College Basketball Sunflower Showdown: #8 Kansas Jayhawks at Kansas State Wildcats

#8 Kansas Jayhawks at Kansas State Wildcats
Fred Bramlage Coliseum – Manhattan, Kansas

Monday, February 23, 2015, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Kansas -6 1/2
Current Line: Kansas -5
Opening Total: 130 1/2
Current Total: 129
Opening Money Line: Kansas -265 / Kansas State +220
Current Money Line: Kansas -220 / Kansas State +185

Big South Tournament
Kansas takes on in-state rival Kansas State Monday.

With only 4 games left in the regular season, the Big 12 regular season title will likely come down to 4 teams. The 22-5 Kansas Jayhawks lead the conference with an 11-3 record by a game over Iowa State. Oklahoma and West Virginia are also in the mix but need help. Kansas is the only team that controls their own destiny as they look for at least a share of the Big 12 title for the 11th straight season. Next up, Kansas travels to Sunflower State rival Kansas State Monday night. The Wildcats are 13-15 and 6-9 in conference. Kansas State is in 8th place in the conference and ahead of only TCU and Texas Tech who have combined for 5 conference wins.

Kansas leads the series 188-92 against Kansas State, including 45-26 in Manhattan. Since 1994, Kansas has dominated their in-state rivals winning 49 of the last 53 games, including 7 of the last 8. Kansas won earlier this season 68-57 in Lawrence January 31.

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Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks have losses to Kentucky in Indianapolis, plus road losses at Temple, Iowa State Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Kansas is 13-0 at home this season. The Jayhawks have home wins over UC-Santa Barbara, Florida, Kent State, UNLV, Texas Tech,  Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and TCU 81-72 Saturday. Kansas has neutral site wins over Rhode Island, Tennessee and Michigan State in a tournament in Orlando, plus over Utah in Kansas City. The Jayhawks have road wins at Georgetown, Baylor, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech. Kansas is 15-10-1 ATS and the total is 13-11-1 this season. The Jayhawks were 12.5 point favorites against TCU and the total was 131.

Kansas State is coached by Bruce Weber. The Wildcats have road losses at Long Beach State, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech, West Virginia, TCU, and Baylor 69-42 Saturday, plus neutral site losses to Arizona and Pittsburgh in the Maui Invitational. Kansas State has home losses to Texas Southern, Georgia, West Virginia, and Texas. The Wildcats have lost 7 of their last 8 games including 2 straight. Kansas State has neutral site wins over Purdue in Maui and Texas A&M in Kansas City, home wins over Bradley, TCU, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, plus a road win at Oklahoma. The Wildcats are 12-11-2 ATS and the total is 8-14 this season. Kansas State was an 8.5 point underdog at Baylor and the total was 125.

Kansas is outscoring teams 72-64 this season. The Jayhawks are shooting 44.5% from the field and 40.9% from 3 point range. Kansas is #8 nationally in 3 point shooting. The Jayhawks make 70.6% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.5% from the field and 32% from 3 point range. Kansas averages 38.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.1 per game. The Jayhawks are #26 nationally in rebounding. Kansas averages 14.3 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 6.4  steals and 5 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.5 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 6 steals and 5.2 blocks per game.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis averages 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Frank Mason III averages 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 9.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Cliff Alexander averages 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. He is probable with a sternum injury. Kelly Oubre, Jr. averages 8.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Devonte Graham, Brannen Greene, Jamari Traylor, and Landon Lucas will also get time in the rotation.

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Kansas State is being outscored 64-63 this season. The Wildcats are shooting 43.4% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. Kansas State makes 67% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.7% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. Kansas State averages 31.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.3 per game. The Wildcats are #304 out of 353 teams nationally in rebounding but #31 in rebounds allowed. Kansas State averages 13.1 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.5 assists, 13 turnovers, 7.5 steals and 4 blocks per game.

Marcus Foster averages 13.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Nino Williams averages 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1 assist per game. Thomas Gipson averages 11 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Justin Edwards averages averages 6.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Six other players average at least 13 minutes a game in the rotation. Forwards Brandon Bolden and D.J. Johnson are both out for the season.

Kansas is 7-0 ATS against teams with losing records, 5-1-1 after a cover, and 29-14-2 against Big 12 teams. The Jayhawks are 26-9-1 ATS in the last 36 games against the Wildcats including 11-4 in Manhattan. Kansas was favored in each of those 36 contests.

Kansas State is 5-0 ATS after a straight up loss by 20 points or more, 19-6-1 against teams with winning road records, 2-5-1 overall, and in Big 12 games. The home team is 13-3-1 ATS in this series recently. The over is 5-2 in the alst 7 games in the series in Manhattan.

Despite the less than stellar record, Kansas State is still very dangerous especially at home. The Wildcats have picked off Oklahoma, Baylor, and Oklahoma State at home. Kansas has struggled on the road in conference and I think this will be a close game between two bitter rivals. The Jayhawks escape with a win.

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