|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABThe Utah State Aggies were shocked to find out that they were awarded the No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament, as they expected their regular season record would have earned them a higher placement. But a lower seed means having to play a higher-ranked team, and in their first game of the tournament, they take on the Kansas State Wildcats.
Kansas State is coming into this Thursday night game having won eight of their last ten game, which was good enough to get them the No. 5 seed. Coached by Frank Martin, the team has had a roller coaster of a ride all season, but are peaking at just the right time. They went 22-10 in the regular season, and 10-6 in the Big 12.
Stew Morrill heads the Aggies, and has racked up an impressive overall record in his tenure at Utah State, going 324-102. But he has not found much success in the postseason, winning only one game in nine in the NCAA tournament. They may have been hoping to play a lesser opponent with their 30-3 overall season record and 15-1 record in the WAC.
The Aggies have some veterans on the team who can help them make the game competitive tonight, but Kansas State may have the better players overall. The key for Utah State will be shutting down Jacob Pullen, widely considered one of the best guards in the nation. The Wildcats may have the edge in this game due to their superior athleticism.
The key for Utah State to win is to get out fast, score often, and shoot decently from the field. In games where the Aggies score at least 70 points, they are 21-1. And when their shot percentage is at least 50%, they are almost unstoppable, with a current winning streak of 53 games. But Aggie guard Brocketih Pane will have his hands full against Jacob Pullen.
The NCAA odds slightly favor the Wildcats by 2.5 points. The total is set at 128.5.