Game 22: Kansas at Iowa State – Preview and Prediction

In a rare home-and-home weekend series, Kansas and Iowa State will play the rematch of Thursday night’s game on Saturday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum. The Jayhawks, fresh off a 33-point drubbing to win back-to-back games for the first time since early January, will look to stay hot by once again taking on a last-place Cyclones team.

  • Saturday, February 13th, 2021, 2:00 PM CDT
  • Hilton Coliseum – Ames, IA
  • ABC
  • 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, 2-0 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 7.7 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 17.0 points in his last six 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
Even though he didn’t do a ton in the first meeting, I still 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. He never really got off to a decent start in Thursday’s win, but I think he plays much better on the road here.

Prediction

Kansas played well on Thursday night, making 12 threes en route to scoring a season-high 97 points. I watched that blowout trying to think of a way Iowa State could keep the rematch closer. While KU may not shoot as well as they did from deep on Saturday, I think that the frontcourt will play much better than they did. David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot, facing the worst interior defense in the Big 12, combined for just 15 points and nine rebounds on Thursday. Even if the three-point shooting cools down a bit, I think the KU bigs will play much better, which will cancel out most of that difference.

It is worth noting that Iowa State, despite being 0-10 in league play, has hung around with several of the teams at the top of the Big 12. West Virginia’s two wins over the Cyclones this year are by a combined nine points, and Iowa State lost by just seven at Texas and by 11 vs. Baylor. It wouldn’t be unusual to see them keep this game close, but they haven’t been able to get over the hump yet, and it’s hard to see that changing against a Kansas team that’s starting to find their mojo. I’ll roll with KU to cover once again, handling the Cyclones and winning three in a row for the first time since the end of December.

Kansas 87, Iowa State 68
KU -11.5


AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK


Season Record: 15-6 (12-9 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.