When: Saturday at 1pm
Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma
Radio: KCSP (610 AM) in Kansas City, KKGQ (92.3 FM) in Wichita
Bet line: State of Oklahoma within 2
Above under: 138
state of Kansas
State of Oklahoma
Kansas State Information (21-7, 9-6):
The Wildcats are having a pair of home wins over Iowa State and Baylor that have brought them back near the top of the Big 12. Desi Sills is now in the starting lineup in place of David N’Guessan. The Wildcats have played some of their best basketball with a smaller lineup, so don’t expect any changes against Oklahoma State.
Keyontae Johnson scored 25 points in her last outing, while Markquis Nowell became the first player in school history to have 10 assists and zero turnovers in a game.
Oklahoma State Information (16-12, 7-8):
The Cowboys went on a three-game losing streak. Mike Boynton’s team needs to bounce back quickly if he hopes to make the NCAA Tournament. Before its recent swoon, Oklahoma State had won seven of eight and many thought the Cowboys were the hottest team in the conference. But losses to Kansas, TCU and West Virginia put them on the bubble.
Bryce Thompson and Kalib Boone lead the Cowboys in scoring. Moussa Cisse is a threat blocking shots from the bench.
K-State might seem like the obvious choice in this situation, but there are more than a few sneaky reasons why analytical sites favor the state of Oklahoma in this game.
Yes, the Wildcats are winning and the Cowboys have lost three straight games. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of this encounter.
K-State has won both of its last two games at home, where the Wildcats have been nearly unbeatable this season. Put the Wildcats on the road and they tend to fight. Jerome Tang’s side are 3-6 in real away games, and have lost five away from home.
Not good news for the Gallagher-Iba Arena. Oklahoma State is a strong team at home, having won five of their last six in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State will also be desperate for a win on Saturday, as it needs a win to solidify its case for an NCAA Tournament bid. Motivation will be on his side.
K-State defeated Oklahoma State 65-57 earlier this season in Manhattan, but the Cowboys had no Cisse in that game. Adding him to the lineup and switching venues makes the rematch that much more interesting. Oklahoma State has one of the best defenses in all of college basketball and allows teams to shoot just 45.5% from two-point range.
Scoring will be tough for the Wildcats to come by. They will need to play strong defense and score points in transition to eliminate the Cowboys, who run the ball over on 21% of their possessions.
If K-State gets some cheap points and its two main stars (Johnson and Nowell) both play at a high level, they will find a way to win this game. But we haven’t seen that kind of Wildcats performance on the road in quite some time.
Beating a team in their building when they’re playing for their NCAA Tournament lives isn’t an easy thing to do this time of year. For this reason, I choose the state of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State 68, K-State 64
Prediction of the last match: Baylor 72, K-State 68 (current: K-State 75, Baylor 65).
Season record: 18-9.
Season record against the spread: 14-13.