In-state rivals and co-conference champions Kansas State and Kansas will square off for a third time when they meet in tonight’s Big 12 Tournament Championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. This evening’s showdown between the No. 11 Wildcats and the No. 7 Jayhawks is scheduled to get underway at 6:00pm ET on ESPN. Big 12 Tournament Odds have Kansas listed as a -4 against the spread and -190 moneyline favorite ($190 wins $100); the game total is set at 132 points. The Wildcats, who are seeking their first win of the season over Kansas, are drawing +165 odd ($100 wins $165) to win tonight’s final.
Two of Kansas State’s six losses this season came against Bill Self’s Jayhawks. Kansas turned back the Wildcats 59-55 in Manhattan and it scored a huge 83-62 win over Bruce Weber’s squad in Lawrence. Nonetheless, Kansas State earned a share of the Big 12 regular season title thanks to its 14-4 league record.
Kansas State, a winner in 12 of its last 14 games, closed out its regular season slate with a 76-70 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, but it took last night’s rubber match meeting with the Pokes 68-57 in order to earn a third crack at the Jayhawks.
With the exception of Rodney McGruder, who tallied 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, the Wildcats had difficulty putting the ball in the basket last night; however, their defensive effort more than made up for any offensive shortcomings. Oklahoma State connected on just 18 of its 59 field goal attempts and only two Cowboys (Le’Bryan Nash, Marcus Smart) reached double figures in points.
Kansas can anticipate the same sort of pressure tonight, which will serve as a major change-up from its first two Big 12 Tournament contests. The Jayhawks, who are currently on a 9-1 run, had little difficulty slicing their way through Texas Tech and Iowa State as they totaled 179 points (59.5 percent field goal shooting) in dispatching those two squads.
Kansas State will be able to slow down Kansas' offense, but the key for the Wildcats will be finding a way to score against the Jayhawks defense. As good as it is, Kansas State does not have an abundance of offensive options so in order for them to avoid a third loss to Kansas, McGruder will need another incredible night.
Kansas State vs Kansas Big 12 Tournament Championship Odds:
Kansas State Wildcats +4 (-110), Over 132 (-110), +165 (Moneyline)
Kansas Jayhawks -4 (-110), Under 132 (-110), -190 (Moneyline)
Reading The March Madness Betting Market
As we head into the month of March, Vegas Runner and RJ Bell will take a look at reading the betting market for this years March Madness.