Iowa State aims to put itself in better position at Kansas

Michael Jacobson attempts a free throw against Texas on Feb. 15 against Texas in Hilton Coliseum.

Matt Belinson

Beating an opponent by 29 can bring confidence to almost any team and Iowa State is no exception.

After Iowa State dominated Texas 81-52 on Saturday, confidence is flying high for the team as it heads to Allen Fieldhouse Monday night for a pivotal rematch with the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks.

But the Cyclones know the Jayhawks will be no pushover. The Cyclones got a firsthand experience of the physical challenge Kansas presents after they walked into Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 8 and wiped out the Cyclones 79-53. Since that 26 point victory, Kansas sits in the top five in the country and holds an 11-1 record in Big 12 play. 

With its win over Texas, Iowa State now sits in a much more comfortable position, with teams in the top and bottom of the standings losing left and right over the last two weeks. 

Iowa State is currently tied with Texas for 8th in the Big 12 with a 4-8 record and are just one game out of 6th place with TCU sitting at 5-7.

Michael Jacobson’s confidence is high heading to Lawrence, Kansas, after dropping his first career double-double against Texas on Saturday. 

Jacobson said that with the Big 12 standings starting to become messier by the day, every chance the Cyclones have to grab a win only increases their confidence for every game going forward.

For Jacobson, the Cyclones could put themselves in the second day of action in the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City if the wins start to trickle in down the back stretch of the schedule — and it starts Monday at Allen Fieldhouse.

“It’s kind of a jungle right now in the middle of the league and we’re fighting to try and stay out of that first day game in Kansas City and give ourselves a chance when we get down there,” Jacobson said.

Just two Cyclones cracked into double figures in the scoring column on Jan. 8, with Kansas using its size advantage and guard play to contain any sort of offense from the Cyclones. Jacobson was one of those in double figures with his 10 points.

Jacobson said no matter who Iowa State faces over the next three weeks of the regular season, bringing added confidence to a young roster with something left to prove can offer more opportunities to pick up much-needed wins if the Cyclones want to avoid a Wednesday game in Kansas City on March 11.

Head Coach Steve Prohm said that even with the Cyclones putting together one of their best performances of the season against Texas, overlooking Kansas will be Iowa State’s downfall.

Over the last five seasons, even with wide ranging records, Iowa State has seemed to always play the Jayhawks close on their home floor. Despite Iowa State being much further down in the standings than Kansas, the Cyclones have been able to play with the Jayhawks till the very end and with the added need to pack wins together, Prohm said Iowa State will have to execute in order to be in that position again.

“It’s one game, now we go to Kansas, we’ve got a big task in front of us,” Prohm said. “I told the guys in the locker room the last four years we’ve been up there it has come down to the last two minutes and so we’ve gotta do everything we can and put ourselves in that same position.”

Iowa State will begin against No. 3 Kansas at 8 p.m. on ESPN.