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NCAA Tournament Kansas State Wildcats vs LaSalle Explorers

The 2nd Round of the NCAA tournament continues today and we will see the Kansas State Wildcats take on the LaSalle Explorers. The game is scheduled for a 3:10 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on TruTv. Currently the Odds for the game have Wisconsin favored by 5.5 points while the total sits at 128.

Analysis: La Salle notched its first NCAA Tournament win since 1990 in Wednesday’s 80-71 first-round victory over Boise State – the 59th anniversary of their national championship win. The Explorers ended their 21-year postseason drought in style Wednesday, shooting 63.3 percent – the best performance by a NCAA Tournament team since 2009. In addition to hitting 11 of its 21 3-point attempts against the Broncos, La Salle scored 36 points inside the paint. Sam Mills hit five of the team’s 3-pointers and is 22-for-39 beyond the arc over his last 10 games. The Explorers figure to be without 6-11 sophomore center Steve Zack (sprained foot) again Friday. The only La Salle regular taller than 6-8, Zack was still on crutches Wednesday. His size will be missed against the Wildcats, who led the Big 12 in offensive rebounds. 

Kansas State, which shared the regular-season conference title with the Jayhawks, reached the regional final round in its only previous appearance as a fourth seed in the NCAA Tournament and will try to make another deep run this year. The Wildcats received their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament bid and 27th overall. The main cog in first-year coach Bruce Weber’s motion offense is leading scorer Rodney McGruder (15.7 points), who has scored in double figures in 13 straight games and coming off a conference tournament run in which he averaged 22.3 points. However, Kansas State does most of its damage on the defensive end, leading the Big 12 in scoring defense (60.4). Center Jordan Henriquez (back) saw his most significant action in nearly a month over the last two games of the conference tournament, averaging eight rebounds and two blocks over that span. Kansas State will play a NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City for the ninth time in school history, but the first time since 1964.

Pick: The Explorers had a very good game vs Boise State, but now they take a step up in competition and I don't see it as a successful step, especially vs a Kansas State team that will be playing in its home state. Lasalle has been very good on offense this year and they did put 80 points on Boise State in the first game, but LaSalle has been slowed down when they took on some of the tough defensive teams they have faced. LaSalle averages 72.7 ppg on the year, but in one game vs St Louis, 2 games vs Butler and 1 game vs Miami-Fla they were held to less than 60 points in each game, going 1-3 SU with all 3 losses coming on the road and by DD.  That is not good news when you're about to face a KSU squad that allows just 61.4 ppg on 42.7% shooting on the year. Granted this isn't an official home game, but its close enough and they did allow just 58.5 ppg at home. I do not see the Explorers being able to ride their momentum from the win over Boise State, as they will once again struggle away from home vs a tough defensive squad. 

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