North Texas vs. Kansas State – Thursday, March 18th
Okla. City, OK - West Region 11:40 am
Betting Odds: The 2nd-seed Wildcats are the favorite at -16 (-110), N. Texas +16 (-110)
Kansas State – 26-7 SU,
North Texas – 24-8 SU
This game is in the West regional bracket and will be played in Oklahoma City.
The North Texas Mean Green (sounds like it should be in a Disney movie, right?) will do their best to represent the Sun Belt conference, but they’ll be up against a tough opponent in Kansas State. For North Texas to have a chance in the match-up, the Mean Green needs a sustained performance, from their dynamite guard duo of juniors Josh White and Tristan Thompson.
Junior forward George Odufuwa also must be assertive, especially on the offensive glass (his average of double-digit rebounds per game must translate in this opening-round tilt).
Kansas State has a fantastic duo of its own with guard Denis Clemente and forward Curtis Kelly--And we aren’t even counting the team’s leading scorer, junior Jacob Pullen, who paced the Wildcats with 18.9 PPG. Head coach Frank Martin and the troops were unable to topple daunting in-state rival Kansas, losing to them three times.
Other than that, the Wildcats looked very impressive in 2009-10.
With Clemente, the speedy 6”1 Puerto Rican, the Wildcats can raise the tempo to an aggressive pace; North Texas must be prepared to run. The Mean Green has the effective triumvirate of White, Thompson and Odufuwa, which is what a starting five needs in college for effectiveness.
However, as the seeding indicates in this match-up, North Texas will be scrapping with a competitive Big 12 program.
As the line indicates, North Texas winning this game would be an upset that stunned everybody.
Wildcats are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games
Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games as a favorite
Wildcats are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss
Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a SU loss
Mean Green Eagles are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
Mean Green Eagles are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win
Mean Green Eagles are 5-0-2 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog of 13.0 or greater
Mean Green Eagles are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big 12
Over is 5-0 in Wildcats last 5 neutral site games as a favorite
Over is 9-1 in Wildcats last 10 games following a SU loss
Mean Green vs. Wildcats Free Tournament Pick: Kansas State can do it up front and with guard play; the ‘Cats will also likely control the tempo. Thus, the Mean Green’s guard duo of White and Thompson must shoot the lights out in Oklahoma City to even have a hope of keeping pace.
Score Prediction: Kansas State 74 – North Texas 61
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