Big 12 College Basketball Picks: #21 Iowa State Cyclones at #1 Kansas Jayhawks

#21 Iowa State Cyclones at #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday, March 5, 2016, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Allen Fieldhouse – Lawrence, Kansas
Opening Line: Kansas -8 1/2
Current Line: Kansas -9 1/2
Opening Total: 161
Current Total: 157 1/2
Opening Money Line: Kansas -500 / Iowa State +400
Current Money Line: Kansas -500 / Iowa State +400

Kansas is a 9.5 point favorite against Iowa State in the regular season finale for both teams. The Jayhawks have won 10 straight games.
Kansas is a 9.5 point favorite against Iowa State in the regular season finale for both teams. The Jayhawks have won 10 straight games.

The 26-4 Kansas Jayhawks have clinched the Big 12 regular season title outright for a 12th straight season with a 14-3 record. The Jayhawks are also in line for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if not the #1 overall seed depending on what happens in the Big 12 Tournament next week in Kansas City. First up though, Kansas hosts rival Iowa State in the regular season finale for both teams. The Cyclones are 21-9 overall and tied for fifth in conference with Baylor at 10-7. Depending on what happens with the other conference games this weekend, ISU could be anywhere from the #3 seed to the #6 seed in the Big 12 tournament.

Kansas leads the series 177-63 against Iowa State including 91-15 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks have won 10 straight games at home against the Cyclones. Iowa State won 85-72 in Ames January 25. Kansas has won 10 straight games since that loss.

Iowa State is coached by Steve Prohm. The Cyclones have a neutral site loss to Northern Iowa in Des Moines, plus road losses at Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and West Virginia, and home losses to Baylor and West Virginia. Iowa State has neutral site wins over Colorado in Sioux Falls, SD, Virginia Tech and Illinois in a tournament in Niceville, Florida. Iowa State has home wins over North Dakota State, Buffalo, Iowa, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, TCU, Kansas State and Oklahoma State 58-50 last Monday. The Cyclones also have road wins over Cincinnati, Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma State. ISU has won two straight games and three of the last four. The Cyclones were 14 point favorites against Oklahoma State and the total was 146. Iowa State is 13-13-1 ATS and the total is 12-14-1 this season.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks lost to Michigan State in Chicago early in the season, and road losses at West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Kansas has wins over UCLA and Vanderbilt in the Maui Invitational, home wins over Harvard, Oregon State, Montana, Baylor, Oklahoma in triple overtime, TCU, Texas, Kentucky, Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech, plus road wins over San Diego State, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas 86-56 last Monday. Kansas is 18-9 ATS and the total is 8-18-1 this season. The Jayhawks were 3.5 point favorites against Texas and the total was 142.

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Iowa State is outscoring teams 82-75. The Cyclones are #15 in scoring nationally. Iowa State is shooting 50.3% from the field and 38% from 3 point range. The Cyclones are #2 in field goal shooting nationally. ISU makes 70.1% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 43.3% from the field and 33.9% from 3 point range. Iowa State averages 36.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 33.2. The Cyclones average 16.8 assists, 11.4 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 4.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.4 assists, 12.7 turnovers, 5.5 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.

Georges Niang averages 19.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Monte Morris averages 14.3 points, 4 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Abdel Nader averages 13.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Jameel McKay averages 11.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. Nazareth Mitrou-Long averaged 12 points a game but is out for the season with a hip injury. Matt Thomas averages 10.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Deonte Burton and Hallice Cook will also get minutes in the rotation.

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Kansas is out scoring teams 82-68 this season. The Jayhawks are #16 in scoring nationally. Kansas is shooting 49.3% from the field and 43% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #9 in field goal percentage and #2 in three point shooting nationally. Kansas makes 70.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.4% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #19 in field goal defense nationally. Kansas averages 37.9 rebounds a game and opponents average 30.3 per game. The Jayhawks average 15.9 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 6.7 steals and 4.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 11 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 6.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.

Forward Perry Ellis averages 16.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Guard Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 13.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1 steal a game. Frank Mason III averages 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Devonte’ Graham averages 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Brannen Greene averages 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Six other players get significant time in the rotation.

Iowa State is 13-5 ATS in Saturday games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 1-4 in road games, overall, against Big 12 teams and against teams with winning home records, 0-5 after a straight up win. The Cyclones are 4-1 ATS against the Jayhawks in the last five games.

Kansas is 9-1 ATS overall, 8-1 against Big 12 teams and after a straight up win, 7-1 against teams with winning records, 13-3 after a cover, 4-1 in Saturday games, at home and after a straight up win of 20 points or more and 20-7-2 against teams with losing road records. The over is 10-4 in this series recently, including 7-1 in Lawrence.

Kansas looks like the best team in the country right now, and also has won 41 straight games at home. Iowa State has won four of the last five games against Kansas including twice in the Big 12 tournament. Still, I think Kansas wins comfortably at home on Senior Day.

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