It’s wise to not overreact when assessing the college basketball landscape, because things can change lightning quick. Remember the dirt we were all throwing on Duke a week ago after their guards got sliced and diced by the Canes? Well, they went into Louisville and dominated over the weekend and then handled a game Pitt squad at home and suddenly, after Villanova got blasted in Georgetown last night, the Blue Devils once again trend to be a #1 seed.
The same lesson can be taken from the burying of the Kansas Jayhawks. They were humiliated early against Kentucky and then they lost inexplicably by 25 to Temple. So everyone forgot about the Jayhawks. But all of a sudden freshman Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre II are playing well and the Jayhawks have one of the most talented rosters, save Kentucky, in the country. Bet against the Jayhawks winning the Big XII for the millionth straight time at your own peril…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Kansas State Wildcats at Iowa State Cyclones -10
The Big XII has six or seven teams ranked, depending upon your choice of polls: Kansas, Iowa State, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. Yet atop the standings of the nation’s deepest and most balanced conference are tonight’s visitors, Kansas State (4-1). So can they do what seemingly no team can – go into Hilton Coliseum and knock off Freddy Hoiberg’s ‘Clones?
So far this season, no one has. Kansas couldn’t do it with GameDay present Saturday night. Oklahoma State came close, but couldn’t pull it off, falling by two. And, perhaps it goes without saying, none of their preconference marshmallows put a jolt into Hilton. But a ten point spread? That seems a little too generous.
Kansas State is 1-3 in true road games this season, but hasn’t played poorly. They fell in overtime against a good Oklahoma State squad, and since then have reeled off four straight wins including an overtime thrilled in Norman against the very good Sooners. Iowa State is good at home, traditionally dominant, but in their two home games this season the Cyclones have only won by a combined seven points. A win is a win, but expecting a complete blowout tonight against a better-than-advertised K-State squad feels a bit ambitious.
I like Kansas State to give a good effort tonight in ESPN’s early game. They may not pull an upset, but I think, like many Big XII games this season, it’s going to be worth the price of admission. I’ll take the two handfuls of points and the Wildcats tonight on the road.