basketball
Jasen Vinlove -- USA TODAY Sports

Two days later, the Big 12 regular-season champions come to Ames for a Jan. 13 showdown that is nationally televised. Of course Kansas won't have Andrew Wiggins this year, but they will have a strong cast once again and should challenge for the league title. This is a big game right away.

1. Texas (Jan. 18)

Texas basketball
Benny Sieu -- USA TODAY Sports

1. Texas (Jan. 18)

Texas basketball
Benny Sieu -- USA TODAY Sports

As if the games against Oklahoma and Kansas weren't enough, Iowa State travels to Austin on Jan. 18 for a key Saturday showdown against the Longhorns of Texas, the team that tied them for third place in the Big 12 a year ago. This could be a strong week and one that makes or breaks the Cyclones in the race for the league title.