March 29, 2023

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PREVIEW: Spherical of 32 vs. Kentucky

Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell goes in for a shot in opposition to Texas Christian College at Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 7. Ok-State received 82-61. (Archive picture by Nichole Maryse Harris | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State Wildcats advance to the spherical of 32 for the primary time in 5 years. Standing of their approach is the Kentucky Wildcats, a traditionally profitable program seeking to take management of the East area.

Kentucky put collectively a decent common season, ending third within the SEC with a 22-11 general. For Kentucky, controlling the backboard might be key to victory. 

Ahead Oscar Tshiebwe has performed extraordinarily nicely for the Wildcats averaging a double-double on the season with 16.2 factors per sport and 13.5 rebounds. Tshiebwe’s giant 6-foot-9 body makes him harmful within the paint. 

Rebounding favors Kentucky, bolstering a frontcourt with measurement. Towards Windfall, Kentucky out-rebounded the Friars 48-31, led by Tshiebwe with a monstrous 25 rebound efficiency. Ok-State likes to regulate the tempo of the sport and sustaining management of the frontcourt might be key for Ok-State to not fall behind within the match.

Fortunately for Ok-State, Kentucky posts one of many lowest taking pictures percentages within the SEC with 36.5%. If Ok-State makes sensible photographs and continues to share the ball as they did in opposition to Montana State, they need to have the benefit in scoring.

Fouling for the Wildcats was an issue early in opposition to Montana State, limiting the time for beginning gamers and preserving the sport shut. Ok-State should preserve Kentucky away from the free-throw line to remain forward.

Capturing from past the arch favors Ok-State with guard Markquis Nowell persevering with to be harmful from vary. Nowell started the night time in opposition to the Bobcats comparatively quiet however shortly gained confidence in his shot main into the second half.

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Nowell and ahead Keyontae Johnson proceed to be the bread and butter of the Ok-State offense, however an emphasis on submit gamers akin to David N’Guessan and Abayomi Iyiola will dictate defensive success. Iyiola offered substantial defensive minutes in opposition to Montana State with paint disruption and forcing turnovers.

Limiting turnovers continues to be an emphasis for Ok-State’s offense, regardless of committing 14 in opposition to the Bobcats.

Ok-State seems to be to outlive and advance to its first Candy 16 since 2018. This may even be the group’s first Candy 16 look underneath head coach Jerome Tang in the event that they deal with enterprise in opposition to a troublesome blue-blood opponent at 1:40 p.m. on Sunday.