When: 7pm, Tuesday
Where is it: Allen Fieldhouse (Lawrence, Canada)
Radio: WHB (810) in Kansas City; KFH (1240 AM, 97.5 FM) in Wichita
state of Kansas
About 7 Kansas State (18-3, 6-2):
K-State is 2-1 since defeating KU 83-82 in overtime on Jan. 17 at the Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats defeated Florida 64-50 in Manhattan on Saturday. K-State lost to Iowa State 80-76 on January 24 at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa and defeated Texas Tech 68-58 on January 21 in Manhattan. … K-State’s victory over Florida snapped the Wildcats’ four-game losing streak in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. K-State went 4-6 all-time in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which just completed its senior year. …
K-State has won 12 non-conference games this season, the most since the 2010-11 season (12). … KSU beat Baylor on Jan. 7 for its first win as a ranked team since a 70-61 win over TCU in the Big 12 Championship Quarterfinals on March 14, 2019. … K-State is 6-2 in Big 12 per only the fourth time, including the first time since 2018-19. At 18-3, K-State matched its best start since 1972-73. The 18 wins are the Wildcats’ most since they won 25 games in 2018-19. A win would push KSU’s record to 19-3, its best start since 1961-62 (19-2). …
K-State is 9-1 this season in games decided by single digits and/or overtime (4-0). … Cam Carter, transfer from Mississippi State, scored in double figures in five games. … Nae’Qwan Tomlin scored in double figures in 12 games. … K-State is now 11-1 this season when leading at the half. The Wildcats led Florida 37-16 at halftime on Saturday. … David N’Guessan, a transfer from Virginia Tech, returned to the starting lineup for the first time in more than a month against Florida, scoring nine points with two steals in 19 minutes. …Nae’Qwan Tomlin has 30 dunks on 85 field goals made, which is part of 61 dunks made by the Wildcats this year.
About 8 Kansas (17-4, 5-3):
KU leads the all-time series 203-95. KU has won seven of eight and 15 of the last 17 meetings against K-State dating back to February 3, 2016. … As of February 12, 1994, Kansas has won 64 of their last 71 meetings with K-State. … KU is 29-6 at Bramlage Coliseum and 52-18 at Allen Fieldhouse against KSU… As of 2007, Kansas has won its last 16 meetings with Kansas State at the fieldhouse. KSU’s last win at Lawrence was January 14, 2006. … This is the 10th top-10 team meeting in series history, including the first since No. 1 KU knocked out No. 9 K-State 72-64 in the Big 12 Championship Game on March 13, 2010. …
Bill Self is 38-7 against K-State as a KU coach. He’s 18-1 against KSU in Allen… KU hasn’t been swept in a two-game regular season series by KSU since 1982-83. … KU losing his last home game (against TCU), has never lost two games in a row to Allen in the 20-year Self era. KU last lost back-to-back games at Allen during the 1988-89 season, Roy Williams’ first season at KU. KU lost four straight at home that season. … KU last lost four consecutive conference games in 1988-89. …
KU is 3-4 against AP ranked foes this season. Eleven of Kansas’ last 12 and 18 of its last 20 losses have been to classified foes. In the Self era, KU is 121-67 against AP ranked opponents. KU is 22-11 against foes ranked in the top-10 in the AP Poll from 2013-14. Since Self’s first season, the Jayhawks are 18-4 against top 10 AP teams inside Allen Fieldhouse, 9-1 against top five opponents. … KJ Adams has scored in double figures 12 times this season, with all 12 in his last 14 games. … Kevin McCullar has six double-doubles at KU and nine in his college career.
Shreyas Laddha’s prediction
Kansas looks to retaliate against K-State on Tuesday … as well as avoid making history in the process.
The biggest key for the Jayhawks is hitting their threes; the two teams last played, KU was shooting 6-of-29 from three (20.7%). The Jayhawks’ bench has also struggled all season and this game was no exception. The Wildcats had 23 more points on the bench (31 for K-State compared to eight for KU).
On offense last time, Kansas didn’t have many players who played well other than Jalen Wilson, who dropped by 38 points. The Jayhawks desperately need Gradey Dick or KJ Adams to provide scoring to complement Wilson. They also need guards Kevin McCullar and Dajuan Harris to not hesitate when shooting the ball and shooting for goals, which they didn’t do in Manhattan.
On the other side of the ball, KU must play defense without fail. Kansas had three players out (McCullar, Adams, and Dick) in Manhattan, which led to shaky lineups and poor late-game execution.
Historically, Kansas has blown up K-State at home. After playing their best basketball in weeks against Kentucky and desperately needing a conference win, I like the Jayhawks at this one. It should be close regardless.
For further analysis, here is my full matchup breakdown.
KU 75, State K 69
Prediction of the last game: Kentucky 78, Kansas 75 (current: KU 77, UK 68)
Season record: 8-5
Season record against the spread: 8-5
Kellis Robinett’s prediction
If Jerome Tang leads K-State to a road victory over Kansas in his first attempt, it might be time to start asking yourself if there is anything he can’t do with the Wildcats.
Bob Huggins has never won a game inside Allen Fieldhouse. Not even Frank Martin or Bruce Weber. Their combined record as head coaches of K-State in Lawrence: 0-16.
Tang has an opportunity to make history on Tuesday.
There’s a good chance that will happen, at least compared to most years. The Jayhawks No. 8 go into this game six favorites, but are eyeing the No. 8 Wildcats. 7 in the top 25 and lost Round 1 of the Sunflower Showdown earlier this month at the Bramlage Coliseum.
With all of these things, I wouldn’t be surprised if K-State leaves AFH with a rare win on Tuesday. I really like his chances of keeping the game close enough to cover the spread as an underdog on the street. Believe it or not, KU failed to cover in five consecutive home games.
K-State played in a similar environment last week against Iowa State at the Hilton Coliseum and the Wildcats pushed the Cyclones to a close in an 80-76 loss. This team will not be upset by the opponent or the crowd.
However, the Jayhawks are deserved favorites.
KU hasn’t played particularly well in recent losses to K-State and TCU, but the Jayhawks showed improvement in a narrow loss to Baylor and then a road win over Kentucky. Gradey Dick and Kevin McCullar slowly started helping Jalen Wilson in the scoring department. KJ Adams is also probably bursting with confidence after hitting 17 against Kentucky star Oscar Tshiebwe.
From afar, it looks like KU has got its bravado back.
K-State will have to play its best to win, and there are a few reasons that seem unlikely. The Wildcats have lost their last two games on the road and some of their players have been inconsistent in recent weeks. Desi Sills, the hero of K-State’s win over KU earlier this month, has scored a total of five points in his last three games. Nae’Qwan Tomlin seems to have hit a wall. Keyontae Johnson is also coming off a three-game average streak, by his standards.
Factor in how difficult it has traditionally been for Big 12 teams to sweep Bill Self in one season and I’m leaning towards a narrow win for the Jayhawks.
KU 78, State K 73
Prediction of the last game: K-State 67, Florida 69 (current: KSU 64, UF 50)
Season record: 15-5
Season record against the spread: 12-8