Game 21: Iowa State at Kansas – Preview and Prediction

The Kansas Jayhawks picked up a nice victory on Monday night, as they took down No. 23 Oklahoma State in Allen Fieldhouse by a score of 78-66. The Jayhawks schedule now lightens up a bit, as they are set to begin a quick and unique two-game set against Iowa State, who sits at the bottom of the Big 12 with a 2-12 record and 0-9 mark in league play. Two wins here for KU and suddenly the outlook will look much better. 

  • Thursday, February 11, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT
  • Allen Fieldhouse – Lawrence, Kan.  
  • ESPN
  • Kansas will play at Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 13. Reverting to season finales and league tournament first-round matchups, this will be the third time in the Bill Self era that KU will play the same opponent consecutively. The first was 2003-04 vs. Missouri and the latest was 2017-18 vs. Oklahoma State
  • Kansas is No. 4 in NET nationally in strength of schedule, which is first in the Big 12. To show how tough the Big 12 is, Kansas’ NET is No. 22 among the 357 NCAA Division I teams, which is sixth in the conference
  • Kansas’ 11 Quadrant 1 games played in 2020-21 are the most in the Big 12 and tie for second most nationally (Maryland 14, Ohio State 11, Northwestern 11). Kansas is 4-7 versus Quadrant 1 teams, 3-0 vs. Q2, 1-0 vs. Q3, 4-0 vs. Q4. 
  • Five of Kansas’ seven losses have been to ranked teams and the other two losses are to teams that have moved into the top 25 of either the Associated Press or Coaches’ polls (at Oklahoma and at Oklahoma State).
  • Redshirt-freshman forward Jalen Wilson ranks fourth in the Big 12 in rebounding at 7.5 boards per game which is second among league freshman. His five double-doubles are tied for second overall in the Big 12.
  • Junior David McCormack is averaging 18.0 points in his last five games. He too has five double-doubles this season.

Cyclones to Watch

Rasir Bolton  – 6’3”, junior, guard
Bolton has been the bright spot in a very dark year for the Cyclones. The junior leads the team in scoring, rebounding and assists at 16.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 4.5 APG. Bolton has been on a tear of late too, with back-to-back 20-point games. In fact, he’s been over 15 points in all but two games this season. I’d expect to see Marcus Garrett garner this defensive matchup.

Jalen Coleman-Lands – 6’4”, senior, guard
Coleman-Leads is second on the team in scoring at 11.9 PPG. He’s also the Cyclones best three-point shooter at 39.5 percent. The senior-transfer has buried a three in all but one game this year. Against Iowa in early December, Coleman-Lands went 5-7 from deep.

Jayhawk Pick to Click

David McCormack – 6’10”, junior, forward
I like McCormack in this matchup. ISU has a small frontline, as they have just two players over 6’8” and neither play major minutes. McCormack also has been one of KU’s most consistent players over this recent stretch. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 18.0 PPG and 7.4 RPG. I like McCormack to have a huge game.

Prediction

I’ll keep this short and sweet. Iowa State is bad. If Kansas loses either of these two next matchups, then it would officially be time to lose hope on this season. Kansas played much better in the second half on Monday against Oklahoma State. Nobody could stop David McCormack inside, and it opened up some open three-point looks as a result. I don’t see any reason why either of those things wouldn’t carry over to tonight’s matchup against the winless Cyclones.

I like the Jayhawks to carry the momentum from Monday night over and ride it to a big win over Iowa State. I also think they cover, as Iowa State played late Tuesday night against TCU and had its heart broken after blowing a late lead. I think the Cyclones come out flat and the Jayhawks win in a rout.

Kansas 84, Iowa State 67
KU – 15


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Season Record: 14-6 (11-9 ATS)

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I'm from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I'm a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They'll always come No.1.