PREDICTIONS: Iowa State vs. Baylor

WHAT: No. 19 Iowa State (19-6, 8-4) vs. Baylor (16-9, 7-5)
WHEN: Tonight at 8
WHERE: Hilton Coliseum
SPREAD: Iowa State (-8.5)

Chris Williams: Baylor’s annoying style of play will be enough to mess with Iowa State – to a point – but that win on Saturday in Manhattan not only sparked this team, but the fan base as well. With Fred Hoiberg and Monte Morris being in attendance, I expect Hilton to be on fire. Iowa State didn’t play well in the first meeting while Baylor played one of its best games of the season. Cam Lard leaving that game early with an injury made a huge impact too. I like Iowa State in this one.

Iowa State 73, Baylor 60

Jared Stansbury: You think I would pick Baylor with Fred Hoiberg in the sta– wait *holds a finger to imaginary earpiece* uh… never mind. Regardless, I have a hard time seeing a shorthanded Baylor team coming into Hilton Coliseum and leaving with a win, especially when you consider the way both teams played in their respective games on Saturday. I think  Iowa State’s win in Manhattan can be a major springboard for this team as they move forward down the Big 12 stretch. Is winning out the regular season out of the question? I don’t think so.

Iowa State 80, Baylor 68

Rob Gray: Let’s say Makai Mason and King McClure BOTH play. Fine. Baylor absolutely needed Mason’s 25 points and McClure’s fine defense to beat the Cyclones by three points in Waco. I like ISU’s chances either way at home. Two losses in Hilton is two too many — and I don’t see any more coming. Expect the usual steady hands from Marial Shayok and Mike Jacobson, another explosive game from Lindell Wigginton and/or Talen Horton-Tucker, plus Cam Lard’s now-routine (again) energy infusion. This won’t be very close, but it may take some time for the Clones to pierce the zone.

Iowa State 82, Baylor 69

Brent Blum: Iowa State should be well prepared and motivated to take care of business. Strange things happen with Baylor in town, but not tonight. All Cyclones.

Iowa State 79, Baylor 62

Kevin Fitzpatrick: It’s impossible to shake the feeling that Makai Mason and King McClure are both going to return to the Baylor lineup and drop 30 apiece, since that’s how these things usually work. However, even if they do, I still feel pretty good about Iowa State’s chances in this one. I’d feel much more concerned if the TCU loss in Hilton hadn’t happened recently, but I think with that being the prevailing memory of what happened at home the last time out, the good guys will take care of business. It may be a nail-biter though.

Iowa State 78, Baylor 73

Kirk Haaland: The injury bug has been a major storyline of the Big 12 season and you could argue that Baylor is currently battling it more than any other team in the league. They have been without Jake Lindsay all season, without Tristan Clark since the last time these two teams played, and recently King McClure has missed the last three games and Makai Mason has missed two of their last three. Those four guys are easily in their group of their best six players.

We don’t know if Mason and McClure will play yet tomorrow but they would provide a huge boost because they have been the two best 3-point shooting threats for the Bears along with Jared Butler and Devonte Bandoo and their 3-point shooting renaissance in conference games is largely what sparked them to a 6-2 record to start league play (now 7-5). Aside from the 3-ball, the Cyclones must keep Baylor off the offensive glass. The Bears are the second most prolific rebounding team in the country by grabbing nearly 39 percent of their missed shots.

Offensively, if the Cyclones stay hot from deep that will help tremendously against the zone but they’ll really excel if they can find driving lanes and rim cutters with good interior passing and finishing against the depleted Bears. The Cyclones shot 55 percent on 2-pointers in Waco and there is no reason they can’t replicate that in Ames. Baylor has also been a turnover prone team so if the Cyclone defense can force a few turnovers AND rebound against a team that loves to crash the glass there will be transition opportunities to force the tempo of the game.

Iowa State 74, Baylor 64