LAWRENCE, Kansas -- The Cyclones were locked in a tight battle with rival Kansas on Saturday afternoon but were unable to pull off the upset victory at Allen Fieldhouse.
No. 1 Kansas (27-4, 15-3) went on a strong run in the final minutes to beat No. 21 Iowa State (21-10, 10-8) by a score of 85-78 after losing the first matchup between these teams earlier this season. With the win, Kansas finished the regular season undefeated at home and won their 40th home game in a row overall.
“We aren’t going to dwell on this,” Iowa State point guard Monte Morris said. “We were in a win-win situation. If we won it would have been great, but we just came down here to compete and we did that. I just feel like we are on the up and up. We just have to make a few more tough plays.”
Georges Niang led the Cyclones with 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists while Jameel McKay also played a stellar game and posted 19 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Kansas was driven by Perry Ellis' 22 points and seven rebounds, in addition to 16 points each from Wayne Selden Jr. and Devonte' Graham.
Iowa State will now enter the Big 12 Tournament as the conference's sixth seed. The Cyclones will play No. 3 seed Oklahoma on Thursday at 8 p.m.
The Cyclones had as good of a chance as they could have hoped for to win this game in the most difficult place to play in college basketball before falling short.
Iowa State led 71-68 with five minutes remaining before the Jayhawks showed why they are the No. 1 team in the nation. Kansas went on a game-deciding 11-0 run following the three-point deficit to pull away from the Cyclones and ultimately win the game by a comfortable margin.
To close the first half, Morris hit a deep 3-pointer to bring the Cyclones within one point of the Jayhawks at the break. The Cyclones came into Allen Fieldhouse with the proper mindset and intensity as they withstood Kansas' energy for most of the game. Iowa State's two big men, Niang and McKay, set the tone with 27 points combined in the first 20 minutes.
Iowa State now has five days to prepare for their conference tournament game against the Sooners. The two teams split their season series this year, which included the Cyclones beating then-No. 1 Oklahoma in Ames on Jan. 18.