Our third Sweet 16 game for today, Thursday, March 22, will be played at 9:37 p.m. That’s when the #9 Kansas State Wildcats (24-11) will take on the #5 Kentucky Wildcats (26-10) in a South Region contest. The Kentucky Wildcats are at -5.0. The over/under for this game is 136.0. These two teams will play one another at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA. Our pick includes a point spread and over/under projection. We will have one more NCAA Tournament game today and, of course, the four other Sweet 16 games online tomorrow. Over the weekend, we’ll offer picks on all of the Elite Eight games. Here’s our Kansas State plays Kentucky 2018 March Madness Sweet 16 Pick.
The Kansas State Wildcats, who finished fourth in the Big 12, lost in the conference tournament to the Kansas Jayhawks 83-67. In round one of the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats beat the #8 Creighton Bluejays 69-59. In the second round, Kansas State defeated the #16 UMBC Retrievers 50-43.
The Wildcats of Kentucky finished fourth in the SEC and won the conference tourney by beating Tennessee 77-72. In the NCAA Tournament, these Wildcats beat the #12 Davidson Wildcats 78-73. In round two, Kentucky beat the #13 Buffalo Bulls 95-75.
Basic Stats and Facts
Although both teams are fairly equal in terms of field goal completion rate, assists per game, and blocks per game, the Kentucky Wildcats have an edge in various statistical categories. In scoring, Kentucky is 77.3 PPG to 73.1 PPG, in rebounds per game 38.3 to 30.3, and in three-point completions 36% to 34%.
Kansas State is better in terms of points allowed at 51.0 to 74.0, in steals per game 7.9 to 5.6 and field goal shooting 74% to 70%. There’s little room for error for either team in this game.
Players to Watch
For Kansas State, the backcourt is run by junior guard Barry Brown, and the frontcourt is the territory of junior forward Dean Wade. Brown is pumping in 16.1 PPG while making 3.3 APG and grabbing 3.1 RPG. In the paint, Wade 6.3 RPG whole scoring 16.5 PPG. He’s a55% shooter from the field and 44% from beyond the arc. Also in front, sophomore Xavier Sneed is good for 10.7 PPG and 4.9 RPG.
The other Wildcats have a stable of freshmen who are skilled and talented. First-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is putting in 14.4 PPG, and dishing off 5.1 APG and grabbing 4.1 RPG. Two freshmen forwards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox, are instrumental to Kentucky’s success. Washington leads all Wildcat scorers with 15.6 PPG. He’s also good for 5.3 RPG. Knox is taking in 5.4 RPG and putting in 10.4 PPG. This is a deep, although young, team.
Our Kansas State Plays Kentucky 2018 March Madness Sweet 16 Pick
We feel that this game can really go either way. The Kentucky team definitely has an edge in some areas, but Kansas State’s defense could keep that Wildcat team in the mix. Our Kansas State plays Kentucky 2018 March Madness Sweet 16 pick is the team from Kansas at -5.0 and the over at 136.0.