Kansas-Iowa St. Preview
By NOEY KUPCHAN
(AP) -- Iowa State held its own at Kansas before ultimately suffering another loss in this series when the teams met earlier this month.
While the Jayhawks enter the weekend riding a season-best 10-game winning streak, keeping that run going could prove difficult against a Cyclones team eagerly awaiting their arrival.
No. 5 Kansas looks for a 14th consecutive win over Iowa State when the teams meet in Ames on Saturday.
After entering the break down by three, the Jayhawks (17-3, 7-0 Big 12) rallied behind a 17-2 second-half run to beat the Cyclones 82-73 on Jan. 14. Kansas has defeated Iowa State (14-6, 4-3) by an average of 15.7 points during its 13-game run in the series, and while it may have previously taken the Cyclones lightly, doing so again could prove costly.
"Trust me, Iowa State should have our full attention after the way they handled us for 25 minutes, or whatever it was, at our place," coach Bill Self said. "I think we'll go up there and Hilton Coliseum will be rocking pretty good and we're going to have to play the best road game we've played all year, I would think, to have success."
While Iowa State came up short two weekends ago, it's looking forward to Saturday's rematch.
"(This is) definitely a redemption game for us," said forward Royce White, who had 18 points and 17 rebounds in the last matchup. "We feel like after that first one, we were upset with ourselves and we kind of gave the game away. It's a redemption game for us, we definitely wanna go out here and get it.
"We know we can play with them. It's just about if we can get up, sustaining the lead, withstanding some of their runs, and just the things that go into a big-time game between two good teams."
The Cyclones are surely to have their hands full with the Jayhawks, who have outscored opponents by 20.1 points per game in winning 10 in a row. Despite a sluggish start, Kansas prevailed 64-54 over Texas A&M on Monday to remain unbeaten in conference play.
"I feel like a win in conference - a win like this is ugly, but all the wins in conference count," said senior Tyshawn Taylor, who scored a career high-tying 28 points versus Iowa State."
In addition to trying to slow Taylor, the Cyclones could have difficulty containing junior Thomas Robinson. The 6-foot-10 forward ranks second in the league with an average of 17.8 points and is pulling down a conference-best 12.0 rebounds per game. He had 18 and 10, respectively, versus the Aggies.
After cruising through its schedule, Kansas now finds itself in the midst of an upcoming difficult slate of games - starting with Iowa State.
"I don't think there's any question that this is the toughest stretch of our season starting out right now," Self said. "You've got Iowa State, Missouri, Baylor (and Kansas State) as our next four road games and, statistically, those are the four teams that are the best in the league."
Despite 15 points and 15 boards from White, the Cyclones fell 62-55 at Texas on Tuesday. Iowa State shot a season-worst 33.3 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 41-34.
The Cyclones, 0-3 versus Top 25 foes this season, have dropped 13 consecutive home matchups with ranked opponents - the last five by seven points or less.
Iowa State hasn't beaten Kansas since a 63-61 victory in overtime on Feb. 19, 2005.
Updated January 27, 2012