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Markovic: How will Iowa State respond following unexpected break?

Bill+Fennelly+and+Billy+Fennelly+discuss+a+game+plan+against+Kansas+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Jan.+3%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Bill Fennelly and Billy Fennelly discuss a game plan against Kansas at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 3, 2023.

Before Iowa State’s game against Texas Tech Wednesday night, the Big 12 announced that TCU would forfeit its next two games due to a lack of players available on the Horned Frogs roster.

One of the games that TCU forfeited was against Iowa State. The Horned Frogs were expected to travel to Ames to play the Cyclones Saturday. Due to this unexpected news, Iowa State gained a free conference win that helped keep themselves atop the Big 12 with its undefeated record.

This news also gave way to a potential record-breaking performance for the Cyclones, as they had the chance to have the best start to conference play in the history of the program if they were to beat Texas Tech.

That ended up not being the case. Iowa State fell to the Lady Raiders in Lubbock, Texas, dropping its first conference game this season and effectively ending its perfect start to conference play.

This loss also ended an eight-game win streak that the Cyclones held, as they had not lost a game since December 6, when No. 4 Iowa pulled ahead in a thrilling battle that lasted all the way to the end of the game.

Now the Cyclones have an extended break of play until Wednesday, when Iowa State will travel to Lawrence, Kansas, to take on Kansas. This begs the question of how the Cyclones will use this time to respond to their loss and prepare for their next matchup against the Jayhawks.

This is an extremely rare event that has fallen upon Iowa State, so having a break in play could falter their play if not properly prepared. It will be the second time that Iowa State plays Kansas this season, and the Jayhawks will certainly be looking to enact revenge on the Cyclones after their 69-61 loss in Ames.

Kansas has been playing its best at home, with its 7-1 record, the only loss coming against No. 25 West Virginia on December 30th, so going to Allen Fieldhouse won’t be an easy task for Iowa State to prepare for.

The game versus TCU was supposed to give Iowa State a mini break on the road, but it will no longer have that following the breaking news.

The Cyclones now have two straight road games, and won’t have another home game until the end of the month, when they host Oklahoma State on January 31.

Iowa State has not been the best team on the road with its 3-2 record, so having this time to prepare for the traveling week will be key to the Cyclones getting back on the right track.

The Big 12 doesn’t make it any easier to prepare for road games, as each program brings something different with its unique atmospheres and physical play.

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