Iowa State vs #2 Baylor

Iowa State vs #2 Baylor | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 22, 2021

Unbeaten and second-ranked Baylor hasn’t played in a few weeks due to COVID issues, but the Bears are scheduled to return to action in Big 12 play vs. a bad Iowa State team on Tuesday. Baylor will be a double-digit favorite on the NCAAB odds. Baylor is +300 to win the national title.

How to Bet Iowa State at Baylor NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

On Jan. 2 in Ames, Baylor beat Iowa State 76-65. Jared Butler scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second half and hit the clincher with a 3-pointer from the left wing with just over a minute left as Baylor escaped. The Cyclones made it tough on the Bears, scoring 20 points off their 17 turnovers, holding one of the nation’s best 3-point-shooting team to zero treys in the first half and just 21 percent for the game (4-of-19).

Why Bet on Iowa State? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Cyclones (2-16) fell to 0-13 in the Big 12 on Saturday in a 66-56 home loss to No. 9 Oklahoma. ISU trailed by as many as 21 in the first half before rallying to a 46-45 lead on Tre Jackson’s 3-pointer with 11:29 remaining. The Sooners then responded with a 16-4 spurt to grab the lead for good. De’Vion Harmon and Umoja Gibson each made a 3-pointer before Austin Reaves capped the decisive stretch with a free throw, making it 61-50 with 4:38 left.

Iowa State connected on 38.7 percent of its field goal attempts compared to Oklahoma’s 40 percent mark. Rasir Bolton notched 14 points, two rebounds and six assists in the loss and Jalen Coleman-Lands finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. Solomon Young and George Conditt combined for 16 points and 16 rebounds. As a team, Iowa State turned the ball over nine times.

Bolton is 8th in the Big 12 in scoring (15.8) and assists (3.8), one of four players to rank in top-8 in both. The Cyclones are leading the league shooting 77.3 percent at the free throw line, which would break the previous school record of 75.9 percent (1992-93).

ISU has lost 12 in a row overall, losing six of those games to ranked teams, with three of those six losses coming by less than eight points. Eight of ISU’s first 18 games have come against AP Top-25 teams. ISU Big 12 opponents are shooting just 32.2 percent behind the arc, which ranks second in the league.

Why Bet on Baylor? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Baylor last played on Jan. 2 and beat then-No. 6 Texas 83-69. Davion Mitchell had 27 points to lead the Bears. Fueled by a career-high 25 points from junior guard Andrew Jones, Texas was able to stay in it and even took the lead briefly on a Jones dunk that capped a 13-4 run and put the Longhorns on top, 47-45, with 16:26 left to play. It took Baylor all of three minutes to answer, Mitchell tying it with a pull-up jumper and capping a 16-4 run with a pair of driving layups that pushed the lead back to double digits, 61-51.

“We knew they were going to go on a run. That’s just basketball,” said Mitchell, who has scored 71 points in the last three games. “People go on runs. After we took that punch, we went on our run.”

Baylor’s 17-0 record matches the best start in program history (2011-12) and is tied for the second-longest winning streak overall (behind last year’s 23-straight wins).

Mitchell and Jared Butler have been named to the Midseason Team for the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy. Baylor is one of four programs with multiple players on the Midseason Team, joining Gonzaga, Illinois and Villanova.

Butler leads the Big 12 in steals per game (2.4), 3-point percentage (.446) and 3-pointers made per game (2.7), ranks fourth in the conference in scoring (17.0), third in field goal percentage (.493), third in assists per game (5.2) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.89).

Mitchell leads the conference in field goal percentage (.541) and assists per game (5.8), ranks second in steals per game (2.1), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2), sixth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3) and 14th in scoring (13.7). He joins Butler and Mark Vital to give the Bears three players on the 15-player Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list. Both Mitchell and Butler have won Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season.

The Bears are the first team since UNLV in 1990-91 to start 17-0 with every victory by at least 8 points. Baylor has a combined 43-4 record over the last two seasons, including a 10-1 mark against ranked teams, making the Bears the first team since Indiana in 1974-76 with a streak of 10 wins in 11 games against ranked opponents.

Expert Prediction

  • Baylor 80, Iowa State 66

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