Date and Time: Saturday, March 1st, 2014 9:00 PM EST on ESPN

Game Line: Kansas -1 Game Total: 149.5 (from JustBet)

Saturday NCAABB analysis: Freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins leads the #5 ranked Kansas Jayhawks into Stillwater, Oklahoma to take on Marcus Smart and the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a Big 12 tilt.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-10) have had a somewhat disappointing season with controversy surrounding Marcus Smart’s temper and a mid-season 7 game losing streak. Smart was suspended for shoving a fan while during a game at Texas Tech. What was once a top 10 team is now on the proverbial tournament bubble. Smart received a 3 game suspension for the incident, yet since his return they’ve looked like a revitalized squad with consecutive victories over Texas Tech and TCU. Smart and Markel Brown make up one of the more talented backcourts in the country averaging a combined 34 ppg. The Cowboys are averaging 81 ppg while shooting 47% from the field and are efficient on offense with a 1.29 assist to turnover ratio. Defensively they are limiting opponents to 40.4% shooting from the field while allowing 68.9 ppg.

The Kansas Jayhawks (22-6) enter Saturday’s contest winners of 6 out of their last 7, and are coming off an 83-75 victory over Oklahoma. Freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins has met expectations for the most part, averaging 16.3 ppg this season. The Jayhawks are averaging 79.8 ppg and are shooting 50.1% from the field, 4th best in the NCAA. They have a 1.21 assist to turnover ratio, and average 13 turnovers per game, ranking near the bottom of the conference. They are one of the better rebounding teams in the conference averaging 38.2 rebounds per contest. Defensively they are limiting opponents to 41% shooting and allowing 69.3 points per game. They struggle defending the perimeter allowing opponents to shoot 35.3% from beyond the arc.

I’m backing the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday night. Kansas is the better team, we all know that, but they haven’t performed well on the road this year. They also don’t take care of the basketball, as was evident in the game at Iowa State, where they turned the ball over an eye-popping 24 times. When the Jayhawks met the Cowboys earlier in the season (an 80-78 Kansas win), they had 19 turnovers and have had more than 10 in all of their conference road games this season. Oklahoma State is the more desperate team here, and they need this win in order to help secure an at large bid. It will be an electric atmosphere in Stillwater, and I think the talented backcourt for the Cowboys will help get the job done and secure a much needed victory.

Kansas Jayhawks at Oklahoma State Cowboys Free NCAABB pick: Oklahoma St +1 Over 149.5

Kansas Jayhawks at Oklahoma State Cowboys Game Prediction: Oklahoma St 78 Kansas 75

 

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