WILLIAMS: Who owes who?

That bleeping Ben McLemore bank shot (that he never called). The unforgettable botched charge call.  Kansas’ 176-61 edge all-time vs. Iowa State…

But Kansas (18-3, 7-1) believes that it “owes” Iowa State (16-4, 6-2) one?


Per this Sean Keeler column for Fox Sports, these were Kansas’ words coming out of Saturday’s 68-57 victory over rival Kansas State.

“We owe them,” Kelly Oubre Jr. said.

“We owe them,” Wayne Selden said.

Come again, Kelly…?

“We could be undefeated right now,“ Oubre said. “That’s the way I look at it. So we owe ‘em one.”

I dig.

Iowa State is the only team in the Big 12 that has beaten the Jayhawks so far this season. So clearly, the Jayhawks have Monday night’s game with the Cyclones circled. Iowa State has won two in a row against KU. A win on Monday would result in Iowa State’s first regular season sweep of theJayhawks since 2000-2001. 

Iowa State/Kansas still isn’t a rivalry. Iowa State would have to snap KU’s 10-year Big 12 regular season wining streak for a true, two-sided rivalry to form, in my opinion. However, it’s getting close.

Unlike Kansas, Iowa State players didn’t exactly vocalize their feelings toward the Jayhawks following Saturday’s 83-66 victory over TCU, but one can only imagine what’s going through he mind of a guy like Georges Niang right about now. Iowa State’s junior is averaging 15.2 points per game and has been a part of one heartbreaking Allen Fieldhouse loss along with last year’s “close but no cigar” defeat.   

For the last two weeks, I’ve spoken at length on our podcasts about how I feel Iowa State will go into Lawrence and win this Big Monday matchup. Keep in mind that since the Big 12 was formed in 1996-97, the Jayhawks have only lost nine league home games (three of them to Iowa State) so yes, that prediction, statistically, is a bit silly and I fully admit it. 

There’s a national sportswriter who consistently writes the words "Death, Taxes, Bill Self," for a reason. 

But there’s something about this Iowa State team…

It’s the same reason why the Cyclones can go on the road and shockingly lose to a team like Texas Tech.

Was Iowa State up for that game? Not in the slightest.

But I see Monday’s game being a lot like Iowa State’s trip to Iowa on Dec. 12. The Cyclones are well aware of the environment that they are about to walk into. This Iowa State team seems to thrive off of hostility (another example is West Virginia). 

Iowa State used to be an annoying fly to the Jayhawk Nation. Every now and then, Kansas would have to swat Iowa State away. Now, the Cyclones are that lone raging cricket that you can’t find, chirping in your basement and keeping you up at night. 

So annoying. So very, very annoying.

Right now, Iowa State is in a good spot. The Cyclones played very well for 37 minutes in a semi-dominating performance against Texas last Monday. After sleep walking through the first 20, Iowa State outscored TCU 48-33 in the second half and looked good while doing it. 

The best trend for Iowa State right now is that for two games in a row, Georges Niang and Bryce Dejean-Jones have led the Cyclones in scoring. In return, there’s less pressure on the role guys to do their thing.

Kansas is officially a six-point favorite in this game and based off of its track record in Phog Allen, picking against the Jayhawks is a stupid, stupid thing to do. But I’m sticking with the shot that I called two weeks ago here. 

Give me the Cyclones, who when they are clicking (this is key), in my opinion are a better team than the Jayhawks. 

And with all due respect to the insanely talented Kelly Oubre, you might indeed owe Iowa State one, but Iowa State owes Kansas about 40.

Travel plans

After practice in Ames on Sunday afternoon, Iowa State is scheduled to take a charter flight to Lawrence out of Des Moines that night. There had been some travel questions asked based off of the heavy snowfall totals that fell in central Iowa on Saturday evening/Sunday morning.