Basketball

MONDAY MUSINGS: Pondering the big picture surrounding tonight’s game at Kansas

Jan 5, 2019; Ames, IA, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Devon Dotson (11) goes to the basket as Iowa State Cyclones guard Talen Horton-Tucker (11) and guard Marial Shayok (3) defend during the first half at Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

When Iowa State beat Kansas by 17 just a few weeks ago, it marked the school’s largest win over the Jayhawks since 1973. 

“Statement win,” we said. “This will finally be the season that Kansas’ streak is snapped!”

In my opinion, Iowa State made much more of a statement last week with wins at Texas Tech and vs. Oklahoma State.

The Cyclones showed a mature ability to bounce back from adversity and grew up significantly in the process. 

Onward…

So how big of a statement would a win in Allen Fieldhouse be tonight?

There is so much to play for in this one. The Cyclones are currently in a four-way tie for first in the Big 12 and are only 4.5 point underdogs in Vegas for tonight’s Big Monday clash. 

I’m not sure that Kansas out-classes Iowa State by that much in terms of talent this season.

I’ve also got some confidence built up over the years having watched Iowa State play better in Lawrence than any other program in the sport. The Cyclones have four wins in Allen Fieldhouse since the Big 12 was formed. During that same amount of time, the rest of the league has eight (combined).

Still, a win tonight for the Cyclones is a tough ask. We remember the great victories (most recently Donovan Jackson’s monster shot) but Iowa State is just 16-93 all-time in games at Kansas.

Considering that the Cyclones are currently ranked in the top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency (one of only four teams in the country), this Iowa State team could be special though. I truly believe that.

Tonight’s result will not make or break the rest of the season, but it is sure to be a fun one.

3-POINT PREVIEW: Kansas Jayhawks

MORE MUSINGS

GRAPPLERS: Since nearly defeating Iowa in December, the Iowa State wrestling team has rattled off five straight dual victories. The Cyclones handed it to West Virginia on Sunday, winning by a 36-3 final. Up next is a dual vs. Oklahoma on Friday night in Hilton Coliseum. It’d be cool to see that place packed for this up and coming program. 

CLASS ACT: I just wanted to give proper recognition to Meredith Burkhall, a senior on the Iowa State women’s basketball team. Her actions over the weekend are a great lesson for all of our kids. 

It’s a neat story that won’t get much pub. Mere has started every game this season for Iowa State and on Saturday, Bill Fennelly made a lineup change. He replaced Burkhall with sophomore Kristin Scott, who has been nothing short of awesome in her second season. 

It would have been pretty easy for Burkhall to sulk but instead, she smiled.

Scott got into foul trouble and Burkhall walked away with a double-double on a record-setting day for the program that resulted in a 104-78 rout of the Sooners. 

Always be ready. We over me. 

Burkhall is an awesome example of that. 

PUBLIC REPRIMAND?: This was West Virginia’s court following Saturday’s upset over Kansas. 

Unprofessional, yes. But will they be fined?

The ball is in your court, Big 12 Conference. 

Stay tuned.

Chris Williams

administrator

Chris was hired as Cyclone Fanatic’s publisher in the fall of 2009. He is Iowa State football's postgame show host on the Cyclone Radio Network and can be heard daily from 4-7 on Des Moines' top-rated sports station, 1460 KXnO. Williams, a 2007 graduate of Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism, is the former publisher of the old CycloneNation.com (Scout.com). He has also written for the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, CycloneReport.com and is the former sports director at KMA Radio. When Williams isn’t working, you can usually find him doing something outdoors with his wife Ashley, daughter Camryn, and Golden Retriever Dierks. He enjoys golfing, boating, country music, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves and is passionate about any and all motor sports so finding Williams at a local dirt track is very common.