Dec 30, 2016; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners forward Khadeem Lattin (12) and Baylor Bears forward Johnathan Motley (5) fight for a rebound during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
A new feature at Cyclone Fanatic. Before every Big 12 basketball game, our team that covers the Cyclones – Chris Williams and Jared Stansbury – will give their predictions on how they see things going down.
Today’s Game: Iowa State (9-3, 1-0) vs. No. 2 Baylor (13-0, 1-0)
TV Info: 7 p.m. tip on ESPN News
Line: Baylor (-10)
Chris Williams: There’s been no larger surprise in college basketball this season that Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears. Ranked No. 2 in the country, the Bears bring a physical style of play and a massive frontline that will no doubt give the Cyclones problems. Iowa State’s one chance? The undersized Cyclones need to rebound at an elite level and get this game into transition as much as possible. A big night from Deonte Burton would sure be nice as well. Baylor has won 4-of-5 over the Cyclones and is fresh off of a rout of Oklahoma. It’s a spot I don’t hate for Iowa State as this Baylor program has a tendency to get a bit overconfident. I think that the Cyclones will hang and keep it close the entire way but fall just short in the end. The pick: Baylor 72, Iowa State 66
Jared Stansbury: Iowa State most likely won’t play another team this season with as much quality size as the Bears. I’m interested to see how the Cyclones try to counteract Baylor’s biggest advantage and I won’t be a bit surprised to see them go small, try to space the floor and use their speed to create an advantage of their own. If that’s the case, owning the glass will become Iowa State’s biggest objective on the defensive end of the floor. If they’re able to do that and get out into transition, I can see how the Cyclones are able to keep this game close. They’ll also need to keep national player of the year candidate Johnathan Motley somewhat in check and not allow him to heat up like they did during both games last season. I see the Cyclones keeping this one close for 30 minutes or so before the Bears pull away late. The pick: Baylor 75, Iowa State 65