2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament – Missouri Tigers (11) vs Cincinnati Bearcats (6) NCAAB Lines
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NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET – Southeast REGION
Date/Time: Thursday, March 17, 9:57
Venue: McKale Center, Tucson, AZ
Utah State Aggies vs. Kansas State Wildcats Betting Lines from Justbet.com
Money Line: Utah State +110 / Kansas State -130
Spread: Kansas State -2
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Utah State vs. Kansas State Preview
In the first Big Dance games for both teams 5th seed Kansas State (22-10) faces a BIG sleeper pick in 12th seed Utah State (30-3). NCAAB lines have Kansas State as 2-point favorites in this game with a total of 128.5.
The Aggies come into this game hot winning 8 straight and they won the Western Athletic Conference title and tournament beating Boise State 77-69 in the title game. Kansas State was hot winners of 6 in a row before being upset by Colorado 87-75 in the Big 12 conference tournament quarterfinals.
Utah State was only 1-1 against ranked teams this season and while Kansas State was 5-5 against ranked teams this season they won their last 3 games against teams in the top 25 including beating #1 Kansas and #8 Texas.
Utah State was a pretty good betting team this season going 16-13-1 ATS while Kansas State was only 11-15 ATS.
The Aggies are led by WAC Conferences player of the year Taj Wesley (14.7 ppg 8 rpg), but there are a couple of other players that are key in guards Brockeith Pane (11.6 ppg) and Brian Green (10.6 ppg). Green is one of the best long-range shooters in the country, as he hit on 75/159 of his 3-pt bombs for a 3-pt FG 47.2%. That is a big concern for the Wildcats, who had issues on defense leaving shooters open so if Green can connect on some deep balls Wesley will have more room to operate inside.
Kansas State has a decent defense ranking 107th in the nation in opponents’ points allowed, but they gave up more than 4 points more than their season average in their last 3 games. In their loss to Colorado in their last game the Wildcats allowed the Buffalos to shoot 58% from the floor and 66.7% from beyond the 3-pt arc and if they play D like that again they will be upset.
Kansas State has a great backcourt with the duo of Jacob Pullen (19.5 ppg) and Rodney McGruder (11.4 ppg). Pullen a good shooter and is great at creating scoring chances while McGruder shot 41.1% from 3-pt land. F Curtis Kelly (10.1 ppg) will have to score inside so that the Aggies do not creep up on the perimeter to keep their guards from having big scoring games.
Utah State has one of the best defenses in the nation ranking 2nd in opponents points allowed and their D has been stellar in their last 3 games giving up 7 fewer points than their season average.
Utah State may have been slighted in their seed and they will want to prove they are a legit contender in the Southeast Region. However, that will not happen in this game, as Kansas State will rebound from their last loss and Pullen will have a big game. The Wildcats will win this game and cover the 2-point spread.
Kansas State is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against teams with a winning percentage above 60% and 5-2 ATS in their last 5 games and Utah State is 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games as an underdog and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
Pick: Kansas State -2
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