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It’s the title game in the Big 12 Tournament in the Show Me State. The fifth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones battle the fourth-seeded #17 Kansas Jayhawks Saturday night with the winner punching their ticket to March Madness. Iowa State advanced to the title game by knocking off top-seeded and #15 Kansas State 63-59 Friday night. Kansas dropped 10th seeded West Virginia 88-74 in their semifinal matchup Friday night to reach the title game. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series between the teams 118-49 but the teams split two meetings this season, each winning at home. In the most recent matchup, it was Kansas taking an 80-76 win on January 21.
Iowa State Cyclones Shooting to Earn Big 12 Tournament Title
Iowa State was locked in a defensive struggle but hit the critical shots late to oust top-seeded Kansas State from the tournament and advance to the title game. The Cyclones improved to 22-11 with their second straight victory. Iowa State led by 10 at the half but trailed 55-50 with 2:50 to play in the contest. The Cyclones closed strong, outscoring the Wildcats 13-4 the rest of the way to get the victory. Iowa State shot 42 percent from the field, including six of 22 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 43-29 to offset 17 turnovers. The Cyclones were led by Marial Shayok’s 21 points in the victory.
— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 16, 2019
The Cyclones are a productive offensive team as they average 77.4 points per game on the season. Iowa State pulls down 35.2 boards a night while dishing out an average of 15.3 assists per game on the year. The Cyclones are above average on the defensive end, ranking 102nd in the nation in scoring defense as they allow 68.4 points per contest. Marial Shayok leads Iowa State with 18.7 points plus 4.9 rebounds per contest. Lindell Wiggington (13.3 points), Talen Horton-Tucker (12.2 points, five boards) and Michael Jacobson (11.4 points, six 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 47.7 percent from the floor this season. The Cyclones average 8.5 three pointers a night while shooting 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. Iowa State is above average at the free throw line as they shoot 73.1 percent as a team on the year.
Kansas Jayhawks Seek to Claim Big 12 Crown
Kansas started slowly but got things going their way before dispatching 10th seeded West Virginia to end the Mountaineers’ Cinderella run. The Jayhawks ran their record to 24-8 on the season with their third straight win and their fifth in the last six games. Kansas trailed 30-23 with 6:09 to play in the first half but closed the half on a 25-10 run to take an eight-point edge. An 11-0 run gave the Jayhawks a 64-46 edge with 14:31 to play and they weren’t seriously threatened after that. Kansas shot 52.4 percent from the field, including eight of 20 from three-point range, and won the battle of the boards 43-33. Dedric Lawson led the Jayhawks with 24 points and eight rebounds in the win.
Defense was the name of the game last night. We held the Longhorns to just three field goals over the final seven minutes of regulation and outlasted Texas to advance to tonight's #Big12MBB semifinals ➡️ https://t.co/ZehXpreQcP pic.twitter.com/5K3fSY9CS8
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) March 15, 2019
The Jayhawks are averaging a solid 75.7 points per game this season. Kansas collects 38 rebounds per contest and dishes out 13.4 assists a night. The Jayhawks are tied for 136th in scoring defense as they allow 69.8 points per contest this season. Dedric Lawson chips in a team-leading 19.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest, Udoka Azubuike contributes 13.4 points, 6.8 boards plus 1.6 blocks a night and Devon Dotson puts up 11.9 points plus 3.6 assists per game. Ochai Agbaji (8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds), Quentin Grimes, Marcus Garrett, Charlie Moore, David McCormack, K.J. Lawson and Mitch Lightfoot all have to contribute on the offensive end of the floor. The Jayhawks shoot 46.5 percent from the field as a team this season. Kansas knocks down 7.4 three pointers a night while sinking 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Jayhawks are dismal at the free throw line as they convert 70.1 percent so far this season. Azubuike suffered a torn ligament in his hand earlier this season and is done for the year. Lagerald Vick, who was second on the team with 14.1 points per game, left the team earlier this season and will not return to the program.
- Jayhawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
- Jayhawks are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Jayhawks are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. Big 12 opponents
- Cyclones are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games
- Cyclones are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The teams split two meetings this season with Iowa State taking a 17-point win in Ames while Kansas countered with a four-point victory in Lawrence. Both teams are tough and have experienced players to work around. Iowa State is sharper on the defensive end of the floor but Kansas is physical enough to push people around. Trying to keep Lawson in check is going to be a challenge for Iowa State: with the crowd likely to be pro-Jayhawks, it’s just enough to help Kansas come out on top to win the title game.
Prediction: Kansas Jayhawks
Full-Game Total Pick
Iowa State survived a slugfest with Kansas State in a defensive battle but gets a chance to be a bit more active on the offensive end and in transition here. The Cyclones are effective offensively, ranking 63rd in scoring offense, 31st in field goal percentage and 79th in three-point percentage on the year. Kansas comes in 99th in scoring offense, 63rd in field goal percentage and 114th in three-point shooting. The Jayhawks have the edge on the glass and with the crowd likely backing them: can they come up with the victory here to win the Big 12 title?
The over is 4-1 in the Cyclones’ last 5 overall, 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Big 12 foes, 4-1 in their last 5 Saturday games and 4-1 in their last 5 games following a straight up win. Kansas has seen the over go 6-1 in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, 5-1 in their last 6 Saturday games, 4-1 in their last 5 overall and 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Big 12 foes. The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams: look for this to be an up and down affair that ends up over the number.