The top 25 NCAA action around the NCAA is light on Wednesday with an eight game slate. Of those eight games only the Baylor Bears traveling to Iowa to take on Iowa State features two top 25 teams. The Bears enter this game ranked 19th in the country with a 20-7 record to go along with an 8-6 record in the Big 12.
On the other side the Cyclones enter this matchup ranked number 12th in the country at 20-6 overall and a 10-4 record in the Big 12. This game is even more important for the Cyclones this week after Kansas fell on the road at Kansas State last night. A win against the Bears would move the Cyclones to the top of the Big 12 with a half-game lead.
These two teams met back in January on Baylor’s home floor with the Bears walking away with the one point win at 74-73. In that contest the Bears jumped out to a 46-34 leading into the half but the team would struggle in the second half. The Cyclones outscored the Bears 39-28 in the second half but couldn’t hit the desperate jumper from behind the free throw line.
On paper these two teams don’t stack up well with most of the advantages going to the Cyclones. Entering this contest the Cyclones sit 9th in the country in scoring (79.8 points per game), 7th in assists (16.9 per game) and 12th in field goal percentage (.486). The one area the Cyclones have struggled at that the Bears have the slight advantage is on the glass. The Cyclones enter this contest averaging 36.5 rebounds per game good enough for 76th in the country.
The Bears on the other hand have struggled to score all season averaging just 69.2 points per game good enough for 132nd in the country. The key to those struggles comes from the team’s overall ability to shoot the ball as the team has combined to shoot just .432 this season. The team’s one advantage in this contest is their ability to rebound entering ranked 5th in the country averaging just over 40 per game.
As far as how these two teams have fared against the spread this season they match up very close in the stat sheet. The Bears are 11-9 against the spread on the season but are just 4-4 when the they head out on the road. The Cyclones on the other hand are 6-5 against the spread at home and 13-10 overall on the season. The Cyclones open up this contest as a 6 point favorite at home with much of that going directly to the team’s 14-0 record at the Hilton Coliseum.
The other top contests to watch on Wednesday includes the Kentucky Wildcats heading to take on Mississippi State, the Duke Blue Devils heading to take on Virginia Tech and the Virginia Cavaliers heading to take on Wake Forest. The Wildcats enter as the number one team in the country while the Cavaliers sit at second and the Blue Devils at fourth.