Date and Time: Saturday, March 13th, 2014 3:00 PM EST on ESPN2

Game Line: Kansas -2.5 Game Total: 148 (from JustBet)

Saturday NCAABB analysis: The Kansas Jayhawks and Oklahoma State Cowboys clash in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Missouri.

Oklahoma State has been playing some great basketball as of late. Since the return of Marcus Smart, the Cowboys have won 5 of their last 6 games. They certainly do not resemble anything of the team that lost 7 straight mid season. They did lose their regular season finale at Iowa State 85-81 in overtime, yet they have been competitive and are a team that looks to be peaking at the right time. They are led by their talented backcourt in Marcus Smart (17.9 ppg) and Markel Brown (17.3 ppg). The Cowboys average 80.7 ppg and are shooting 46.8% from the field with a 1.30 assist to turnover ratio. They are one of the better teams in the conference on the defensive end limiting opponents to 40.4% shooting and allowing 68.8 ppg.

The Kansas Jayhawks come into the Big 12 tournament with a lot of questions. They will be without the services of Center Joel Embiid, the 7’0″ freshman center that averaged 11.2 ppg and led the team in rebounding. Fortunately, they still have Andrew Wiggins, who went off in the regular season finale for 41 points against West Virginia. They did however lose that contest and will now have to move on for the foreseeable future without their major presence in the middle. The Jayhawks are averaging 79.6 ppg while shooting an impressive 49.7% from the field. They are good on the glass, averaging 38 per game, and have an assist to turnover ratio of 1.16. Defensivelt they are allowing 69.7 ppg while limiting opponents to 41.3% from the field.

I’m taking the points with Oklahoma State on Thursday afternoon. These two teams met less than two weeks ago, with Oklahoma State winning 72-65. Heading into that contest, my concern with the Jayhawks was turnovers as they have a lot of trouble in that department. Well, the Cowboys forced a turnover on 31% of Kansas’ possessions (22 total). Oklahoma State got rid of the tournament jitters yesterday disposing of Texas Tech and right now all of the pressure is on Kansas. The Cowboys will not have to worry about the presence of Embiid in the paint, and right now they are just clicking on all cylinders. I’ll back the team getting points that’s in a groove, instead of laying points with a team that has problems taking care of the basketball and may not be so sure of what kind of team they have right now without their big man.

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Kansas Jayhawks Free NCAABB pick: Oklahoma St +2.5 Over 148

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Kansas Jayhawks Game Prediction: Oklahoma St 81 Kansas 79


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