So today we begin what is hopefully going to be a long journey through the NCAA tournament. But as will be the case for the rest of the games this year, this could be the last prediction thread of the season. It’s crunch time, people.
penhawk: It’s a good thing New Mexico State doesn’t have a ton of talent, because it’s almost like they were constructed specifically to cause problems for Kansas. They play slow, they’re big, and they rebound a lot of their own misses. The good news is they haven’t fared well against anyone that isn’t a terrible team from the WAC this year. I think their style of play will help them hang around, but in the end Kansas should come away with a win, even if there isn’t a lot of breathing room. Kansas 70, New Mexico State 61
Tom Fehr: Said this in the New Mexico State scouting report (which you should read if you haven’t yet), but I’ll still take Kansas by double digits even though New Mexico State is way better than your typical 15 seed. I predict KU will lose on the offensive glass, but still win. Kansas 76, New Mexico State 66
Jim Hammen: Last time I was super terrified of a 15-seed, it was 2012, and without having any statistics to back it up, I was running around yelling about how Detroit was probably the best 15-seed of all time. KU struggled with them early, but ended up with a fairly safe margin of victory. Now it’s 2015, and KU really is playing the best 15-seed of all time. I’m going to predict the game going in a similar direction. Nervous at halftime, coasting the last couple of minutes. Kansas 72, New Mexico State 57.
Mike Norris: Right or wrong, good or bad, it’s been well established here recently that Kansas rarely blows anyone out in the tournament – even in the first round. That trend should continue against the Aggies. New Mexico State only allows 59.3 points per game. Part of that is the fact the teams they played were awful, but also because they run a slow-paced offense. The Jayhawks don’t blow anyone out not named Texas Tech. Look for about 16 CBS pans to Cliff Alexander as he stares into space, and another grind-it-out victory for the Jayhawks. Kansas 66, New Mexico State 55
mikeville: This Kansas team is just too inconsistent on offense for me to think that we win this game 90% of the time (or whatever the computers are saying). Hopefully, the Jayhawks come out like they feel like they have something to prove, since I haven’t heard anyone nationally talk about them at all - unless they’re talking about them losing to Wichita State. I’m gonna predict a close game at halftime, maybe even KU trailing at halftime, and a closer-than-I-would-like final score. Kansas 70, New Mexico State 65.
cstonehoops: New Mexico State represents the first tough test for the Jayhawks on the road to the Final Four. If Perry Ellis is healthy, he should have a great game against the Aggies’ zone defense that is designed to pressure the perimeter without protecting the middle. It will be a fight, but I expect Kansas to come away with a victory. Kansas 73, New Mexico State 66.
dnoll5: I have made no effort to get to know NM State, and instead recently spent time in Kentucky sipping bourbon, while loathing all the blue t-shirts, hoodies, and flags that I saw at every turn. I squeezed in the KU Big 12 tournament games into our "busy" schedule and wasn’t surprised by the second half letdown against ISU. That said, I think KU will have some problems against NMSU because they can’t seem to put anyone away, so while they should win, there will be much stress involved. Kansas 70, New Mexico State 60.
fizzle406: I am going to be sweating bullets the entire game. I don’t think they get upset but the Aggie’s might give us a scare. Its too close for comfort but the good guys eventually come out on top. Kansas 64, New Mexico State 52
KU Grad 08: I think this will be a carbon copy of last year’s game. Close throughout, and KU will make a few plays down the stretch to pull it out. Kansas 65, New Mexico State 59.
Jvaughn11: I would love to disagree with you all and predict a comfortable win but this team has not shown the ability to do that. I am afraid we will all sweat at times on Friday. When its all said and done KU will win and the margin might look greater than the game feels. As with any game this time of year I am nervous and won't rest this weekend until Kansas emerges victorious on Sunday ( which I believe they will). One game at a time though. Kansas 76, New Mexico State 64