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Cyclones spin Jayhawks, KU falls 79-75

So that wasn’t great.

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NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State came into the game shooting 29% from behind the arc as a team. So of course the Cyclones hit 14-30 from deep, including 9-15 in the second half, to pull away from the Jayhawks by a 79-75 final in Ames.

KU trailed most of the game, including by nine points with just 2:43 to go, but back-to-back threes by Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar gave the Jayhawks a chance late. However, a three-pointer by ISU’s Keshon Gilbert with 41 seconds left gave ISU the cushion they would need to hang on to the win. Gilbert, who is shooting just 24% from deep so far this year, was one of five ISU players who hit multiple threes this afternoon.

By far the worst offender, however, was ISU’s Tre King, shooting 18% on the season, hitting 4-7 from behind the arc. To be fair, I do think that “let the 18% three-point shooter chuck away” is a valid defensive strategy; it just didn’t work out today.

Overall, it was the most threes made by Iowa State in a game in three years. I know 3-point defense isn’t really a thing, but first TCU, then Western Virginia, and now this?

Kansas falls to 4-3 in Big 12 play for just the second time in the Bill Self era. After what should be a layup on Tuesday night at home against Oklahoma State, KU then goes into its meatgrinder portion of conference play. This is clearly not a top-10 team, and I dare say that if they continue to perform the rest of the season as they have in January, I don’t expect them to even be ranked by the time March 1 rolls around.

But, counterpoint?

In the 3 Big 12 road games KU has lost, KU’s opponents have shot 46.5% from three and averaged 11 made 3PA’s per game. KU has lost those 3 road games by 5, 6, and 4 points. It sounds crazy but they aren’t playing bad. They are getting the wrong end of the 3P luck stick.

I don’t know. I’m just not seeing it. To me, this season has 10-12 losses and a second round exit written all over it. There is still some time to get things turned around, but it’s about to get much, much more difficult as the ides of March approach. (Hey, don’t get mad at me, I’m the football guy.)