Big 12 Championship Game
#2 Iowa State Cyclones vs #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Saturday, March 14, 2015, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Kansas -2
Current Line: Kansas -2 1/2
Opening Total: 151
Current Total: 150 1/2
Opening Money Line: Kansas -140 / Iowa State +120
Current Money Line: Kansas -145 / Iowa State +125
The consensus was the Big 12 tournament was going to be wide open with a ton of upsets. That really hasn’t been the case as apart from TCU pulling a mild upset over Kansas State in the 8-9 game the higher seeded team has won every game in the tournament.
The top two seeds meet for the championship Saturday as the #1 seed Kansas Jayhawks take on the #2 Iowa State Cyclones. Kansas is 26-7 overall and won the Big 12 title outright with a 13-5 record. It was the 11th straight season that Kansas has won at least a share of the regular season title. The Jayhawks are looking for their 11th Big 12 tournament championship. Kansas beeat TCU 64-59 in the quarterfinals Thursday without leading scorer Perry Ellis who missed that game with a sprained knee. Ellis returned for the Jayhawks yesterday as they beat Baylor 62-52 in the semifinals.
Iowa State is 24-8 overall and finished tied for second with Oklahoma at 12-6. The Cyclones are looking for their fourth Big 12 tournament title, including last year. Iowa State beat Texas 69-67 in the quarterfinals and closed that game on a 12-0 run, including the game winning jumper at the buzzer. The Cyclones then beat Oklahoma 67-65 in the semifinals when Oklahoma forward Ryan Spangler missed a wide open lay-up near the buzzer that would have tied the game.
Both Iowa State and Kansas will be high seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas will likely be a #2 seed but there is a chance they could move up to a #1 seed if everything works out. Iowa State will likely be a #3 seed but there is an outside shot they could move up to a #2 seed or down to a #4 seed.
Kansas leads the series 177-61 against Iowa State in a series that dates back to 1908. Kansas has won 6 of the last 8 meetings and 19 of the last 22. Kansas is 6-3 all time against Iowa State in Big 8/12 tournament games. The teams split the season series with each winning at home. The Cyclones won 86-81 January 17 in Ames and the Jayhawks won 89-76 February 2 in Lawrence.
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Iowa State is coached by Fred Hoiberg. The Cyclones have neutral site losses to Maryland in Kansas City and South Carolina in Brooklyn, plus road losses at Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma and Kansas State, plus a home loss to Baylor. The Baylor loss snapped a 21 game home winning streak for the Cyclones. The Cyclones have home wins over Oakland, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Oklahoma, neutral site wins over Alabama in Kansas City and Drake in Des Moines, plus road wins over Iowa, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas and TCU. Iowa State is 16-12-1 ATS and the total is 14-13 this season. The Cyclones were 1 point favorites against Oklahoma and the total was 149.
Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks have losses to Kentucky in Indianapolis, plus road losses at Temple, Iowa State Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Kansas State and Oklahoma. Kansas is 15-0 at home this season. The Jayhawks have home wins over UC-Santa Barbara, Florida, Kent State, UNLV, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU, Texas and West Virginia . Kansas has neutral site wins over Rhode Island, Tennessee and Michigan State in a tournament in Orlando, plus over Utah in Kansas City. The Jayhawks have road wins at Georgetown, Baylor, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech. Kansas is 17-14-1 ATS and the total is 16-14-1 this season. The Jayhawks were 1.5 point favorites against Baylor and the total was 134.5.
Iowa State is outscoring teams 79-69 this season. The Cyclones are #9 nationally in scoring. Iowa State is shooting 48.6% from the field and 36.5% from 3 point range. The Cyclones are #12 nationally in field goal percentage. ISU makes 68.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field and 34.9% from 3 point range. Iowa State averages 36.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 31 per game. The Cyclones average 16.9 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 3.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.7 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.
Georges Niang averages 14.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. Bryce Dejean-Jones averages 12.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Naz Long averages 11.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Monte Morris averages 10.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Dustin Hogue averages 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Jameel McKay averages 10.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Guard Hallice Cook is out for the season with a hip injury.
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Kansas is outscoring teams 72-65 this season. The Jayhawks are shooting 44.7% from the field and 40.7% from 3 point range. Kansas is #16 nationally in 3 point shooting. The Jayhawks make 70.8% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.8% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. Kansas averages 38.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.9 per game. The Jayhawks are #31 nationally in rebounding. Kansas averages 14.1 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.5 assists, 11.4 turnovers, 6 steals and 5 blocks per game.
Kansas forward Perry Ellis averages 14 points, 7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Frank Mason III averages 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 9.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Kelly Oubre, Jr. averages 8.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Cliff Alexander averages 7.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Alexander is doubtful because of eligibility issues. Devonte Graham, Brannen Greene, Jamari Traylor, and Landon Lucas will also get time in the rotation.
Iowa State is 3-0-1 ATS overall, in Big 12 games and against teams with winning records, 5-1 in Saturday games, 4-1-1 after a straight up win, 3-1-1 after a cover and 8-3-1 in neutral site games. The last 4 games in this series have gone over the total.
Kansas is 2-5 ATS against teams with winning records, 2-6 overall and against Big 12 teams, and 1-4 after a cover. The Jayhawks are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games against the Cyclones and were favored in each of those contests.
This should be a great game with lots of points. I think these teams are pretty evenly matched but i like Kansas to win in what is basically a home game in Kansas City.