Kansas vs. Iowa State Prediction: Can the Cyclones Snap Their Long Losing Streak to the Jayhawks?

College basketball expert Mike Spector offers his best bet for Tuesday's Big 12 matchup between Kansas and Iowa State.
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Kansas vs. Iowa State Prediction: Can the Cyclones Snap Their Long Losing Streak to the Jayhawks?

The Kansas Jayhawks are the Iowa State Cyclones’ most familiar opponent, as their 173 all-time meetings are the most by Iowa State against any team. The Cyclones would arguably like to see less of Kansas these days, considering how the Jayhawks have dominated the rivalry. Kansas has won the last five meetings between these teams, including four of their previous five visits to Hilton Coliseum.

Will Kansas continue their dominance of this series, or will Iowa State avoid a regular-season sweep against the Jayhawks for a third consecutive season

Here are our picks and predictions for the Big 12 matchup between Kansas and Iowa State.

Click here for Kansas vs Iowa State odds

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Kansas vs. Iowa State Prediction

Kansas (17-3, 6-1) is coming off their worst loss of the season, an 18-point drubbing at home against Kentucky. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Kentucky’s 18-point road win was their largest margin of victory against a top-five opponent in school history. 

Perhaps we all should have seen the Wildcats victory coming, as Kansas had survived by the skin of their teeth in their three previous conference games. They beat Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Texas Tech by three points apiece and had to storm back from a 17-point deficit in their last road game against Kansas State. 

Lately, the issue for the Jayhawks has been a mediocre defense that has allowed more than one point per possession over their previous four games. That is uncharacteristic of Bill Self-coached teams, as Kansas has not allowed that many points per possession over a four-game stretch since 2017-18.

Iowa State (16-5, 3-5) has won consecutive games against Oklahoma State and Missouri after struggling through a 2-5 stretch. However, despite their struggles, they still proved they could beat the best teams in the conference, winning at home against Texas Tech and Texas. This year, the Cyclones are 12-2 at Hilton Coliseum, with the two losses coming against then-No. 1 ranked Baylor and TCU.

It is difficult to evaluate the bearing the first meeting between these teams will have on this rematch, as Kansas played without point guard Remy Martin. However, Bill Self has hinted that Martin is playing at less than 100% as he is still ailing from a nagging bone bruise in his right knee. Martin has been active the last four games after missing games against Iowa State and West Virginia but has averaged just 17.8 minutes in those contests.

Without Martin in the first matchup, Ochai Agbaji willed the Jayhawks to a hard-fought one-point victory, scoring 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Iowa State will undoubtedly change their looks on Agbaji tonight, which means players like Christian Braun could be the beneficiary.

Kansas needs quality minutes from Martin tonight, as Iowa State forced 16 turnovers on the road in their first minutes. Four of those turnovers were Dajuan Harris’ responsibility, as he looked shaky under the constant harassment of Tyrese Hunter. If Iowa State can ratchet up the defensive pressure again and use their defense to create offense, they will send the Hilton crowd into a frenzy that could help buoy them to a big victory.

The Jayhawks have also gotten minimal production from forward David McCormack, who has averaged 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds over the last four games. Cyclones big man George Conditt held McCormack to just one point in their first meeting, and his elite rim protection will be a huge asset to Iowa State again in this rematch. 

In their last four games as favorites, Kansas is 0-4 ATS, while Iowa State has covered their last four games as home underdogs. Look for those trends to continue tonight.

Kansas vs. Iowa State Line Movement

Kansas vs. Iowa State Line Pick

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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