College Basketball Pick
And just like that, Bill Self and Kansas have yet another Big 12 regular season title, their 12th straight. The Jayhawks have been on a tear since their last loss, winning 10 straight and jumping to No. 1 in the AP Polls.
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Conveniently for their opponent on Saturday, that last loss came against this Iowa State team. since that win, the Cyclones have looked the opposite of consistent, often trading wins at home for losses on the road. since Conference play started, they are just 3-6 on the road and that includes a loss at Texas A&M. And now you have to throw in the Allen Fieldhouse factor, which should make things even tougher for Iowa State.
But one thing the Cyclones are clinging to is the last time these teams played. Iowa State exploded in the second half and finished with a 49-29 edge to bring the final Scoreto 85-72. Four of their starters caught fire and when that happens with this team, not many can beat them. Georges Niang, Abdel Nader, Monte Morris and Matt Thomas all finished with at least 13 points to go with a combined nine steals.
Kansas didn’t really have an answer defensively in that Game against ISU’s array of options. While Perry Ellis scored 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting, they didn’t get enough production from role players to have a chance to win in Ames.
The situation will no doubt be different in this meeting. For starters, Iowa State has allowed at least 85 points in its last three road Games. The Cyclones gave up 97 to WVU last time on the road and 100 to Baylor the Game before that. If they play the same kind of defense, expect another big Game from Ellis, but also Frank Mason, Wayne Selden and Devonte’ Graham. The Kansas backcOurt is pretty much unmatched in the country and that has led the way in its 10-Game winning streak.
The Jayhawks are looking like the best team in the nation at the moment and that was seen in their most recent Game at Texas, winning 86-56 on the road against a team that just came off a win against Oklahoma. Not only has KU been solid offensively, but its defense has been a lot better and that will definitely come into play in this Game.
Iowa State probably won’t have the same free range of open shots as they had in the first meeting. Niang and Ellis will go head-to-head and both should have decent Games as neither is outstanding on the defensive end. But what can the backcOurt of Iowa State do? Morris is a great point guard, but he’ll need to match what he did in the first contest, scoring 21 points as well as adding nine assists. Without getting that kind of production, the Cyclones may not have enough in the end to walk away with a win, especially on the road.
Kansas already has the Big 12 locked up, but there’s no way Self will let his team take the foot off the pedal now. The Jayhawks will look to win the Big 12 Tournament and take that run into March Madness. Can Iowa State finally put together a win on the road, or will this be another KU blow out?
predicted Score- Kansas 89 Iowa St 77