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Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/18/14

Oklahoma State Cowboys (15-2) at Kansas Jayhawks (12-4)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm (Allen Fieldhouse)

The Line: Kansas Jayhawks -4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Storyline: Both 15th-ranked Kansas and #9 Oklahoma State look for their fourth straight victories when the two meet up for a monster Big 12 clash at Allen Fieldhouse Saturday.

The Breakdown: The Jayhawks are well on their way towards silencing critics after entering league play with four losses. They’re now 3-0 in conference play and sit atop the Big 12 standings in sole possession of first place. Decisive wins over Oklahoma, and ranked K-State and Iowa State teams have since minimized Kansas’ upset loss to San Diego State just prior to the beginning of league play. The defensive issues that were apparent in their four losses have been trumped by strong offense in their three-game winning streak. They’ve shot 54 percent, 56 percent and 49 percent from the field, respectively, while handily outshooting each opponent. The Jayhawks have also won the battle of the boards in each contest. On the season, Kansas is averaging 78.9 ppg on 50 percent shooting and freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads the team with 15.8 ppg, followed by sophomore F Perry Ellis at 13.3 ppg.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/18/14

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State, meanwhile, also comes in hot. After dropping their Big 12 opener to K-State, the Cowboys have rattled off three straight, despite the loss of some key contributors. Sophomore standout Marcus Smart has apparently decided that the only way to counter the loss of big man Michael Cobbins and backup G Stevie Clark is to step up and shoulder the load. And he has. In Ok State’s three-game roll, Smart averaged 22 points and 10.9 rebounds for totals well above his season averages of 17.9 ppg and 5.5 boards. He’ll need a similar performance against Kansas for the Cowboys to have a chance at Allen Fieldhouse. Through 17 games, Ok State is averaging 84.8 ppg on 49 percent shooting and Smart leads the team in scoring, followed by senior G Markel Brown at 16.6 ppg.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this matchup is currently set at -4 for Kansas and this should be a Big 12 show piece rife with next-level talent. The Cowboys have needed all-world sort of performances to keep their heads above water lately, though, while the Jayhawks seem to be hitting their stride. Look for Kansas to cover.

Follow me on Twitter @SCPRick

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