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Kansas State Preview

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow Kansas can pull into a tie for 2nd place in the Big 12 (by winning percentage) with a win over Kansas State in the Little Apple tonight. If you could pick an opponent to face with the prospect of getting into 2nd on the line, one would have to think you would want to face the worst team in the league.

The Wildcats come into this one last in the Big 12 in offense, scoring just under 91 points per 100 possessions, and also ranking last in effective field goal percentage, turnover percentage, and 3-point shooting. They have also lost 11 straight Big 12 games, and 12 overall.

The positives on offense are few and far between. They do shoot from two reasonably well, right around the national average. While that is probably the most important stat in terms of predicting how good your offense will be going forward, if it is literally the only thing you do at even an average level, it doesn’t portend great things. The Wildcats have scored more than a point per possession in Big 12 play just four times - somewhat ironically, three of those were against Texas, Texas Tech, and Baylor - but it’s tough to see that happening tonight.

The defense may be even worse. Kansas State ranks 235th nationally at KenPom, and big time last in the Big 12, allowing almost 115 points per 100 possessions. They’re 10th in effective field goal percentage allowed, 2-point percentage allowed, and free throw rate allowed. They also give up a ton of 3-point attempts but given the other numbers, Kansas shouldn’t feel bad about relentlessly attacking the rim tonight.

Players to Watch

Nijel Pack, 6-0 freshman guard

He had a rough outing in Lawrence, but Pack has been Kansas State’s best shooter all season at just over 43 percent from three. He also their best passer and has been pretty good on the glass for his size.

Davion Bradford, 7-0 freshman center

Bradford has been a pretty good rebounder and decent shot blocker, and also ranks 5th in the Big 12 in 2-point percentage.

Antonio Gordon, 6-9 sophomore forward

Gordon is the best rebounder on the team and one of the best in the Big 12 as a whole. He’s also 3rd in the Big 12 in 2-point shooting.

The Pick

Kansas is favored by 13 points tonight. I’m not going to overthink this one. Kansas beat a better team who they don’t match up as well with by 14 on the road just last week, so give me the Jayhawks to cover, 77-60.

2021 record ATS: 15-6