Which Big 12 team will stay undefeated after Baylor takes on Iowa State, this afternoon, in Ames, Iowa?
Baylor Bears vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, January 01, 2022 – 02:00 PM EST at James H. Hilton Coliseum
After today’s game between Baylor and Iowa State, there will be one less team with an undefeated record. Baylor and Iowa State concluded their non-conference slates with a 12-0 record. Baylor lost many key players from last year’s championship run but ultimately recruited well.
It was expected that Baylor could be back in the mix for another National Championship run. However, Iowa State wasn’t expected at all. The Cyclones went 0-18 in conference play and 2-22 last season. It was one of the worst Big 12 teams in recent memory. But first-year head coach T.J. Otzelberger is on a mission.
Iowa State went from 2-22 last season to currently 12-0. A win against Baylor, at home, would ultimately make Otzelberger the GOAT. The Big 12 is not an easy conference to win in and Iowa State is going to recognize that. But with wins over teams like Xavier, Memphis, Creighton, and Iowa, it’s safe to say that the Cyclones are the real deal.
Defensively, Iowa State is one of the top teams in the nation. The Cyclones have allowed teams to shoot an effective field goal percentage of 41.6 percent while allowing just 24.2 percent from long range on the season.
Opponents are turning the ball over 26.8 percent of the time and have shot under 45 percent from inside the arc on the year. Iowa State has struggled with fouling and has been aggressive all year. That’s ultimately why steals are up and fouls are up. Baylor will want to destroy Iowa State on the glass.
The Bears are earning 39.5 percent offensive rebounds while shooting an effective field goal percentage of 55.6 percent. The Bears are also hitting 35.8 percent from deep and 56.9 percent from inside the arc on the season. If Baylor ends up missing a high amount of shots in this game, the Bears will have the rebounding advantage.
But Iowa State has still limited opponents to just 26.4 percent offensive rebounds. Plus, Baylor rarely gets to the line, so we’ll see if Baylor ends up at the line more against Iowa State in this game.
Ultimately, Baylor shoots just 65.8 percent from the line, so that’s an area where the Bears have struggled in. On defense, however, Baylor hasn’t struggled. Baylor is holding teams to a 44.5 percent effective field goal percentage while also earning over 26 percent turnovers.
Teams are shooting 31.1 percent from long range and 43.3 percent from inside the arc. There’s nothing elite about Iowa State’s offense but they are shooting 35.6 percent from long range and that could keep them in the game with quality defense in today’s game.
With two undefeated teams in conference play, the safer play is clearly Baylor. The Bears won an NCAA Tournament and have now parlayed that with a 12-0 start to the season.
However, Iowa State is the home team and getting 7.5 points after going undefeated on the season. And it’s not like some of those wins were borderline teams. The Cyclones are playing legitimate teams this year and winning games. Give me the points for my NCAAB pick.
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