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Big 12 championship preview: Iowa State (4) vs. Baylor (7)

P No. Iowa State Ht. Yr. PPG
F 31 Georges Niang 6-7 So. 16.3
F 3 Melvin Ejim 6-6 Sr. 18.4
F 22 Dustin Hogue 6-6 Jr. 10.6
G 50 DeAndre Kane 6-4 Sr. 16.9
G 11 Monte Morris 6-2 Fr. 6.0
P No. Baylor Ht. Yr. PPG
F 34 Cory Jefferson 6-9 Sr 13.6
F 00 Royce O’Neale 6-6 Jr 7.0
C 21 Isaiah Austin 7-1 So 10.8
G 5 Brady Heslip 6-2 Sr 11.3
G 1 Kenny Chery 5-11 Jr 11.5
WHEN WHERE:

• TV/RADI O: ESPN; WHB (810 AM)

• ABOUT IOWA STATE (25-7) : The Cyclones avenged last year’s semifinal loss to Kansas by defeating the Jayhawks 94-83 to advance to its first title game since winning the 2000 championship behind Marcus Fizer. The Cyclones have won seven of nine games, but one of the losses came at Baylor by 13. Fred Hoiberg will have appeared in the conference title game as a coach and a player. He was a guard on the 1995 Iowa State team that lost to Oklahoma State in the Big Eight final.

• ABOUT BAYLOR (24-10): With Friday’s 86-69 victory over Texas, the Bears have won 10 of 11, reversing a 2-8 start. Baylor is bidding to become the first team in the Big 12 Tournament to win four games in four days. The program also is seeking its first postseason conference tournament championship. The Bears never won the Southwest Conference title, which debuted in 1976.

• BOTTOM LINE: The finalists have taken different paths to the finale. Baylor has dominated three opponents, while Iowa State has battled Kansas State and Kansas into the final minute. Will the Bears have tired legs by playing their fourth game in four days? Maybe the late start will help. Baylor held Iowa State to a season-low 61 points to weeks ago. The Cyclones are going to need about 20 more to win this one.

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