Big 12 Semifinal Betting: #4 Iowa State Cyclones vs #1 Kansas Jayhawks

Big 12 Semifinals
#4 Iowa St Cyclones vs #1 Kansas Jayhawks

Friday, March 15, 2013, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Opening Line: Kansas -6
Current Line: Kansas -5 1/2
Opening Total: 142
Current Total: 145
Opening Money line: Kansas -260 / Iowa St +220
Current Money Line: Kansas -240 / Iowa St +200

Kansas is a 5.5 point favorite in the Big 12 semifinals Friday night in Kansas City.

Kansas is a 5.5 point favorite in the Big 12 semifinals Friday night in Kansas City.

The 27-5 Kansas Jayhawks could be in line for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament if they win the Big 12 tournament. The #1 seeded Jayhawks tied with Kansas St at 14-4 for the Big 12 regular season title. It was the ninth straight conference tittle for the Jayhawks dating back to 2004. The Jayhawks were the #1 seed in the tournament because they swept  Kansas opened the Big 12 tournament with a 91-63 rout of lowly Texas Tech Thursday.

The Jayhawks will take on #5 seed Iowa St in Friday night’s semifinals. The 22-10 Cyclones finished tied with Oklahoma at 11-7 in the Big 12, which tied for fourth. Most experts say the cyclones are safely in the NCAA field, but Iowa St bolstered their resume with a 73-66 win over Oklahoma yesterday in the quarterfinals. In that game Iowa St trailed by 12 points with under 10 minutes left in the game.

Kansas leads the series 173-59 and has won 15 of the last 16 meetings with Iowa St. Kansas leads Iowa St 5-3 in conference tournament games but they haven’t played since the 2003 Big 12 quarterfinals. The Jayhawks won both meetings in overtime this season. Kansas won in Lawrence January 9 97-89. The Jayhawks tied it up at the buzzer in regulation on a 3 pointer from guard Ben McLemore, then scored the first 9 points of the game in overtime to take the win. The rematch in Ames February 25 also went to the Jayhawks. In that game, Iowa St was driving to the hole and could have put the game away. However, the refs called a controversial charging call against the Cyclones that enraged the raucous Iowa St crowd. Kansas guard Elijah Johnson buried two free throws to tie the game. Johnson scored 39 points, including 18 in the final 29 seconds of regulation and in overtime.  The Jayhawks dominated to overtime to win 108-96. The loss snapped a 22 game home winning streak for Iowa St.

Iowa St is coached by Fred Hoiberg. The Cyclones have losses to Cincinnati in Las Vegas, at UNLV, and at Iowa. Iowa St has conference losses to Kansas twice, Texas Tech, Oklahoma St, Kansas St, Texas and Oklahoma. The Cyclones have won 3 straight. The Cyclones have key wins over BYU, Drake, Yale, Texas, West Virginia twice, TCU twice, Kansas St, Baylor twice, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma St. Iowa St is 15-12 ATS and the total is 19-4 this season.

Iowa St is outscoring teams 80-71. The Cyclones are #4 in scoring nationally. Iowa St is shooting 45.7% from the field and 37.4% from 3 point range. The Cyclones make 73.1% of their free throws. Iowa St averages 39 rebounds per game and give up 31 per game. The Cyclones are #18 in rebounding nationally. Iowa St opponents are shooting 42.3% from the field and 30.9% from 3 point range. The Cyclones average 16 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, and 13 turnovers per game.

Forward Will Clyburn averages 15.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Tyrus McGee averages 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Georges Niang averages 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Forward Melvin Ejim averages 11 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1 steal. Guard Korie Lucious averages 10.1 points, 5.7 assists, 1.9 rebounds, and 1 steal a game. Chris Babb averages 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Percy Gibson, Anthony Booker, and Naz Long make up the rest of the rotation. Gibson leads the team in blocks with 0.7 per game.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The  losses for the Jayhawks this season came against Michigan St in Atlanta early in the season, at home against Oklahoma St, and at TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor. The Jayhawks have key wins over Washington St, Saint Louis, and Oregon St all in Kansas City, along with a road wins at Ohio St,  Texas Tech twice, Texas twice, Kansas St twice, West Virginia twice, and Oklahoma St and home wins over Colorado, Richmond, Temple, Iowa St, Baylor,Oklahoma, and TCU. The Jayhawks are 17-14 ATS and the total is 13-14-1 this season.

Kansas is outscoring teams 75-61 this season. The Jayhawks are in the top 50 nationally in both categories. Kansas is #18 in field goal percentage at 47.8% and  36.8% from three point range. The Jayhawks are shooting 72.8% from the free throw line. Kansas averages 39.1 rebounds per game, and gives up 29.7 per game. The Jayhawks are #17 in rebounding nationally.  Kansas opponents are shooting 35.9% from the field and 31.1% from 3 point range. Kansas is #1 in opponent’s field goal percentage. The Jayhawks average 16 assists, 7 steals, 7 blocks and 14 turnovers a game.

McLemore averages 16.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Center Jeff Withey averages 13.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4 blocks per game. He broke the Big 12 record for blocks in a career a couple of weeks ago.  Guard Travis Releford averages 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Elijah Johnson averages  10 points, 3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. Kevin Young averages 7.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe, Andrew White III and Jamari Taylor make up the rest of the rotation. Little used forward Justin Wesley is probable with a finger injury.

Iowa St is 4-1 ATS after a win and a cover, 6-2 overall, 8-3 against teams with winning records, and 40-18-2 in Big 12 games. The Cyclones are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 against the Jayhawks, and were underdogs in each of those contests.

Kansas is 8-1 ATS overall and against Big 12 teams, 6-1 after a win and a cover, 8-2 after  a straight up win of more than 20 points, 5-11 after scoring 90 points or more, and 1-4 in Friday games. The over is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 in this series.

Iowa St will not be intimidated by Kansas. The Cyclones led for much of the first two games, but Kansas came back to win in overtime. Iowa St certainly has the talent to pull off the upset, but Kansas city is a home away from home for the Jayhawks. Kansas is 4-0 this season in the Sprint Center, which is only about 40 miles from their campus in Lawrence. Kansas wins, but Iowa St keeps it close.

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