Under the direction of head coach Scott Drew, Baylor has enjoyed a tremendous season, logging a 25-5 overall record and winning 12 of its 17 conference bouts. The Bears have won three in a row and four of their last five, and they are 8-2 in true road tilts this year.
Iowa State has put forth maximum effort in the second year of Fred Hoiberg's tenure as head coach, going 21-9 overall and 11-6 in league play. The Cyclones are an impressive 15-2 at home this season, winning their last six outings in Ames. The team is coming off a 78-72 loss at Missouri on Wednesday, putting an end to its recent three-game win streak.
These two teams met in Waco back on Feb. 13 with the Bears prevailing in a 79-64 final. As a result, Iowa State's lead in the all-time series shrank to 12-9. Baylor has never won in Ames, going 0-9.
The winner of this clash will earn the No. 3 seed in the Big 12 tourney, which takes place from March 7-10 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Baylor is a solid team in just about every aspect, averaging 74.5 ppg on 47.4 percent field goal efficiency, which includes a stellar 39.1 percent effort from three-point range, while the opposition nets just 63.1 ppg in hitting a mere 40.5 percent of their total shots. BU boasts four double-digit scorers in the form of Perry Jones III (13.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg), Pierre Jackson (12.7 ppg, 5.7 apg), Quincy Acy (12.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Quincy Miller (11.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg), and a fifth in Brady Heslip (9.4 ppg) who has a team-high 74 three-pointers on the year. Jones scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Bears rout visiting Texas Tech on Monday night, 77-48. Additional support came from Anthony Jones (13 points), Acy (12 points, seven boards) and A.J. Walton (13 points), the team as a whole draining 54.7 percent of its field goal attempts while holding the Red Raiders to only 35.4 percent. A 37-25 edge on the glass coupled with 18 TTU turnovers also played an integral role in the lopsided outcome.
Iowa State comes into this contest averaging nearly the same number of points (73.2 ppg) as its counterpart, but it yields a bit more at the defensive end (66.4 ppg). The Cyclones are a very good perimeter shooting team, knocking down 38.3 percent of their three-point tries, while their foes hit their long- range shots at just 30.3 percent. ISU is +4.7 in rebounding margin, but its turnover differential favors the opposition at -0.5. Royce White (13.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg) is the team's top overall performer, but coach Hoiberg prefers a balanced attack and as a result a total of six guys average at least 8.2 ppg. White dropped 20 points, Scott Christoperson added 15 and Melvin Ejim chipped in with 10, but those efforts went for naught in Iowa State's recent clash with nationally-ranked Missouri, as the Cyclones dropped the six-point decision on the road. ISU drained 12 three-pointers in the game, but shot just 39.7 percent from the floor overall, while the Tigers connected on 54.7 percent of their total shots and outscored the visitors at the free-throw line, 16-6.