The Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship will take place today at 6PM ET in Kansas City, MO on ESPN. Since Missouri left the conference, it’s been these two teams that have won this tournament every year. Iowa State won the first meeting of these two teams by 17 points with a dominating second half at home in early January. Kansas won the most recent matchup in Lawrence by a 4 point margin. Therefore, it’s hard to figure what kind of difference a neutral floor will make in this series split that occurred two months ago. The spread has been moving, but currently, Kansas is a 1.5 point favorite.
KU is currently ranked 17th in the country after starting the season as the number 1 team. They have been relatively inconsistent in Big 12 play, but managed to get 3rd in the league this year with a 12-6 conference record. Junior Forward Dedric Lawson and Freshman Guard Devon Dotson will need to have big games to keep up with this powerful Iowa State offense. During the Big 12 tournament, the Jayhawks have topped the Texas Longhorns, and then took down the underdog West Virginia Mountaineers.
Iowa State Cyclones
ISU went .500 in Big 12 play with a 9-9 record which was good enough for the 5 seed in this tourney. They had spent some time in the Top 25, but lost 3 in a row prior to this conference tournament. They are getting it together at the right time, and basically guaranteeing them a spot in the big dance even with their double-digit losses this season. Iowa State only played 7 guys yesterday, but look for their leading-scorer and Senior Guard Marial Shayok to have another big game against the Jayhawks. Iowa State has Big 12 tournament wins over the Baylor Bears and Kansas State Wildcats. The Cyclones are playing much better basketball after losing three straight to end the regular season and five out of their last six overall.
Big 12 Prediction
The Cyclones are putting their undefeated Big 12 Championship record on the line as they are historically 4-0 in this conference championship game. However, Kansas owns 11 Big 12 Championship titles which is the only program ahead of ISU. On paper, Iowa State leads in a ton of statistical categories other than rebounds, albeit they are very small margins. The Sprint Center will be packed, and Iowa State fans are known for traveling well to Kansas City and hustling tickets even though Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse is only 45 miles away. We expect this to be an excellent game, full of great athleticism and great coaching. We would imagine this game stays close throughout. The line is -1.5 in favor of Kansas and the over/under is 145.5. These lines will most likely continue to move as this is a tough call for Vegas, but maybe even tougher for the bettor. At this line, pick for the game is Iowa State at +1.5.
- Bet on the Iowa State Cyclones +1.5
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- Bet on the Kansas Jayhawks -1.5
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