Week in and week out the Big 12 Conference produces numerous top 25 matchups, but this week we have a top 10 battle between in-state rivals the #8 Kansas Jayhawks (17-4, 5-3 Big 12) and the #7 Kansas State Wildcats (18-3, 6-2 Big 12). The two teams met earlier this month in Manhattan, with the Wildcats escaping in an 83-82 thrilling overtime victory.
Tuesday’s tip-off is at 8 p.m. EST inside Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. The Jayhawks are a seven-point favorite, and the over/under total is 146.5 points.
What to Know – #7 Kansas State Wildcats
The Wildcats have won three of their last four games, including a 14-point route of the Florida Gators on Saturday. Kansas State comes into the week in a three-way tie atop the conference standings with the Texas Longhorns and Iowa State Cyclones.
On offense, Kansas State averages 77.1 points per game while shooting 46.2% from the field and 35.5% from beyond the arc. The Wildcats defense surrenders 67.3 ppg, 41.8% shooting from the floor and 28.4% from deep.
The Wildcats are led in scoring by the third-leading scorer in the league in graduate transfer Keyontae Johnson. Johnson is averaging 18.0 ppg thanks to an impressive 53.1% shooting percentage. Markquis Nowell also ranks in the top 10 in the conference adding 16.9 ppg.
Kansas State has owned the books this season with a 16-5 record against the spread and a 4-2 mark ATS in true road contests. The Wildcats are a perfect 6-0 ATS over their last six matches played on Tuesday.
What to Know – #8 Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas went on the road over the weekend and defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, 77-68, to break a three-game losing skid that began with the mid-January loss to KSU. Even with three-straight conference losses, the Jayhawks sit one-game back of the top spot in the Big 12.
Offensively the Jayhawks pour in 76.0 points per game behind 46.6% shooting from the floor and 35.8% shooting from three. On defense, Kansas limits opponents to 67.5 ppg, 41.0% shooting from the field, and 31.6% from the 3-point line.
The league’s leading scorer is on the Jayhawks’ roster in Jalen Wilson. Wilson, a Player of the Year candidate, is scoring 21.4 ppg. Gradey Dick averages 14.8 ppg and is the best 3-point shooter in the Big 12. The freshman leads the conference connecting on 42.7% of his attempts from outside the arc.
The Jayhawks are 8-13 ATS this year and just 3-8 ATS inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas is 0-5 ATS in both its previous five home games and conference contests.
The Pick is In
All of Kansas State’s losses have come on the road, but the Wildcats are being disrespected with this line. Kansas should win, but we’ll take KSU and the points in another tight contest.
The Pick: #7 Kansas State Wildcats +7