It’s time for some serious Hilton Magic. The Cyclones have yet to win a game at home against a ranked team this season, and beating the top ten Baylor Bears would go a long way toward getting Iowa State above the dreaded 7-8 lines in the NCAA Tournament.
Steve Prohm is still looking for his first win against one of the Drew brothers, as he currently sits at 0-7 after losing in Waco and Nashville earlier this season. Baylor has also won five straight against our beloved Cyclones, including two straight in Ames. That’s...not ideal.
Baylor at Iowa State By the Numbers
|Baylor||@ Iowa State|
|Baylor||@ Iowa State|
|Season Record||23-5 (10-5)||18-9 (10-5)|
|Home/Away||14-2 / 9-3||10-3 / 8-6|
|Series in Ames||2-12||12-2|
|Via Kenpom (2/24)|
|2P%||53.0% (49)||50.5% (118)|
|3P%||34.8% (183)||39.1% (25)|
|FT%||71.5% (132)||68.9% (218)|
|EFG%||52.7% (76)||53.7% (55)|
Last Time Out
The Iowa State Cyclones continued their streak of solid play, joining Oklahoma State and Kansas as the only teams to win in Lubbock this season, downing the Red Raiders 82-80 in overtime.
Down in Waco, Baylor completed a season sweep of Oklahoma. The Bears weren’t overly impressive in this game, but they did enough to put away the pesky Sooners.
The first matchup between these two squads was smack dab in the middle of a streak where Iowa State played the nation’s top teams to a close final score, but was unable to finish the job, as the Cyclones fell 65-63.
Naz Mitrou-Long famously said about the game that the Cyclones watched more film and were as prepared for an opponent as they’d ever been, and it showed. The Cyclones will need more of that preparation, shot-making, and emerging Solomon Young to be able to take down the Bears today.
Matchups and Players to Watch
This one is easy. I’ll be watching Solomon Young go against the frontcourt of Johnathan Motley and Jo Lual-Acuil. The freshman only played 12 minutes in the first matchup, and his emergence of late has been a big factor in Iowa State turning their season around. He may not factor as much on the score sheet, and he’ll have his hands full on the board, but Young must be a solid defensive presence and will need to avoid foul trouble in order to stay on the floor.
Beyond that, much of this game will be on Iowa State’s guards to make shots. The Cyclones went 10-22 from distance in the first matchup, and they’ll need to at least match that to come away with a win. Scoring inside against Baylor’s bigs will be a tall task, and the Cyclones would be best playing in transition when possible and opening the painted area by making some threes early. If they’re able to get the ball in the middle of the zone and find open shooters, they could really open things up on the offensive end.
A Word and a GIF Summary
Today’s Word: Magic
Iowa State is going to need a massive dose of Hilton Magic, which has been largely absent this season. Iowa State’s best home win is Kansas State, and the Cyclones have stuck out against all three ranked teams that have visited. I have a hard time believing the seniors are going to allow themselves to lose six in a row against the Bears, but it’s going to take a heavy helping of Hilton Magic to pull it off.
- Deonte Burton has a massive bounceback game
- Iowa State forces double-digit turnovers
- Naz hits 5-plus 3s
Iowa State — 71; #9 Baylor — 69
Game Time: Saturday, Feb. 25th, 3 p.m. CST
Line Open: Iowa State (-1.5); O/U (135.5)
The Foe: Our Daily Bears
TV/Webcast: ESPN/WatchESPN (Bob Wischusen, Miles Simon)
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio App (John Walters, Eric Heft)
Cyclones.com Game Notes: Available here