Iowa State vs. Kansas State Top Picks for Saturday: Big 12 Bracketology

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Tre King #0 of the Iowa State Cyclones takes a shot as Emanuel Miller #2 and Damion Baugh #10 of the TCU Horned Frogs defend in the first half of play at Hilton Coliseum on February 15, 2023 in Ames, Iowa. David Purdy/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAB Pick: Under 135 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 135 (-110)
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Iowa State and Kansas State are still in the running for the Big 12 regular season title, and we’ve got some free NCAAB picks for the Saturday collision between the Cyclones and Wildcats. 

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Kansas State Wildcats

Saturday, February 18, 2023 – 02:00 PM EST at Bramlage Coliseum

If you are as big of a fan watching the fluidity of Joe Lunardi’s bracketology as I am, then you have no doubt recognized that results in the Big 12 have been one of the biggest factors in how the ESPN analyst seeds – and reseeds – his Field of 68. 

One of those influential matchups is part of Saturday’s full slate of games, and in addition to where Iowa State and Kansas State wind up being slotted into the NCAA Tournament next month, it will have an impact on the overall seeding in the Big 12 Tournament. 

Iowa State has a slim 1-game lead over Kansas State in the conference standings entering the contest, with the Cyclones just a game behind a 3-way tie for first. Lunardi’s latest projections had the two flipped, judging the Wildcats as a 3-seed while the Cyclones were a No. 4. 

Rivalry Notes & Betting Trends

That lead of a game that Iowa State has in the Big 12 standings can be traced directly to the Cyclones posting an 80-76 win in Ames when the two teams met a little more than three weeks ago. Lunardi’s employer called it an upset despite top US betting sites favoring Iowa State by 5½. 

Okay, so Kansas State was ranked higher than Iowa State at the time, but lest we forget, the sportswriters who had the Wildcats higher in the AP poll that week are the same sportswriters that listed North Carolina as No. 1 in their preseason poll. 

Iowa State won last year’s meeting in Manhattan in another close battle between the two rivals. A 16-2 run midway through the second half gave the Cyclones a lead the Wildcats couldn’t overcome in a 74-73 final. Kansas State was favored by 2½. 

  • Prior to Iowa State winning the last two matchups, Kansas State had won four in a row. The Wildcats lead the series, 144-92. 
  • Underdogs and ‘Overs’ have cashed the last 3 meetings. 
  • The final has gone past the totals in 3 of the last 4 at Bramlage Coliseum. 

ISO Looking for Carryover from Thursday’s Win

TJ Otzelberger’s cagers survived a tough test on Thursday in what was something of a must-win for both Iowa State and its opponent, TCU. The Cyclones broke open a close contest midway through the first half and cruised to a 70-59 decision as 6-point chalk at BetOnline. 

Iowa State ended a short 2-game losing streak with the victory and sent the struggling Horned Frogs down in defeat for a fourth consecutive game. It helped that TCU was once again playing without leading scorer Mike Miles Jr., who is out with a knee injury. 

While the Horned Frogs were playing without Miles, Iowa State was very happy to have Aljaz Kunc on the floor in a starting role for the first time since mid-December. The 6-8 senior missed time with a broken finger, and enjoyed a career night with a personal-best 22 points. 

‘Cats Sink in 2nd Half at Oklahoma

Jerome Tang and his troops find themselves in a similar situation as Iowa State was going into Thursday’s tilt against TCU. The Wildcats have dropped two in a row and can ill-afford a third consecutive loss that would drop them three games out of first place with just four games remaining. 

Both losses in the current skid came on the road, the latest taking place Tuesday night in Norman where Oklahoma had a big second half to leave Kansas State in its dust as the Sooners rolled to a 79-65 victory in the role of small home favorites on the NCAAB odds

It was rock ‘em, sock ‘em robots in the first half when the Wildcats and Sooners traded blows with 13 lead changes or ties, then settled into a 36-all deadlock at halftime. Kansas State struggled from beyond the arc making just 4-of-20 attempts. 

‘Clones & ‘Cats in Another Close One

Once overnight figures are posted Friday afternoon on the BMR live odds board, expectations are Kansas State will be chalked in the 2½-3 range. Scoreboard bettors should concern themselves with a 133½-134 total. 

January’s result was the most points the Cyclones and Wildcats combined to score since their conference opener for the 2017-18 season, so don’t look for a repeat in that column. I will count on another close game between the rivals, and back Iowa State plus the bucket. 

NCAAB Pick: Under 135 (-110)

NCAAB Pick: Iowa State +3.5 (-113) at BetOnline

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Iowa State +3.5 (-113)
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