It’s a first-round matchup in this year’s edition of the Paradise Jam Tournament when the Ohio Valley Conference battles the Big 12. The Eastern Kentucky Colonels are on the road as they travel to face the #11 Kansas State Wildcats Friday night. Eastern Kentucky comes in off a 107-52 win over Midway in their last game Tuesday night at home. Kansas State downed Denver 64-56 at home Monday night in their latest contest. The Wildcats won the only previous meeting between the schools as then-#17 Kansas State rolled to an 87-59 home win on December 1, 1972.
Eastern Kentucky Colonels Look to Spring Upset
Eastern Kentucky had an easy time in their last game as they rolled over an in-state NAIA program in Midway. The Colonels ran to a 52-27 halftime lead and didn’t look back in that one. Eastern Kentucky faces a much stiffer challenge in this one as they lock up with a ranked opponent. The Colonels shot 47 percent from the field and knocked down 12 of 29 three-point attempts in the game. Eastern Kentucky held Midway to 31 percent shooting from the floor, forced 25 turnovers and dominated the glass by a 57-34 margin, including 21 offensive boards. Lachlan Anderson had 22 points and 14 rebounds off the bench to lead Eastern Kentucky in the win.
.@EKUHoops @CoachAWHamilton picked up a convincing win over Midway last night! 5 Colonels notched double digits point totals lead by @LacAnderson21! The Aussie dropped 22 and grabbed 14 boards to log his first career double-double! Here are the highlights! #GoBigE pic.twitter.com/JIyaI2Hrhw
— EKU Sports (@EKUSports) November 14, 2018
The Colonels enter this contest putting up an average of 88.3 points a night on the season. Eastern Kentucky grabs 47.3 boards a game while dishing out 14.7 dimes a contest. The Colonels are tied for 268th in scoring defense as they allow an average of 78.3 points per game this season. Nick Mayo is the team’s leading scorer as he puts up 28 points and 12 rebounds a night this season. Lachlan Anderson is the only other player in double figures so far with 10 points and eight rebounds per game. The Colonels have quality role players like Jomaru Brown, Peyton Broughton, JacQuess Hobbs, Dujuanta Weaver, Kelvin Robinson, Jordan Oakley and Tre King who can contribute on both ends. Eastern Kentucky shoots 40.8 percent from the field as a team this season. The Colonels knock down 7.7 threes a night but hit only 27.1 percent from beyond the arc. Eastern Kentucky has connected on only 66.7 percent of their attempts at the charity stripe this season.
Kansas State Wildcats Seek to Remain Unbeaten
Kansas State had a tougher than expected time with Denver but managed to put them away to earn the home win. The Wildcats now look to put together a more complete performance here to remain unbeaten and punch their ticket to the semifinals. Kansas State led by three at the half and trailed by three just three minutes into the second half. The Wildcats regrouped, ripping off a 13-2 run to take an eight-point lead and never saw their edge drop below three the rest of the way. Kansas State shot 38.3 percent from the floor, including just six of 27 from beyond the arc, and bricked 15 of 27 free throw attempts in the game. The Wildcats held Denver to 36.5 percent shooting in the game, including seven of 29 from long range, and forced 17 turnovers. Barry Brown Jr. led Kansas State with 25 points, 15 of which came in the second half.
— K-State Men's Basketball (@KStateMBB) November 13, 2018
The Wildcats are averaging just 60 points a game so far this season as they rely on their defense. Kansas State is collecting 41 rebounds a night while dishing out an average of 13.5 assists per game. The Wildcats are terrific on the defensive end, ranking 5th in the nation by allowing 48.5 points per contest. Barry Brown Jr. leads the team with 20 points per game on the year. Dean Wade contributes 13.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists a night while Xavier Sneed chips in 12 points per game. Makol Mawien, Kamau Stokes, Austin Trice, Carter Diarra, Mike McGuirl and Levi Stockard III are key rotation players for Kansas State. The Wildcats are shooting only 40 percent from the field this season. Kansas State is hitting 3.5 triples a night while shooting a dismal 17.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats are abysmal at the free throw line as they sink just 44.7 percent of their chances from the stripe.
- Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
- Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss
- Colonels are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Colonels are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Eastern Kentucky is going to try and run the floor to try and wear down the Kansas State unit. The problem for the Colonels is that they’re not going to get many easy looks in this game like they may have seen in the first couple games. Kansas State isn’t doing much offensively this season but their defense is one of the best in the nation. The Wildcats rely on that defense and they end up moving on to the semifinals by shutting down Eastern Kentucky here.
Prediction: Kansas State Wildcats
Full-Game Total Pick
This is going to be a massive clash of styles as Eastern Kentucky has been putting up more than their fair share of points this season. On the flip side, there are few teams that have been better than Kansas State when it comes to preventing points being scored. The Wildcats have to be a lot better shooting the ball in all facets than we saw in their first two games. Can Brown Jr., Wade and company find a way to get the team going on the offensive side of the ball in this one?
The under is 7-1 in the Colonels’ last 8 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game. Kansas State has seen the under go 4-1 in their last 5 games following an ATS loss, 6-2 in their last eight neutral site games and 20-7 in their last 27 games against teams with a winning percentage greater than .600 on the year. The Wildcats control the tempo and keep this one in check as it falls under the total.