Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Kansas State Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/3/14
Kansas State Wildcats (20-9) at Oklahoma State Cowboys (19-10)
College Basketball: Monday, March 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Gallagher-Iba Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma State Cowboys -8.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Storyline: Oklahoma State looks to put a definitive stamp on its Big 12 comeback bid with a fourth consecutive victory when it plays host to Kansas State Monday.
The Breakdown: The Cowboys soared to their biggest victory of the season Saturday, upsetting 5th-ranked Kansas 72-65. Ok State now sits at 7-9 for 7th place in the conference and on the verge of an invite to the big dance when just a short time ago a seven-game losing streak seemed an impossible hurdle to climb. Sophomore G Marcus Smart’s contributions once again went far beyond scoring the basketball as the All-American’s 21 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals lifted the Cowboys one game closer to 20 overall wins with two games remaining. Senior G Markel Brown scored 21 points and junior F Le’Bryan Nash added 16 points and 4 blocks. Ok State conceded a 42-24 advantage on the glass, but connected on 20 of 47 from the floor, converted 27 of 33 free throws and forced a whopping 22 turnovers. On the season, the Cowboys are averaging 80.8 ppg on 46.9 percent shooting. Smart leads the team with 17.6 ppg, followed by Brown at 16.9 ppg.
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Kansas State, meanwhile, scored an upset of its own Saturday, downing #15 Iowa State 80-73 to improve to 10-6 and second place in the conference. The Wildcats outshot the Cyclones from the floor 42.4 percent to 34.8 percent and from behind the arc 36.8 percent to 25.9 percent. K-State also converted 23 of 29 from the free throw line. Senior G Shane Southwell scored a team-high 13 points off the bench, junior F Thomas Gipson had 12 points and 8 rebounds, and freshman G Marcus Foster added 11 points. Through 29 games, the Wildcats are averaging 69.3 ppg on 43.6 percent shooting. Foster leads the team with 15.1 ppg, followed by Gipson at 11.7 ppg.
Rick’s Pick: Ok State is currently an 8.5 point favorite in this one. K-State scored a 74-71 home victory when these two squared off a couple months ago, but the Cowboys are on a mission that probably won’t be complete without another win or two. Look for Ok State to cover.