Preview: Big 12 Championship

Iowa State and Baylor will contest the Big 12 Championship on Saturday.

Iowa State and Baylor will contest the Big 12 Championship on Saturday.

In a matchup few would have predicted, the Iowa State Cyclones and Baylor Bears will meet in the final of the Big 12 tournament Saturday.

Tip-off at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET.

No. 16 Iowa State (25-7, 11-7 Big 12) booked its place in the championship game Friday, handing top-seeded Kansas a 94-83 defeat.

Without Joel Embiid in the middle, the Jayhawks were unable to get a handle on the high-scoring Cyclones, who outscored their opponents 48-35 in the second half.

Georges Niang led the side from Ames, Iowa, with 25 points and seven assists, while DeAndre Kane added 20 points and Melvin Ejim tallied 19. As a team the Cyclones shot 54 percent, including 11-of-19 (57.9%) from beyond the arc.

Perry Ellis had 30 points on 11-of-12 shooting for the Jayhawks, while Andrew Wiggins added 22. Both recorded seven rebounds to go alongside Tarik Black’s 10 boards. But poor shooting from the outside – the Jayhawks made just 4-of-15 3-pointers – and an inability to stop the Cyclones saw Bill Self’s side going home early.

Iowa State – who opened the tournament tied with 5/1 odds of winning the championship, tied for second place with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State – will now look to win its second conference tournament title, and first since 2000.

To do so, Fred Hoiberg’s side will need to knock off the red-hot Bears.

After defeating the Sooners on Thursday, Baylor (24-10, 9-9 Big 12) booked its ticket to the final with an 86-69 drubbing of Texas on Friday night.

Led by Brady Heslip’s 24 points, the No. 7-ranked Bears jumped out to a 42-27 first-half lead and never looked back. Cory Jefferson had 20 points and 13 rebounds, while the team shot 12-of-24 (50%) from beyond the arc.

The Longhorns spread out the scoring, but struggles beyond the arc – the side shot just 5-of-15 – and an inability to get to the foul line – the Longhorns attempted just eight free throws compared to 30 for the Bears – meant this in-state matchup went to the team from Waco.

Baylor will be looking to win its first ever Big 12 tournament, having come up short against Missouri in the final in both 2009 and 2012.

With six straight wins and 10 from the last 11, Scott Drew’s side is certainly in the form to achieve exactly that.

Baylor Bears vs. Iowa State Cyclones odds for 03/15/2014

At the time of publication, bookmakers had yet to release betting lines for this matchup. You’ll find these at the link above as soon as they’re released.

It’s likely that Iowa State – ranked in the AP poll for 17 consecutive weeks – will be the favorite heading into this one, but Baylor is certainly not going to be outmatched.

The two sides split the head-to-head series in regular season play this season, each winning on their home court. Iowa State’s 87-72 win in Ames came during Baylor’s 2-8 start to Big 12 play. The Bears are 10-1 since that slump.

Iowa State leads Baylor 16-10 in the head-to-head series. Prior to a March 4 loss in Waco, the Cyclones had won four in a row against the Bears.

In terms of the spread, Iowa State (15-14-1 ATS) has been marginally better than Baylor (13-14-1 ATS) on the season, but neither has been outstanding.

The Bears have covered the spread in five of their last six, including both tournament games. The Cyclones have covered in three straight, after having gone 3-12-0 ATS over the previous 15.

The two sides each covered the spread once in the regular season head-to-head.

Both Baylor (16-12-0) and Iowa State (18-12-0) have favored the over this season.

Four of Iowa State’s last five contests have seen the total go over, while three of Baylor’s last four have done likewise. The head-to-head matchup during the regular season saw the total go over once and under once.


Saturday’s Conference Finals (in full)

American Athletic Conference: (4) Connecticut vs. (2) Louisville (matchup)

Big 12: (7) Baylor vs. (4) Iowa State (matchup)

Big East: (4) Providence vs. (2) Creighton (matchup)

Mountain West: (2) New Mexico vs. (1) San Diego State (matchup)

Pac-12: (2) UCLA vs. (1) Arizona (matchup)


America East: (4) Albany vs. (2) Stony Brook (matchup)

Big Sky: (2) North Dakota vs. (1) Weber State (matchup)

Big West: (7) Cal Poly vs. (5) Cal State Northridge (matchup)

Conference USA: (2) Tulsa vs. (1) Louisiana Tech (matchup)

MAC: (2) Toledo vs. (1) Western Michigan (matchup)

MEAC: (3) Morgan State vs. (1) North Carolina Central (matchup)

Southland: (3) Sam Houston State vs. (1) Stephen F. Austin (matchup)

SWAC: (8) Prairie View A&M vs. (2) Texas Southern (matchup)

WAC: (5) Idaho vs. (2) New Mexico State (matchup)


For a full list of today’s College Basketball odds, click here.

For a current list of College Basketball futures, click here.

For the latest College Basketball team prop bets, click here.

For the latest College Basketball player prop bets, click here.

  • 100%