|Big 12 Rivalry: Kansas Favored at Kansas State|
|Written by TheSpread|
|Monday, 19 February 2007 08:30|
College Basketball: Kansas at Kansas State - Jayhawks Favored
85% of Bets Placed on Kansas -6 | Matchup | CBB Picks
The ninth-ranked Jayhawks (23-4, 10-2 Big 12) have won 33 of the last 34 matchups with the Wildcats, including a 97-70 victory Feb. 7. Kansas has taken 23 in a row at Kansas State (19-8, 8-4), with the Wildcats' last home win in the series coming Jan. 29, 1983.
Oddsmakers have made Kansas -6 point spread favorites
Kansas State, however, defeated the Jayhawks 59-55 on Jan. 14, 2006 - at the time the Wildcats' first win in the series in nearly 12 years.
"I am sure Bramlage (Coliseum) will be jumping like it hasn't jumped in a long time," Kansas coach Bill Self said of Monday's contest. "We handled them pretty good at our place, but that was not a true indication of the two teams because they are a lot better than that. We know we have our work cut out for us."
That hasn't been the case during Kansas' current four-game winning streak - which began with the victory over Kansas State - that has pulled it into a tie with Texas A&M for the Big 12 lead. The Jayhawks have an average margin of victory of 31.8 points per game during their run.
Saturday's 92-39 home pounding of Nebraska certainly helped that average, as the 53-point win matched the second-largest margin of victory in Big 12 history.
"I did not think it was going to be this easy,'' said Kansas leading scorer Brandon Rush, who along with freshman Darrell Arthur had 13 points. "We came in and got them on one of our better days."
The Jayhawks are shooting 54.1 percent from the field during the streak, highlighted by a 58.3 percent effort against the Cornhuskers.
"I think everybody is just focusing in right now because we are trying to win the league," guard Mario Chalmers said. "We are playing a lot better right now, and we were able to knock down our shots so we have gotten on a role lately."
Rush, who averages 14.2 points, had 18 earlier this month against Kansas State, which was outscored 50-35 in the second half of that contest.
Another lopsided victory may be tougher for Kansas to achieve Monday. The Wildcats improved to 12-1 at home with a 65-47 win over Iowa State on Saturday, giving them nine wins in their last 11 games. Kansas State, which got 20 points from David Hoskins and shot 52.0 percent in the second half, is looking for its first 20-win season since 1998-99.
For Kansas State to avoid a result similar to the first meeting with Kansas, however, the Wildcats will have to play much better in all phases of the game. Jermaine Maybank had a career-high 26 points on 7-for-10 shooting to lead Kansas State on Feb. 7, but his team shot 18-for-46 (39.1 percent) from the field, 4-for-22 (18.2 percent) from 3-point range and was outrebounded 46-24.
Kansas was 38-for-68 (56.0 percent) from the floor and 5-of-13 from beyond the arc.
"We didn't do anything we were supposed to do," said coach Bob Huggins, who has led the Wildcats' resurgence in his first season in Manhattan. "I'll look to see if we can figure something out."
Huggins' squad, though, is confident despite its recent history at home against the Jayhawks.
"It seems like the tradition is to lose," Hoskins said. "People expect Kansas State to lose, but I think that this year is a little different. The fans are going in expecting us to win, and we expect to win."
Kansas State is 1-2 against ranked teams this season, winning 73-72 at then-No. 22 Texas on Feb. 3.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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