The Kansas State Wildcats are 8-1 in their last nine games and they have won three in a row heading into a road date with the Texas Longhorns at the Frank Erwin Center on Tuesday night. Kansas State is coming off consecutive victories over Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Baylor. The Longhorns have won two straight at the expense of Baylor and West Virginia.
Wildcats on a roll
Not since current Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger was a senior guard for Kansas State have the Wildcats enjoyed the kind of in-conference success they are enjoying this season. KSU now attempts to win a ninth consecutive Big 12 game and avenge its most lopsided defeat of the season when it faces Texas again on Tuesday. The Wildcats did not appear poised to be in a position to end Kansas’ 14-year run of winning at least a share of the Big 12 title when they began their league schedule with back-to-back losses to Texas and Texas Tech in early January. Since then, however, Kansas State has not dropped a conference game since and it defeated one of its closest competitors atop the league standings this past Saturday with a 70-63 victory at Baylor, stretching its lead atop the Big 12 to 1.5 games with eight regular-season games remaining.
— K-State Men's Basketball (@KStateMBB) February 10, 2019
The Wildcats were without second-leading scorer Dean Wade (14.0 points, team-high 6.8 rebounds per game) and Kamau Stokes (10.3 ppg) in the first matchup with Texas this season because of injuries. Stokes had one of his best games of the 2018-19 campaign against Baylor, snapping a six-game streak in which he failed to reach double-figures by tying a season-high with 20 points while adding a season-high six rebounds and four assists. Fellow senior Barry Brown Jr. (team-high 15.3 ppg, 1.9 spg) joined Stokes for the team lead with a trio of three-pointers en route to 13 points, reaching double-figures for the 19th time this season. He also played in his 128th consecutive game, breaking the school record held by Steve Henson (1987-90). Kansas State’s conference winning streak is the school’s longest since an 11-game run in 1973-74.
Keeping it close
The Longhorns are 2.5 games behind Kansas State in the Big 12 standings but they remain in the hunt thanks to a 3-1 record in their past four outings. Texas, which opened league play with a 67-47 road victory over a shorthanded Kansas State team on Jan. 2, is coming off a 75-53 road rout of West Virginia. It has also knocked off conference powers Oklahoma, Kansas, and Baylor in its three most recent performances at home. The Longhorns’ 22-point margin of victory against the Mountaineers marked their largest in a Big 12 contest under fourth-year head coach Shaka Smart, breaking the record they set while humbling the Wildcats in the first meeting.
Kerwin Roach II (team-high 14.8 ppg) failed to top his season scoring average for only the second time in the past 11 games with 14 points. But he is 13-for-19 from the field over his last two contests following a two-game stretch in which he shot 8-for-28. Freshman guard Courtney Ramey (7.1 ppg) leads the team in three-point percentage (40.2) and tied season-highs for the second time in five games with five treys and 19 points at the Mountaineers’ expense. Freshman forward Jaxson Hayes (10.5 ppg, 2.4 bpg, 75.2 field-goal percentage) continued to close the gap on Central Florida’s Tacko Fall (76.1 percent) for the Division I lead in field-goal percentage by going 4-for-4 on Saturday. However, Hayes logged a season-low 11 minutes after picking up three quick fouls.
The Texas Longhorns are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last six Tuesday games
- 8-18-1 ATS in their last 27 games against Kansas State
- 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games against Kansas State
The Kansas State Wildcats are:
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight overall
- 5-1 ATS in their last six road games
- 7-0 ATS in their last seven games against the Big 12
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is quite simply a much healthier and much better Kansas State squad than what was previously in display against Texas. The Wildcats have topped 70 points in three straight after reaching that mark twice in their first eight league contests. The Wildcats are 6-0 ATS in their last six against winning opponents, 4-0 ATS in their last four on the road against opponents with winning home records, and 6-1 ATS in their last seven following a win. Texas is 8-18-1 ATS in the last 27 meetings between the two teams and 2-10 ATS in its last 12 at home against Kansas State.
Prediction: Kansas State Wildcats
Full-Game Total Pick
Texas gave up only 53 points to Kansas State in the previous matchup and it surrendered a mere 47 to West Virginia last week. Stokes has been struggling for KSU aside from his showing against Baylor, but this is perhaps the best defensive team in the Big 12. The under is 8-1 in the Wildcats’ last nine against winning opponents and 8-3 in their last 11 following a win. It is also 4-1 in the Longhorns’ last five against the Big 12, 10-1 in their last 11 against winning opponents, and 36-14-1 in their last 51 following a win. Additionally, the under is 11-1 in the last 12 meetings between the two teams and 5-0 in Kansas State’s last five trips to Texas. Look for this one to stay under the total.