Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM
The Kansas Jayhawks have managed to survive unscathed six games into a tough Big 12 slate. And, it has been tough! Kansas has drawn all the top contenders except Texas (who they visit Saturday), and are already dealing with a revenge-minded stalwart from Iowa State Wednesday Night. You can watch that rematch on ESPNU.
Many pundits are eyeing Kansas as a serious national championship threat. But, they almost stubbed their toe in a recent home game against Oklahoma State. Can the Cylcones score an upset, as they try to make THEIR case for more national respect? Let’s see what the numbers have to say…
Iowa State: #20 in Pomeroy, #10 in Sagarin
Kansas: #9 in Pomeroy, #7 in Sagarin
College basketball guru Ken Pomeroy and USA Today computer whiz Jeff Sagarin both see Kansas as a top 10 team. Should the Jayhawks continue to own the strong and deep Big 12, they could make a run at a top four computer ranking with both. There’s some disagreement about Iowa State. Sagarin has them in the top 10. Pomeroy has them a full 10 spots further back. Those numbers suggest a competitive game. But, we have to remember that Kansas won by 6 on the ROAD in the first meeting, which makes them a clear favorite in Lawrence.
Offensive Rank (Adjusted for Schedule)
Iowa State: #28
That’s a pair of very good offenses when you consider that more than 300 teams are ranked by Pomeroy in his methodology. Kansas is truly elite this season, with multiple weapons highlighted by smooth as silk Andrew Wiggins. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Kansas on TV this year, as you avid fans have no doubt already noticed.
Defensive Rank (Adjusted for Schedule)
Iowa State: #20
Iowa State has the better of the two defenses, which gives them a chance to hang tough for the full 60 minutes. If Kansas is serious about being a Final Four team or National Champion, they need to improve on this side of the ball. There’s nothing wrong with a top 30 showing of course…but it’s NOT ENOUGH when it comes to winning champions. There look to be several prominent teams who are hoping to shoot their way to a title this year.
Iowa State: #11
It’s great for fans that so many quality teams are pushing pace this season. Kansas will be in the odd position of trying to slow down an opponent. Iowa State will be trying to maintain its discipline in a hostile road environment. Turnovers often derail up tempo visitors in games like this. And, the Cyclones have been shaky on the road lately anyway. They lost at Texas 86-76 as a small favorite, and 87-82 at Oklahoma when laying four.
Against the Spread
Iowa State: 9-7
Kansas may look fairly generic with a break even mark. But, they’re actually 4-1-1 ATS in Big 12 action, which means they’ve been 80% to get the money after a 5-8 ATS start. The youngsters are getting the hang of playing together. Iowa State has actually failed to cover its last four games after a tremendous start to the season. They went from 9-3 ATS to 9-7 ATS in two weeks! Looking down from the blimp, it seems that the market has these teams pegged. But, in fact, the visitor was very underrated early, but has been overrated the past two weeks…while the favorite was overrated early before clicking once conference action began.
Are oddsmakers giving Kansas too much credit in tonight’s line. JIM HURLEY is looking very closely at this game. But, he knows that Wednesdays are like Saturdays because the schedules are so BIG! NETWORK clients will only get the cream of the crop from this loaded schedule. You can purchase the final word during the day Wednesday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about basketball seasonal programs, or combination packages that would include the Super Bowl, call us in the office Wednesday during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155.
Back Thursday with our official STAT PREVIEW of this Sunday’s Super Bowl. That special edition of the NOTEBOOK will run through the weekend because the Seattle/Denver showdown is such a big event. We’ll pick up again next week with college basketball coverage.
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