Big 12 Battle In Lawrence: #10 Kansas State Wildcats at #14 Kansas Jayhawks

#10 Kansas State Wildcats at #10 Kansas Jayhawks
Monday, February 11, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Allen Fieldhouse – Lawrence, Kansas
Opening Line: Kansas -7 1/2
Current Line: Kansas -8
Opening Total: 129
Current Total: 129 1/2
Opening Money Line: Kansas -380 / Kansas St +315
Current Money Line: Kansas -410 / Kansas St +330

Kansas tries to snap a 3 game losing streak as they host rival Kansas St Monday night. The Jayhawks are 8 point favorites.
Kansas tries to snap a 3 game losing streak as they host rival Kansas St Monday night. The Jayhawks are 8 point favorites.

Two weeks ago, the Kansas Jayhawks were ranked #2 in the country. The Jayhawks were 19-1 and undefeated in the Big 12. They had a 2 game lead in the Big 12 and appeared on their way to a month straight Big 12 regular season title. However, since then the Jayhawks have lost 3 straight games for the first time since 2005. Kansas now finds themselves a game behind Sunflower State rival Kansas St in the Big 12 standings. The Jayhawks are tied with Okalhoma St for second in the conference. The two rivals will meet Monday night in Lawrence with first place in the conference on the line. The Jayhawks are 7-3 in the Big 12 and the Wildcats are 8-2. Both teams are 19-4, and ranked 14th in better in both polls.

Kansas leads the series 183-91 against Kansas St including 82-35 in Lawrence. Kansas has won 15 of the last 16 home meetings against their rivals, and 37 of the last 40 overall. The Jayhawks won in Manhattan last month 59-55.

Kansas St is coached by Bruce Weber. The only losses came to Michigan in the pre-season NIT at Madison Square Garden, and to Gonzaga in Seattle, Kansas at home, and at Iowa St. Michigan, Kansas  and Gonzaga are currently ranked in the top 14 in the country. The Wildcats have won 4 straight games. K-State has key wins over Delaware in New York City, at George Washington, Florida in Kansas City, Oklahoma St, Texas and Oklahoma twice and at West Virginia, TCU and Texas Tech. The Wildcats are 9-9-1 ATS and the total is 7-7 this season.

Kansas St is outscoring teams 69-58 this season. The Wildcats are #20 in points allowed. K-State is shooting 43.4% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Wildcats make 66.7% of their free throws. Kansas St averages  36.8 rebounds per game, and they give up 29 per game. K-State opponents are shooting 40.9% from the field and 29.9% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are #34 in three point defense nationally. Kansas St averages 16 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 12 turnovers per game.

Guard Rodney McGruder averages 15 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Angel Rodriguez averages 9.9 points, 4.7 assists, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Will Spradling averages 8.3 points, 3 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. Guard Shane Southwell averages  7.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. Forward Thomas Gipson averages 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.  Forward Nino Williams averages 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Forward Jordan Henriquez averages 4.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. Martavious Irving, Adrian Diaz, D.J. Johnson, and Omari Lawrence will also see significant time in the rotation. The Wildcats are deep but don’t have a lot of size. Diaz and Henriquez are the only players over 6′-8″ on the roster.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The  losses for the Jayhawks this season came against Michigan St in Atlanta early in the season, at home against Oklahoma St, and at TCU and Oklahoma Saturday 72-66. The Jayhawks have key wins over Washington St, Saint Louis, and Oregon St all in Kansas City, along with a road wins at Ohio St,  Texas Tech, Texas, Kansas St and West Virginia and home wins over Colorado, Richmond, Temple, Iowa St Baylor, and Oklahoma. The Jayhawks are 9-13 ATS and the total is 9-10 this season.

Kansas is outscoring teams 73-61 this season. Kansas is #34 in field goal percentage at 46.9% and  37.7% from three point range. The Jayhawks are shooting 71.6% from the free throw line. Kansas averages 39 rebounds per game, and gives up 30.2 per game. The Jayhawks are #26 in rebounding nationally.  Kansas opponents are shooting 36% from the field and 31.4% from 3 point range. Kansas is #1 in opponent’s field goal percentage. The Jayhawks average 15 assists, 7 steals, 7 blocks and 13 turnovers a game.

Guard Ben McLemore averages 16.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Center Jeff Withey averages 13 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4 blocks per game. Guard Travis Releford averages 11.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Elijah Johnson averages  9.3 points, 3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. Kevin Young averages 7.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe, Andrew White III and Jamari Taylor make up the rest of the rotation.

Kansas St is 6-2-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-2-1 after a straight up win, 2-6-1 against teams with winning home records, and 2-7-1 in road games. The under is 5-2 in this series recently.

Kansas is 12-5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 19-9 in Monday games, 2-5 after failing to cover, 0-4 overall, and against Big 12 teams. The Jayhawks are 23-7 ATS in the last 30 against Kansas St, and were favored in each of those games. The Jayhawks have also covered the last 6 in Lawrence in the series. The home team is 9-3 ATS in this series recently.

Kansas hasn’t lost 4 straight games since 1989. The biggest problem during the losing streak has been the offense. After the loss to last place TCU, coach Bill Self called it the worst Kansas team since Dr. James Naismith was losing to the Topeka YMCA. I know Kansas St smells blood in the water and will try to take a two game lead over the big brother Jayhawks but I just can’t see Kansas losing 4 straight. Kansas wins a close game in  a gritty tough defensive battle.

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