Kansas Jayhawks vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Hilton Coliseum | Ames, Iowa
Time – 8:00 PM CT | TV – ESPN
It’s the game every Iowa State Cyclones fan has been waiting for all season long. With most of the crowd sporting their gold attire for the “Gold Rules” theme and their only appearance on ESPN’s Big Monday, Hilton Coliseum will be rocking at its highest peak as they host their conference rival, the Kansas Jayhawks.
Going into the contest, ISU is 19-8 overall and 9-5 in the Big 12. They are tied for fourth with Oklahoma. The Cyclones currently ride a three game winning streak with Melvin Ejim scoring four double-doubles in the last five games.
Kansas Quick Facts
- 23-4 overall, 11-3 Big 12 (tied for first with Kansas State)
- Leads Big 12 in rebounding margin (+6.4), field goal percentage (46.8), and tied for scoring defense (59.9 pts per game)
- Leads nation in field goal percentage defense (35.5)
- Only hold a 22-19 record at Hilton Coliseum
- Bill Self is 17-3 all-time versus Iowa State
Last meeting: Jayhawks defeated Cyclones in overtime, 97-89
Yes, this game is all too familiar and still hurts even if it was the conference opener. Iowa State played well keeping up with Kansas in rebounding, forced more turnovers, and shot 15-20 from the free throw line. The Jayhawks had 18 more free throw attempts and shot more efficiently from the field, but it was ultimately Ben McLemore’s bank 3-point shot that killed the Cyclones’ momentum and Kansas controlled overtime from the get-go.
Players to Watch
- Korie Lucious (ISU) – With only two assists to three turnovers in the Big 12 opener, the point guard has improved tremendously only being negative in that category one more time at Texas Tech.
- Elijah Johnson (KU) – The guard had 12 points and 10 assists, well beyond his average, in the previous meeting. That was even after turning it over six times, and currently averages three per game.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN following the Big East matchup between Syracuse and Marquette. If the game runs over the 8:00 pm CT scheduled tip, you will likely find the start of this contest over on ESPNEWS. Brent Musburger and Fran Fraschilla will be on the call.
Kansas has bounced back after their three-game losing streak in great detail, blowing past people and showing the reason why they were ranked so high at the start of the season. This will be their toughest game yet in their four-game winning streak. Melvin Ejim has been dominant inside and Georges Niang won’t be a surprise this time around, but as long as neither have any foul trouble early, will give leading blocker Jeff Withey all he can handle. With the atmosphere pulling for the Cyclones all night long, and how well this team is playing offensively, I expect Iowa State to land another huge victory at home and secure themselves into the NCAA tournament.
Cyclones 83, Jayhawks 80 (in overtime, because why not)
For keys to victory and projected starting lineups, click here.