TV Schedule: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Arena: Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas
Line: Baylor (-2)
Dropping three of their last five games, the No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones are in the midst of a brief decline. The Cyclones have to string some wins together now if they want to close the 2.5 game gap on the Kansas Jayhawks at the top of the Big 12 standings.
Next up for Iowa State, however, is a road trip to face off with the No. 25 Baylor Bears, who have lost three of their last four games.
The Bears’ defense has seemed to take a step backwards in the latter half of the season, and their offense continues to average just 78.1 points per game. Baylor’s most recent loss was an 18-point blowout defeat at the hands of the Texas Tech Red Raiders at home in Waco. Texas Tech is one of the hottest teams in the country right now, but that’s no excuse to get blown out by 18 at home by a team picked to finish last in the Big 12 in the preseason poll.
That being said, it is important to remember that Baylor already defeated Iowa State in Ames in early January. One of the most difficult things to do in college basketball this season is win on the road in the Big 12, and the Bears will come into this one already extremely confident that they can defeat the higher ranked Cyclones.
Although both of these teams will definitely make the 2016 NCAA tournament, Baylor comes out on top at home behind an energized defensive effort.
Prediction: Baylor 70, Iowa State 68