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Baylor-Iowa State: Why Baylor Wins, How to Watch and Three Keys

Baylor looks to keep their undefeated streak alive

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The weather has calmed down enough in Kansas City after an ice/snow storm that I should be in Ames tomorrow (not going to be fun to hit the road at 5:45 a.m. but that’s okay).

Baylor takes on Iowa State at noon tomorrow in Ames. The game airs on ESPN+.

Baylor’s a 15 point favorite on most books. KenPom gives the Bears an 89% chance of victory.

We’ll return to the longer previews soon, but we’ll stick to three keys for this one.

Three Keys:

1) Limit 3-point attempts- The Cyclones attempt a high number of triples—ranking 80th nationally with 41.5% of their shots from three. That shot can be a great equalizer for the worse team, so the Bears want to avoid Iowa State firing 30 threes.

2) Crash the glass- There’s some good evidence that just because an opponent is bad at something doesn’t mean a team does that much better in that category against that opponent. It’s confusing to convey that thought. I’ve covered that before, especially after Baylor’s NCAA Tournament game against Syracuse. But Baylor ranks No. 3 in offensive rebounding rate, and Iowa State is 308th in defensive rebounding. The Bears should be able to get second chances.

3) Pull away- Baylor’s done a nice job eliminating any hope for worse opponents, perhaps best evidenced by doubling Kansas State at halftime. Iowa State has some savvy veterans. They don’t need to have any belief they can pull this off.

Prediction:

Iowa State gave West Virginia a scare. But the Bears are just too talented. It’d take a really bizarre game for the Bears to lose. I’ll take Baylor 88-69.