Iowa State snaps Kansas' 54-game winning streak at home: 3 Takeaways
Iowa State takes Kansas to overtime and hands Jayhawks their second conference loss
Iowa State went from NCAA Tournament bubble team to asserting itself squarely in the mix for a potential tournament bid by securing an important signature resume-building win -- on the road -- over No. 3 Kansas in overtime.
Final score: Iowa State 92, Kansas 89.
The Cyclones, who had not won on the road against Kansas since Feb. 19, 2005, snapped the Jayhawks' 54-game home winning streak and handed KU its second loss in conference play this season. The preseason favorite to win the Big 12, Kansas has suffered its first home conference loss since 2013 when the Marcus Smart-led Oklahoma State Cowboys upset Bill Self's team in Lawrence.
1. The Big 12 is still up for grabs
Kansas has established its run of dominance in the Big 12 with winning at home as a staple to its success. With 12 consecutive conference titles, the Jayhawks were once again the consensus preseason pick to bring home the hardware.
But the wackiness of the Big 12 could shake the final standings up or, at the very least, be a tight race until the end. Losing at home isn't part of the KU formula. Baylor is 7-3 in Big 12 games. West Virginia is 6-3. And Iowa State, now 6-4, quietly has an outside chance at making a late run.
The Jayhawks still have five difficult road games in league play. While KU should probably be favored until they don't win the league, it opens the door for a team to sneak up and contend for the Big 12.
2. Iowa State had to have this one -- and did behind its hot shooting
Before Saturday, Iowa State had been a solid Big 12 team. It was 13-8 overall and had a winning record in league play. But without any wins over a ranked team, its NCAA tournament resume was severely lacking. So getting a road win over a top-five team -- one who could potentially wind up as a No. 1 seed in March -- is huge for the Cyclones moving forward.
Iowa State runs a four-guard system that allows it to play up-tempo, and more importantly gives Steve Prohm a scoring threat across the board at nearly every single position. That asset paid huge dividends today, as the team went 32 of 64 from the floor, and 18 of 34 from beyond the 3-point line. Naz Mitrou-Long, a 3-point specialist, hit 6 of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc while big man Deonte Burton hit 7 of his 9 attempts. Four players hit 2 or more 3-pointers. It was clutch shot after clutch shot delivered late that helped sink the Jayhawks in an unlikely upset.
Here are you final game highlights of ISU's come-from-behind win over No. 3 Kansas in Lawrence! pic.twitter.com/ApXgpVK1wG— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) February 4, 2017
3. Mason looked strong in losing effort
Frank Mason III played like a bona fide national player of the year candidate. He's a savvy, all-around player that understands Self's system and is thriving in it. He leads the team in scoring, but it's not just his ability to fill up the basket that makes him so valuable. Look how he handles the double team here by splitting it and finding an open shooter from the 3-point line.
He was red-hot for the Jayhawks, too. Mason scored a team-high 32 points on 10-of-12 shooting, had five assists and six rebounds. Amazingly, he didn't miss a single shot until his final attempt of the second half with five seconds on the clock. Even with the loss to Iowa State, Saturday's result does nothing to damage his campaign as one of the best players in the country.
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