Kansas Ok St 3 3

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Kansas

vs.

Oklahoma State

College Basketball

Pick

3/3/18

It’s been an incredible season for Kansas winning its 14th straight Big 12 regular season title. A lot of people doubted the Jayhawks throughout the season, yet they managed to win the title outright and are playing their best basketball ahead of Tournament time. To cap things off, they’ll need to win at Oklahoma State to insure that it doesn’t get swept, something that has never happened to Bill Self in Kansas.

That first meeting feels like a long time ago and it kind of was at the beginning of February. A mediocre Oklahoma State team went to LAwrence and led for the entire second half en route to an 84-79 win. It was a weird result and one that led many people to think this was the year that Kansas would fall apart in the conference. Of course, that didn’t happen. The Pokes are set to finish near the bottom of the standings, yet have road wins at Kansas and West Virginia. That’s kind of how the Big 12 works.

Needless to say, but this Game will probably be much different than that first meeting. OK State had one of its better offensive performances scoring 1.22 points per possession and going 12-of-27 from three-point range. Even with 16 turnovers, it didn’t matter because they pounded the glass for 16 offensive boards and held Kansas to 8-of-22 from deep. Expecting those things to happen again is a stretch.

OK State is at home, but it already has home losses to most teams in the Big 12 from Baylor to Kansas State. The Pokes also don’t rate as a good three-point shooting team so that first KU result was partly due to luck in that area. In fact, the only stat in which they are above average at on offense and defense is that they rarely get blocked. That’s nice to have, but doesn’t mean much on a larger scale. As for the Jayhawks, they are tops in the Conference in multiple offensive stats, most importantly effective FG percentage, as well as defensive three-point percentage.

The Jayhawks are playing at an elite level having held their last Four opponents to 74 points or less and more often than not, this OK State team has trouble scoring. No one on the team shoots better than 40 percent from deep, which is a big problem considering how they won the first meeting. Jeffrey Carroll leads the team in scoring, but he also jacks up a ton of threes and makes less than 32 percent of them. It’s easy to say, but if the Cowboys want to win again, they’ll need to catch fire from deep. In addition to Carroll, Kendall Smith, Tavarius Shine and Lindy Waters are the other guys that will be chucking it up from three. They’ll also need Mitchell Solomon to attack the offensive glass with Cameron McGriff because that’s KU’s biggest weakness defensively.

However, Devonte’ Graham is set to win the Big 12 Player of the Year for a reason. He’s playing well and that’s making everyone around him better. Udoka Azubuike, who had 20 points in that first Game, will likely reach that mark again considering how he’s played as of late making 38 of his last 43 shots. His size is an immediate problem for Solomon or anyone OK State uses, especially when Graham creates from the perimeter. Everyone else has fallen into line for Kansas with guys like Svi Mykhailiuk and Malik Newman making big shots when needed and LAgerald Vick doing the dirty work.

Oklahoma State won the first meeting by playing out of its minds and shooting at an incredible rate. This one may be close, but betting on the Cowboys to win will be tough, even at home.

Our Pick – Kansas -5

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