We have a Big 12 basketball affair on Wednesday as the Kansas State Wildcats take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Wildcats have really fallen off this year after winning 25 games a season ago. Losing Barry Brown, Dean Wade (draft), and Kamau Stokes have clearly hurt them, and they have not found suitable replacements for them. This was a strong bunch that went 14-4 en route to winning the regular-season title in the Big 12. What they no longer have is a bevy of weapons to bury threes and consistent scoring threats when the game gets tight.
Texas Tech of course, is not in the same position they were last year when Jarrett Culver led them to a 31-7 record and a berth in the title game. Not only are they missing him, but also Tariq Owens (Suns) and Matt Mooney (Cavs). As it stands now they are doing alright, in the third slot in the conference, with a win tonight keeping them there. A deep March run is highly unlikely, but still, at 16-9 they have been a formidable foe. Just no national ranking is all.
The spread for tonight’s game lists Texas Tech as an 11.5-point favorite. The over/under is set at 129.5.
K State looking to do anything to get out of the gutter
Ever gone bowling and dominated all your friends? Then you go to a new bowling alley and don’t perform nearly as well? That is basically the story of the Wildcats season. This year’s cast is nowhere near as talented as last year, as they have limped to a 9-16 record, going just 2-10 within the Big 12. Xavier Sneed is leading the way, averaging 14 points per game, Cartier Diarra right behind him with 13.1. Nobody else scores more than seven per night, and they lack rim protection as well. Makol Mawien is leading them with a shade under one block per night.
Sneed and Diarra are not shy about firing off threes, though both are 31% shooters from beyond. Look for Mike McGuirl, only averaging 6.9 ppg (but shooting 48% from distance), to uncork several triples tonight.
Red Raiders looking to keep it rolling in the conference
They don’t have a Jarrett Culver-type player here anymore, but they still have plenty of talent. Jahmi’us Ramsey is leading with his 16 ppg, Davide Moretti next at 13 per night. Kyler Edwards and Terrence Shannon Jr. are both averaging in double-figures, TJ Holyfield averaging nine points and nearly 1.5 blocks per contest. Their leading rebounder Chris Clarke actually comes off the bench, but he’s been a bright spot for most of the campaign. We’ll see if he’s able to come in and tear up the second unit of K State.
Ramsey and Moretti both make better than two threes per game and shoot it over 40% from distance. If they can lock in and knock them down, they’ll be hard to beat.
Texas Tech wins a tight game at home
Make sure you bet the underdog, as Kansas State will compete until the end. They won’t win, though. Bet Wildcats +11.5, or Red Raiders straight up.
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