Big 12 Quarterfinals: #7 Texas Longhorns vs #2 Kansas State Wildcats

Big 12 Quarterfinals
#7 Texas Longhorns Vs #2 Kansas State Wildcats
Thursday, March 14, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: Big 12 Network, YES, Altitude, MASN
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Opening Line: Kansas St -6 1/2
Current Line; Kansas St -7 1/2

Opening Total: 128 1/2
Current Total: 130 1/2
Opening Money Line: Kansas St -310 / Texas +260
Current Money Line: Kansas St -350 / Texas +290

Kansas St is a 7.5 point favorite against Texas in the Big 12 quarters Thursday.
Kansas St is a 7.5 point favorite against Texas in the Big 12 quarters Thursday.

The 16-16 Texas Longhorns can become eligible for post-season play if they upset the 25-6 Kansas State Wildcats in Thursday’s Big 12 Quarterfinals. The Longhorns opened play yesterday with a 70-57 win over #10 seed TCU in the first round. Texashas won 3 straight games. The Longhorns went 7-11 in conference and were in 7th place in the Big 12. Kansas St tied with Kansas at 14-4 for the Big 12 title. It was the first conference title for the Wildcats since 1977. Kansas St was seeded second though because they were swept by Kansas in the regular season.

Kansas St leads the series 15-10 against Texas. The Wildcats won both meetings in the regular season by double digits. Kansas St beat Texas January 30 in Manhattan 83-57. In that game Texas was playing without star guard Myck Kabongo who was serving a 23 game suspension. He has played in the last 9 games for Texas, including February 23 in Austin against Kansas St. The Wildcats won that game 81-69. This is only the second meeting between the schools in the Big 12 tournament.

Texas is coached by Rick Barnes.  Texas has losses to Chamindade and USC in the Maui Invitational, to Georgetown in New York City, to UCLA in Houston, at Michigan St, Baylor, Iowa St, Oklahoma, Kansas St twice, Kansas twice, West Virginia twice, and at Oklahoma St twice. Three of their losses were in overtime. The Longhorns have key wins over Fresno St, Mississippi St in Maui, North Carolina Rice, Texas Tech twice, TCU twice, Iowa St,Oklahoma, and Baylor. The Longhorns won at Texas Tech Saturday 71-69 in overtime to close out the regular season.  Texas is 16-12-1 ATS and the total is 15-11 this season.

Texas is scoring 65.9 points per game and  giving up 65.4 per game. The Longhorns are shooting 41.4% from the field and 29.6% from 3 point range. Texas makes 64.8% of their free throws. The Longhorns are 267th or worse in all three shooting categories out of 347 teams. The Longhorns average 37.4 rebounds per game, and they give up 33 per game. Texas opponents are shooting 38.4% from the field and 28.8% from 3 point range. The Longhorns are in the top 13 nationally in both categories. Texas averages 11 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks and 15 turnovers.

Texas is 6-3 since Kabongo returned to the line-up. Kabongo averages 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Guard Sheldon McClellan averages 14.1 points, and 4.1 rebounds. Guard Julien Lewis averages 10.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Forward Ioannis Papapetrou averages 8.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Forward Jonathan Holmes averages 6.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He missed several games during the season with a broken hand. Center Cameron Ridley averages 4.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. Connor Lammert, DeMarcus Holland, and Prince Ibah will also get some time in the rotation. Little used center Andrew Dick is out for the season with a knee injury.

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 Saturday 76-70 in Stillwater. The loss snapped a 6 game winning streak for the Wildcats.  Michigan, Kansas  and Gonzaga are currently ranked in the top 9 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 13-13-1 ATS and the total is 13-9 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.

Texas is 3-1-1 ATS overall, and against Big 12 teams, and in Big 12 games, 4-9 in neutral site games, 1-3-1 after a straight up win, and 0-4-1 after a cover. The last 5 in this series have gone over the total. The underdog is 10-4-1 ATS in this series recently.

Kansas St is 5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 4-1 after failing to cover, and 1-4 in neutral site games. The Wildcats are 11-3-1 ATS  in the last 15 against the Longhorns.

Texas is playing much better with Kabongo, but Kansas St simply has more talent than the rebuilding Longhorns. Texas keeps it close for a  while but Kansas St pulls away at the end.

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