It’s round 1 of the Sunflower Showdown, as the Kansas Jayhawks travel to Manhattan, KS to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. On paper, this should be a convincing win for the Jayhawks, but we all know that Big 12 games do anything but play out the way they are supposed to on paper. How worried should fans be about an upset for the Jayhawks today?
Take a look at what our staff thinks, and then leave your own prediction in the comments below!
Kyle_Davis21: Andy and I talked about this on Friday’s podcast, but on paper, K-State doesn’t have many strengths that directly impact a KU weakness. The path to victory for the Wildcats is to not turn the ball over, shoot well from three, and the atmosphere gets the Jayhawks off their game. I think the first to 70 points wins this game, as KSU hasn’t scored 70 in a Big 12 game so far. And I think it actually helps KU that K-State has won two in a row because KU’s mind shouldn’t be looking ahead to Texas Tech yet. Road wins are tough in this conference but I think Kansas scores enough to win. Kansas 72, K-State 67
dnoll5: K-State isn’t as bad as their Big XII record indicates (2-4 actually isn’t bad in this league right now) and have beaten Texas and Tech recently, so this shouldn’t be a cakewalk for KU. But, with Jalen Wilson heating up, and Remy Martin potentially getting healthier, I think KU gets a pretty solid road win this time. Kansas 70, K-State 59.
Brendan: Like Kyle already mentioned, this isn’t exactly a clash in which K-State can exploit KU’s biggest strengths. Remy’s ability to play is going to be big, obviously, because if KU can get out and run I like the Jayhawks going away. Fast offense and average defense should get it done. Plus, I just assume Christiab Braun will always tee off against K-State, and there will be plenty of reason to play a great game for Bill Self today. Kansas 74, K-State 61
Andy Mitts: I came into these predictions thinking that Kansas State was the slowest team in the Big 12, but there are actually 4 teams with slower adjusted tempos in Kenpom. What IS true though is that they have a similar approach as Texas Tech: slow the game down, ugly it up with a strong defensive effort, and spread the ball around enough that locking down an individual player doesn’t stop their offense. They just don’t quite do it as well as Texas Tech. With this Kansas team playing better than they were when they traveled to Lubbock, and KSU having their full attention (like mentioned above), I think that the good guys get the win. However, this is a rivalry game, and this team seems to only have unexpected results, so I’m going to say they win a close one. Kansas 71, Kansas State 68.