March 29, 2023

news and blog site

PREVIEW: Spherical of 64 Ok-State vs. Montana State

Coach Tang sits in entrance of his gamers throughout a day out, centered on instructing the staff. The wildcats defeated UMKC 69-53 on Nov. seventeenth. (Archive picture by Jersey Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

Following a three-year hiatus from the NCAA Match, Kansas State is dancing once more behind first-year head coach Jerome Tang. The Wildcats enter the match as a No. 3 seed and can face the No. 14 seeded Montana State Bobcats at 8:40 p.m. on Friday.

Montana State acquired the Huge Sky’s computerized bid following a victory in its convention match. The Bobcats maintain a 25-9 report, however extra impressively are available in as winners of 9 straight video games. This pattern is eerily just like No. 13 seed UC Irvine who upset the Wildcats after successful 16-straight in 2019. 

The Bobcats’ path to an upset begins on the free-throw line. Montana State is second within the nation in common free throws made per recreation, simply behind No. 17 Texas A&M. 

This implies staying out of foul bother will probably be key for the Wildcats, particularly with forwards Nae’Qwan Tomlin and Keyontae Johnson. 

“When Nae’Qwan doesn’t foul, he will get to play extra and when he performs extra, we’re higher,” Tang stated after Tomlin’s 19-point efficiency on Senior Evening.

Johnson’s foul bother additionally turned a problem throughout Ok-State’s worst stretch of the season. 

“It’s robust when one among your greatest gamers picks up two fouls within the first couple seconds of the sport,” Tang stated after a house loss to Texas. “​​We’re placing him out and in of the sport and actually can’t get right into a rhythm. 

Neither staff shoots the 3-ball notably properly. Each rank within the backside half of the nation in 3-point share. Ok-State, nonetheless, ought to have the benefit with its protection. The Wildcats is sixteenth within the nation in opponent 3-point share in comparison with the Bobcats’ 211th rating. 

For the Bobcats, guard RaeQuan Battle is the first scorer with 17.4 factors per recreation. The Wildcats personal two gamers close to Battle: Johnson at 17.7 and guard Markquis Nowell at 16.8. If each Ok-State stars have a high-scoring night time, the Bobcats’ probabilities of an upset dwindle. 

The important thing for the Wildcats offense is to keep away from committing turnovers. Regardless of the staff’s excessive scoring, each Johnson and Nowell additionally led the Huge 12 in turnovers. Fortunately for the Wildcats, Montana State doesn’t rank excessive in opponent turnovers, but it surely may nonetheless be a major issue on this recreation.

Ok-State noticed a defeat in its final two match video games in opposition to double-digit seeds within the Spherical of 64 however has the chance to proper the ship underneath Tang, beginning as a No. 3 seed on Friday.

See also  Ok-State advances to Candy 16 over Kentucky