The Iowa State men’s basketball team are Big 12 champions, and they’ll await where there destination and seeding will be on Selection Sunday.
Mar 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard DeAndre Kane (50) celebrates during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks in the semifinals of the Big 12 Conference college basketball tournament at Sprint Center. Iowa State won 94-83. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The Cyclones are going in as the conference automatic berth, but they won’t necessarily get the highest seed. There could be a flip, but Kansas is expected to still get the two seed while Iowa State will get the third seed.
An argument for the Jayhawks still being higher is that head-to-head against the Cyclones, they defeated them twice in the regular season and didn’t have Joel Embiid, arguably their most important player on the team, in the Big 12 tournament semifinal.
However, outside of maybe Baylor, Iowa State is the hottest team in the Big 12. Their 26-7 record consists of an RPI ranking of eight. Their strength of schedule is 25th in the nation, and all of their opponents have been tested — collectively, their opponent SOS is best in the nation. They went through their non-conference slate undefeated (which is ranked in the RPI at number one) consisting of wins over Michigan, Iowa, BYU, Boise State, and more.
With that all being said, the committee will likely side with Kansas for the two seed. They’ll love Iowa State’s finish and all-around resume, they’ve got the three seed locked up. But getting ahead of the Jayhawks, especially with them being the only team to win in Hilton Coliseum, is a long shot.
It’s fair, too. Iowa State would have likely not been able to score at will like they did if Embiid was there. Plus, Kansas may have a 24-9 overall record, but they did have the toughest non-conference schedule littered with teams like Duke, Florida, and San Diego State. In comparison, Iowa State’s non-conference opponent SOS was 97th.
That, combined with how tough the Big 12 is, is enough for Kansas to get the 2nd seed while Iowa State will get the 3rd seed. But we’ll officially know in a few short hours.