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It’s a quarterfinal matchup in the Big 12 Tournament in the Show Me State. The fifth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones battle the top-seeded #15 Kansas State Wildcats with a berth in the conference tournament title game on the line Friday night. Iowa State advanced to the semifinals as they ran past fourth-seeded Baylor 83-66 in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon. Kansas State knocked off ninth-seeded TCU 70-61 in their quarterfinal tilt Thursday afternoon. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 103-55 but the teams split two meetings this season. In the last matchup, the Cyclones took a 78-64 road win on February 16.
Iowa State Cyclones Seek to Wipe Out Top-Seeded Wildcats
Iowa State ran their way past Baylor in their quarterfinal matchup to snap a stretch of five losses in six games to close the regular season. The Cyclones improved to 21-11 on the season with the win. Iowa State led by nine at the half and had a big 9-0 run early in the second half to take a 50-34 edge. The Cyclones didn’t see their lead drop below 11 the rest of the way. Iowa State shot 51.7 percent from the field, including 13 of 25 from three-point range, and forced 14 Baylor turnovers in the win. Talen Horton-Tucker led the Cyclones with 21 points in the win.
Let’s 👀 that again‼️ pic.twitter.com/tX8FpkxfGw
— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 14, 2019
The Cyclones are a productive offensive team as they average 77.9 points per game on the season. Iowa State pulls down 34.9 boards a night while dishing out an average of 15.5 assists per game on the year. The Cyclones are above average on the defensive end, ranking 110th in the nation in scoring defense as they allow 68.7 points per contest. Marial Shayok leads Iowa State with 18.5 points plus 5.1 rebounds per contest. Lindell Wigington (13.5 points), Talen Horton-Tucker (12.4 points, five boards) and Michael Jacobson (11.5 points, 5.7 rebounds) each average in double figures as well. Nick Weiler-Babb, Tyrese Haliburton, Cameron Lard and Terrence Lewis each average at least 4.3 points per game this season. Iowa State is shooting 47.8 percent from the floor this season. The Cyclones average 8.6 three pointers a night while shooting 36.8 percent from beyond the arc. Iowa State is average at the free throw line as they shoot 72.8 percent as a team on the year.
Kansas State Wildcats Shoot to Punch Ticket to Big 12 Title Game
Kansas State withstood a tough challenge from ninth-seeded TCU but took care of business to get the win and advance to the semifinals. The Wildcats improved their mark to 25-7 on the season with the victory. Kansas State trailed by two at the half and by five with 18:23 to play before ripping off a 10-0 run to go up 44-39. The Wildcats led by as many as 10 with 11:01 to play and didn’t let their lead drop below three the rest of the way. Kansas State shot 41.9 percent from the field, including eight of 25 from three-point range, and forced 18 turnovers in the contest. Xavier Sneed led the way for the Wildcats with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the win.
— K-State Men's Basketball (@KStateMBB) March 15, 2019
The Wildcats are averaging 66 points a game so far this season as they rely on their defense. Kansas State is collecting 33.4 rebounds a night while dishing out an average of 13.8 assists per game. The Wildcats are terrific on the defensive end, ranking 3rd in the nation by allowing 59.1 points per contest. Barry Brown Jr. is leading the team with 15 points per game on the year. Dean Wade contributes 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists a night while Xavier Sneed chips in 10.6 points per game. Makol Mawien, Kamau Stokes (10.8 points), Austin Trice, Carter Diarra, Mike McGuirl and Levi Stockard III are key rotation players for Kansas State. The Wildcats are shooting 43.4 percent from the field this season. Kansas State is hitting seven triples a night while shooting a dismal 33.7 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats are abysmal at the free throw line as they sink just 66.2 percent of their chances from the stripe. Coach Bruce Weber announced Wednesday that Wade is unlikely to play in the Big 12 Tournament after reporting soreness in his foot after the win over Oklahoma Saturday. Diarra, who has missed time after surgery on his hand, is expected to be ready to go here.
- Wildcats are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Wildcats are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games
- Wildcats are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Cyclones are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall
- Cyclones are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. Big 12 teams
- Cyclones are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Kansas State is a stingy defensive team and they are going to force Iowa State to try to beat them at their game. While the Cyclones beat the Wildcats on the road in the last meeting, it’s going to be a challenge for them to repeat that performance here. Clearly, the loss of Wade is a tough one for Kansas State but they showed that they can handle adversity. Sneed had a massive game to help the Wildcats past the Horned Frogs. Look for him, Brown and the rest of Kansas State to answer the call and deliver the win to reach the title game.
Prediction: Kansas State Wildcats
Full-Game Total Pick
Iowa State had a prolific offensive showing as they ran their way past Baylor. The Cyclones come into this contest 58th in the nation in scoring offense, 30th in field goal percentage and 66th in three-point percentage this season. Iowa State’s issue is that they’re going to face an extremely stiff defense in Kansas State. The Wildcats are third in scoring defense, 59th in field goal percentage defense (41.4 percent) and 36th in three-point field goal percentage defense (31.3 percent) this season. Can the Cyclones find a way to shoot their way past the Wildcats and reach the Big 12 title game?
The under is 5-1 in the Cyclones’ last 6 neutral site games. Kansas State has seen the under 4-1 in their last 5 overall and 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Big 12 opponents. The Wildcats are stingy defensively and that helps keep this one under the total when the final buzzer sounds.