Big 12 Semifinals Betting Selections: #16 Iowa State Cyclones vs #10 Kansas Jayhawks

2014 Big 12 Tournament – Semifinals
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri

#4 Iowa State Cyclones vs #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Friday, March 14, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Kansas -4
Current Line: Kansas -4 1/2
Opening Total: 157
Current Total: 155
Opening Money Line: Kansas -165 / Iowa State +140
Current Money Line: Kansas -200 / Iowa State +170

Kansas is a 4.5 point favorite over Iowa State in the Big 12 semifinals Friday night in Kansas City.
Kansas is a 4.5 point favorite over Iowa State in the Big 12 semifinals Friday night in Kansas City.

The 25-7 Iowa State Cyclones and the 25-8 Kansas Jayhawks are both projected to be top 4 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. The two teams meet Friday in the Big 12 Semifinals in Kansas City. Kansas won the Big 12 regular season title for a 10th straight season with a 14-4 record. The Jayhawks have an outside shot at a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but they need to win the Big 12 Tournament and get some help. Iowa State finished tied for 3rd in conference with an 11-7 record. The Cyclones could be as high as a 3 seed if they win the Big 12 Tournament.

Kansas leads the series against Iowa State 175-59, including 3-0 in the Big 12 Tournament. The Jayhawks have won 17 of the last 18 against the Cyclones, including 5 straight wins. Kansas won both meetings this season 77-70 in Ames January 13 and 92-81 in Lawrence January 29.

Iowa State is coached by Fred Hoiberg. The Cyclones have losses at Oklahoma, Kansas twice, at Texas, at West Virginia, at Kansas State and at Baylor. Iowa State has wins over Michigan, at BYU, Auburn, Northern Iowa in Des Moines, Iowa, George Mason, Akron, and Boise State (all in a tournament in Honolulu), Northern Illinois, Texas Tech twice, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State twice,  TCU twice, Texas, and West Virginia. Iowa State beat Kansas State 91-85 in Thursday’s quarterfinals  The Cyclones are 14-15 ATS this season and the total is 16-12-1 this season.

Iowa State is outscoring teams 83-74 this season. The Cyclones are #6 in scoring nationally and #278 out of 351 teams in points allowed. Iowa State is shooting 46.9% from the field and 34.1% from 3 point range. ISU is #52 nationally in field goal percentage. The Cyclones make 69.1% of their free throws. ISU opponents are shooting 41.3% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. The Cyclones average 39.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 35 per game. Iowa State is #20 in rebounding and #333 in rebounds allowed. The Cyclones average 18.7 assists, 10.5 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 3.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 13.6 assists, 12 turnovers, 5.4 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Forward Melvin Ejim averages 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Ejim is the Big 12 player of the year. Forward Georges Niang averages 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Guard DeAndre Kane averages 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Dustin Hogue averages 10.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1 assist per game. Matt Thomas, Naz Long, and Monte Morris all average at least 6.3 points a game.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks have losses to Villanova in the Bahamas, at Colorado, at Florida, at Texas, at Kansas State, at Oklahoma State, and at West Virginia, along with a home loss to San Diego State. Kansas has key wins over Duke in Chicago, Wake Forest and UTEP in the Bahamas, New Mexico in Kansas City, plus home wins over Georgetown, Toledo, Kansas State, Oklahoma State,  Baylor, Iowa State, West Virginia, TCU, Texas, and Oklahoma 83-75 Monday night, plus road wins at Oklahoma, Iowa State, TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech twice. The Jayhawks beat Oklahoma State 77-70 in overtime in the quarterfinals yesterday. Kansas is 16-15-1 ATS and the the total is 18-13 this season.

Kansas is outscoring teams 80-70 this season. The Jayhawks are #25 in scoring nationally. Kansas is shooting 49.6% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #6 nationally in field goal percentage. Kansas makes 70.8% of their free throws. Jayhawk opponents are shooting 41.1% from the field and 35.1% from 3 point range. Kansas averages 38.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.8. The Jayhawks are #35 or better in both categories. Kansas averages 16 assists, 5.6 steals, 6 blocks, and 13.7 turnovers per game, and opponents average 11.7 assists, 6.5 steals, 3.2 blocks and 11.3 turnovers per game.

Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins is projected to be an NBA lottery pick. Wiggins averages 17.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. Forward Perry Ellis averages 13.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assist per game.  Center Joel Embiid averages 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.6 blocks per game. He is also a likely lottery pick but is out for at least 2 weeks with a back injury. Kansas is 3-1 this season without Embiid. Guard Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 10.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Guard Naadir Tharpe averages 9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Frank Mason and Jamari Traylor also get significant minutes in the rotation. Guard Tyler Self is out for the season with a foot injury.

Iowa State is 5-2 ATS in neutral site games, 5-12 overall and in Big 12 games, 1-4 in Friday games and after a cover. The over is 4-1 in this series recently.

Kansas is 21-8-1 in Big 12 games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 1-4 in Friday games, 1-5 after a straight up win, and 0-4 after a cover. The Jayhawks have covered the last 4 times against the Cyclones.

Wiggins has been on fire since Embiid went out with the injury. Wiggins has scored a combined 71 points in the last two games. That is a school record, impressive when you consider great scorers like Wilt Chamberlain and Danny Manning attended the school. Wiggins also had huge games in the two games against Iowa State this season. He scored 17 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the first game in Ames and scored 29 in the rematch in Lawrence. Embiid played in both of those games though. I think the Jayhawks win but Iowa State keeps it close.

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