Free NCAA Basketball picks & predictions for tonight's matchup between Iowa State and Kansas. Where do we think that the best betting value lies?
State Cyclones narrowly lost to the Kansas Jayhawks on two separate occasions
in the regular season. Now they’ll get a third crack at Kansas in the Big 12
NCAA Basketball odds makers had opened Kansas as the 6.5 point favorite, but the early rush of sports picks has since pushed the line down to -5.5 at manny odds shops. The total has risen from its opening offering of 142 to the current listing of 145.
Iowa State can win because…
Cyclones should have beaten the Kansas Jayhawks each of the first two times
these teams played in the regular season, albeit for different sets of reasons.
In the first meeting, held on the Jayhawks' home floor at Phog Allen Fieldhouse
in Lawrence, Kan., Iowa State held a 79-76 lead with eight seconds left. The
Cyclones should have fouled Kansas before the Jayhawks got a chance to launch a
game-tying three-point attempt, but ISU coach Fred Hoiberg opted to play defense
instead. Kansas freshman Ben McLemore nailed a game-tying triple, and Kansas
went on to claim a 97-89 win in overtime on Jan. 9.
25, Iowa State held a four-point lead with 15 seconds left and then a two-point
lead with six seconds left. Kansas, down 90-88, had the ball with a chance to
take the lead on a three or tie with a two-point shot. KU's Elijah Johnson
drove the ball up the middle of the lane, but he appeared to commit a charge as
he wildly flung the ball toward the basket, about five feet from the rim. At
worst, the play was a no-call, but the official standing nearest the play
called a blocking foul. Johnson got two foul shots with 4.9 seconds left and
made them both, forcing overtime. Kansas had been bailed out in a supremely important
moment. Iowa State did not get a fair call when it needed it most. These
moments have lingered in the minds of the Cyclones over the past few weeks.
Iowa State wanted to get an extra shot at Kansas, and it has obtained it.
Expect the Cyclones to be the far more motivated team on Friday. They will
execute and hustle with far more urgency than the Jayhawks will. Conference
tournaments can be like this.
Kansas can win because…
Jayhawks are aware that they were lucky to win each of the first two games
between these teams, and will be motivated to play a lot better than they did
on Jan. 9 and Feb. 25. Kansas head coach Bill Self, knowing that his team lost
by over 20 points this past Saturday to Baylor, will try to get his team's full
attention. Kansas is playing for a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament,
so Self is going to tell his players that there's a lot to play for in this
contest. He will also tell his team that the first two games against Iowa State
were not reflective of the kind of quality Kansas basketball expects from
itself as a program. The Jayhawks were spotty on defense in both games, and
need to bring a higher level of focus to the floor. Kansas might be 2-0 in this
head-to-head matchup, but Self will certainly think that the Jayhawks are 0-2
in this matchup, having failed to play a complete game against the Cyclones
this season. The psychology of combat here can certainly work in the Jayhawks'
Let SBR be your 2013 NCAA Tournament betting headquarters.
Outlook & College Basketball Betting Prediction:
should be a very close game. Iowa State is going to be desperate, but Kansas
does have incentive to win this game, due to the fact that a No. 1 seed in the
South Region is on the table and waiting to be claimed during conference
tournament week. All in all, this last carrot should enable Kansas to rise to
the occasion and play one of its better games of the season. Add Kansas to your NCAA Basketball picks in
this situation, though ISU will keep the game competitive until the very last
second of regulation time.
College Basketball Pick: Kansas -6 at Matchbook