TV Schedule: Saturday, Jan. 9, 3:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Arena: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA
Line: Iowa State (-7.5)
The Baylor Bears bounced back in a big way from their disappointing blowout loss to the Kansas Jayhawks with a 17-point win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Unfortunately for the Bears, their next opponents will be nowhere near as easy to defeat, as they travel to Ames, Iowa, to face off with the No. 13 ranked Iowa State Cyclones.
Like Baylor, Iowa State is one game removed from a disappointing loss to one of the top-three teams in the country, the Oklahoma Sooners. Unlike the Bears, however, the Cyclones were able to keep it close and lose by just four on the road. Although sitting with two losses on the season, Iowa State looks to be in prime position to enter the 2016 NCAA tournament as a top-four seed and as a dark horse to make the Final Four.
Iowa State has a major advantage on the Bears when it comes to guard play. Monte Morris will be the best guard on the court in this one, so you can expect his play to be the difference between two Big 12 teams with elite front courts. Rico Gathers and Taurean Prince will live up to their usual standards, but I’m not sure Baylor’s guards will be able to keep up with the overall offensive production of the Cyclones.
Both of these teams are legitimate Elite Eight teams with a ton of talent, but Iowa State should win this one easily at home. The Big 12 is just so unbelievably talented from top to bottom that away teams are always going to struggle on the road.