With one conference game remaining for each team in the Big 12, the seeding possibilities for Iowa State have simplified...a little bit. No matter what happens, the Cyclones will finish at least tied for 2nd place in the Big 12, something very few thought possible just a couple of weeks ago. There are two games (ISU/WVU and BU/UT) that impact Iowa State’s seeding, which can range anywhere from 2nd to 4th.
Scenario #1- Iowa State wins at West Virginia
Result: 2 seed
Should Iowa State beat the Mountaineers in Morgantown, not only would their NCAA tournament resume improve, but they would also find themselves as the #2 seed in the Big 12 tournament. They would play the winner of the 7/10 game at 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening.
If they win this game, the Baylor/Texas game would determine who earns the #3 seed. A Baylor win would put them in that spot. A Baylor loss would knock them down to the #4 seed.
Most Iowa State fans would probably rather see Baylor on their side of the bracket than West Virginia. So, if Iowa State wins Friday night, go Bears!
Probability of #2 Seed (According to KenPom): 22%
Scenario #2- Iowa State loses, Baylor loses at Texas
Result: 3 seed
If Iowa State loses to West Virginia, fans should be pulling hard for Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns. If Baylor stubs their toe in Austin, Texas they would drop to the #4 seed, leaving the #3 seed for our Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones would play the #6 seed at 8:30 p.m. Thursday evening.
Texas Tech, Kansas State and TCU can all still end up as the #6 seed. If Kansas State beats Texas Tech on Saturday, it will be the Wildcats in that spot.
Probability of a #3 Seed (According to KenPom): 22%
Scenario #3- Iowa State loses, Baylor wins at Texas
Result: 4 seed
Iowa State would still tie for second place in the conference standings, an admirable feat, but would fall to the 4 seed. Why? They would finish last in the three team tiebreaker with Baylor and West Virginia because of their 1-3 record against the two schools.
The Cyclones would play Oklahoma State in the 4/5 game at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. They would also be on the same side of the bracket as Kansas, setting up a tough path to a championship and a more expensive ticket for fans.
Probability of a #4 Seed (According to KenPom): 56%
Just win baby. A road win in Morgantown, although improbable, is certainly not impossible. The same group of men that won in Allen Fieldhouse and damn near won in Waco, can certainly put forth a good enough effort to take down the Mountaineers.
Wherever the Cyclones land next week in Kansas City, they will most likely be a small Vegas favorite in their first round game. Obviously the worst result for them pits them up against a tough Oklahoma State team. This game would probably open up close to a pick ‘em and make it a tougher road to a third Big 12 championship for Morris, Mitrou-Long and Matt Thomas.
Just remember, a 4 seed has not won the Big 12 Tournament since.....Iowa State in 2014. So even if the "worst case" scenario happens to close the regular season, it doesn't spell doom for the Cyclones.