Big 12 Championship Betting: #11 Kansas State Wildcats vs #7 Kansas Jayhawks

2013 Big 12 Championship Game
#2 Kansas State Wildcats vs #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday, March 16, 2013, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Opening Line: Kansas -4 1/2
Current Line: Kansas -4 1/2
Opening Total: 132
Current Total: 130 1/2
Opening Money Line: Kansas -190 / Kansas State +160
Current Money Line: Kansas -200 / Kansas State +170

Kansas is a 4.5 point favorite against rival Kansas St in the final of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City.
Kansas is a 4.5 point favorite against rival Kansas St in the final of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City.

The 28-5 Kansas Jayhawks and 27-6 Kansas St Wildcats tied for the Big 12 regular season title with 14-4 records. IT was the ninth straight conference title for the Jayhawks and the first since 1977 for Kansas St. Now the two Sunflower State rivals meet in the Big 12 Championship game Saturday. Kansas beat Texas Tech 91-63 in the quarters and Iowa St 88-73 in the semifinals Friday. Kansas St beat Texas 66-49 in the quarters and Oklahoma State 68-57 in yesterday’s semifinals.

Kansas leads the series 185-91 against Kansas St. The Jayhawks have won 46 of the last 49 meetings with the Wildcats and 11 of the last 12. The Jayhawks won both meetings this season. Kansas won 59-55 in Manhattan  January 22. Kansas took a 53-43 lead with 6:50 left in the game, and held on for the 4 point win. In the second game in Lawrence  February 11, Kansas was coming off  a three game losing streak, including an inexplicable loss at a terrible TCU team. However, the Jayhawks rebounded in a big way with an 83-62 rout over the Wildcats. Kansas St was never in the game.

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 twice, and at Iowa St and Oklahoma St. Kansas St has won 8 of the last 9 since the Kansas blowout loss. Michigan, Kansas  and Gonzaga are currently ranked in the top 7 in the country. K-State has key wins over Delaware in New York City, at George Washington, Florida in Kansas City, Oklahoma St, Texas twice and Oklahoma twice and at West Virginia twice, TCU twice, Texas Tech twice, and Baylor twice. The Wildcats are 15-13-1 ATS and the total is 13-11 this season.

Kansas St is outscoring teams 70-61 this season. The Wildcats are #39 in points allowed. K-State is shooting 44.1% from the field and 36.6% from 3 point range. The Wildcats make 69.1% of their free throws. Kansas St averages  35.1 rebounds per game, and they give up 28.9 per game. K-State opponents are shooting 42.3% from the field and 31.5% from 3 point range. Kansas St averages 17 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 12 turnovers per game.

Guard Rodney McGruder averages 15 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Angel Rodriguez averages 10.9 points, 5.1 assists, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. Guard Will Spradling averages 8.7 points, 2.7 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. He is probable with a chest injury. Guard Shane Southwell averages  8.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Forward Thomas Gipson averages 7.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.  Forward Nino Williams averages 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Forward Jordan Henriquez averages 4.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. He is probable with a back injury.  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, Oklahoma and Baylor. 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 twice, Texas twice, Kansas St twice, West Virginia twice, and Oklahoma St and home wins over Colorado, Richmond, Temple, Iowa St, Baylor, Oklahoma, and TCU. The Jayhawks are 18-14 ATS and the total is 14-14-1 this season.

Kansas is outscoring teams 75-61 this season. The Jayhawks are in the top 50 nationally in both categories. Kansas is #18 in field goal percentage at 47.8% and  36.8% from three point range. The Jayhawks are shooting 72.8% from the free throw line. Kansas averages 39.1 rebounds per game, and gives up 29.7 per game. The Jayhawks are #17 in rebounding nationally.  Kansas opponents are shooting 35.9% from the field and 31.1% from 3 point range. Kansas is #1 in opponent’s field goal percentage. The Jayhawks average 16 assists, 7 steals, 7 blocks and 14 turnovers a game.

McLemore averages 16.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Center Jeff Withey averages 13.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4 blocks per game. He broke the Big 12 record for blocks in a career a couple of weeks ago.  Guard Travis Releford averages 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Elijah Johnson averages  10 points, 3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. Kevin Young averages 7.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe, Andrew White III and Jamari Taylor make up the rest of the rotation. Little used forward Justin Wesley is questionable with a finger injury.

Kansas St is 5-1 ATS in Saturday games, 5-2 overall, and in Big 12 games. The favorite is 24-7 ATS in the last 31 in this series, and Kansas St has been the underdog in every contest.

Kansas is 9-1 ATS overall, and in Big 12 games, 7-1 after a win and a cover, 4-1 in neutral site games, and against teams with winning records.

Besides bragging rights and a conference championship, Kansas and Kansas St are also playing for seeding in the NCAA tournament. Kansas could jump up to a #1 seed, and Kansas St could be a #2 or #3 seed. I like Kansas to win, but Kansas St keeps it close.

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