Southeast Region: (12) Utah State vs. (5) Kansas State

(12) Utah State Aggies AT (5) Kansas State Wildcats
Mar 17, 2011  8:55 PM EST
Opening Line:  Kansas St -1.5
Current Line: Kansas St -2.5
Opening Total:  129.5
Current Total: 128.5
Opening Moneyline:  K St -130 / Ut St +170
Current Moneyline:  K St. -140 / Ut St +120

The Kansas State Wildcats are slight favorites over a #12 seed

The first thing you should notice when you see this game is that the #5 K-State Wildcats are very narrow favorite over a #12 seed.  That means that this game is a great one to predict an upset for in a pool that rewards one for calling an upset.

Utah State is another conference winner and closed the season out with 8 consecutive victories, including a victory over then ranked #23 Saint Mary’s.  They won their 3 conference tournament games by an average of 18 points per game, largely due to a 42 point drubbing of Louisiana Tech.  “The best thing is there’s no way they can keep us out,” Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. “We’re in, so we’re excited about that.”

Utah State has WAC player of hte year Tai Wesley.  Wesley took over down the stretch of the WAC Title game, as he scored 9 points in the last 5 minutes of the game, while Utah State cruised to another WAC Title.

Kansas State lost in the semifinals of the Big 12 Conference Finals, dropping the game 87-75, to unranked Colorado.  Prior to that loss, they had won 6 straight, including 3 wins against ranked opponents – #1 Kansas, #21 Missouri and #8 Texas.  Their last loss was another game against Colorado.  The difference, however, is Colorado is in the NIT, while Kansas State moved on to the big dance.  Justice is not always served.

Some betting trends:

Kansas State is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games and the total has gone OVER in 5 of Kansas State’s last 7 games.

Utah State’s Overall Scoring 72.15
Kansas State’s Overall Defense 65.97

Utah State’s Road Scoring 68.54
Kansas State’s Home Defense 63.95

Kansas State’s  Overall Scoring 73.09
Utah State’s Overall Defense 58.24

Jansas State’s Home Scoring 78.63
Utah State’s Road Defense 59.79

Kansas State’s Home Rebounds 39.47
Utah State’s Road Rebounds 32.07

Utah State is led by WAC Player of the Year, 6’7″ senior forward Tai Wesley.  Wesley puts up 14.7 points per game and he also grabs 8 boards per night.  In the 7 games he has recorded a double double, Utah State has won 6.  His best game of the year was a 27 point, 13 rebound game in an 8 point win over Hawaii.  Brockeith Pane and Brian Green both score in double figures as well, with 11.6 and 10.6 respectively, and all 5 Utah State starters play at least 25 minutes a game, forming their 7 man rotation.

Kansas State is led by 6’1″ senior guard Jacob Pullen.  Pullen puts up 19.5 points per game and 3.7 assists, and 3.0 rebounds.  In the 15 games that Pullen scored 20 or more, Kansas State is 11-4.  Pullen put up a ridiculous 38 points in the shocking upset of #1 ranked Kansas on February 14th.  That night, Kansas State won by 16 points over a team that was heavily favored.  Imagine a money line bet there.

For as well as Utah State has played, they still find themselves slight underdogs, but they do have the advantage of having the best player in the conference and their strong defense could allow them to pull the upset


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