Kansas State Wildcats vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Preview
Where: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton
When: Tuesday, March 14, 9:10 PM ET
TV Broadcast: truTV
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Betting on the Kansas State Wildcats (20-7, 8-10 Big 12)
Notwithstanding a 51-50 loss to West Virginia in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament, the Wildcats barge into the Big Dance at peak form. Prior to losing to the Mountaineers, the Wildcats strung together three-straight wins, including one over No. 9 Baylor.
The Wildcats shot 52.3 percent from the field in the win over Baylor before going 18-for-36 (39.1%) against West Virginia. The offensive debacle, however, was understandable against West Virginia, which is one of the toughest defensive teams in the nation. Finding the basket should be easier for Kansas State when it faces the Demon Deacons, who seem to forget how defense works at times. Wake Forest allows 77.9 points per game and is a sub-150 team in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom.
That’s the kind of defense Wesley Iwundu and the rest of the Wildcats could potentially be abusing this Tuesday. Iwundu (12.5 PPG) leads KU’s offense that boasts of four players averaging at least 11.0 PPG.
Kansas State is 4-0 ATS in its last four games.
Betting on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (18-12, 9-9 ACC)
John Collins is a force for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons bruising forward has been inflicting severe damage against a range of opponents this season and if there were any doubt about how legit he was, it was extinguished immediately when he poured in 25 points and hauled down 11 rebounds in an 88-81 win over Louisville, one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
A double-double machine that averages 18.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, Collins will look to torment Kansas State this Tuesday. Collins isn’t the only Demon Deacon KU will have to be wary about. There’s the pair if Bryant Crawford and Keyshawn Woods, who put up 16.1 PPG and 12.8 PPG, respectively. Collins and Bryant combined for 52 points during Wake Forest’s 99-94 road loss to Duke on Feb. 18.
Wake Forest should capitalize on its seeming advantage in the rebounding department in this matchup. The Demon Deacons average 36.8 RPG, while Kansas State pulls down 32.8.
Wake Forest is 3-1 ATS in its last four games.
Wake Forest (-1) wins, 88-84.
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