Kansas State vs Montana State Prediction, 03/17

Kansas State vs Montana State Prediction, 03/17

Photo Credit: © Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

 

Preview

The NCAA Tournament is finally here, and the No. 15 Kansas State Wildcats and Montana State Bobcats are set to face off in the opening round. The game will take place on Friday, March 17 at 9:40 p.m. EDT in Greensboro, North Carolina. With a line of -8.5 in favor of Kansas State, let's take a closer look at the two teams and make a prediction for this matchup.

 

Montana State Bobcats

The Montana State Bobcats have had a solid season, finishing with a 25-9 record and a 15-3 record in Big Sky conference play. They enter the NCAA Tournament on a high note, having gone 9-1 in their last 10 games, averaging 72.7 points per game over that stretch. Their success has been largely due to the standout performances of Raequan Battle and Jubrile Belo.

Battle has been the Bobcats' leading scorer, averaging 17.4 points per game on 41.9% shooting from the field. He's also been solid from beyond the arc, hitting 36.1% of his three-point attempts. Battle has been especially effective in recent games, averaging 21.8 points per game over his last five contests.

Belo has been a force on the boards for Montana State, averaging 7.3 rebounds per game on the season. Over the last 10 games, he's pulled down 5.8 rebounds per game and has been a key contributor on the defensive end, averaging 1.4 blocks per game over that stretch.

The Bobcats will need Battle and Belo to continue their strong play if they hope to pull off an upset against Kansas State. They'll also need to take care of the ball and limit turnovers, as they've averaged 11.4 turnovers per game on the season.

 

Kansas State Wildcats

The Kansas State Wildcats finished the season with a 23-9 record and an 11-7 record in Big 12 play. They've had success against non-conference opponents, boasting a 12-2 record in those games. The Wildcats are led by Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson.

Nowell has been a standout player for Kansas State this season, averaging 16.8 points and 7.6 assists per game. He's been a consistent presence on the court, playing over 34 minutes per game on the season. Nowell has also been effective from beyond the arc, hitting 37.5% of his three-point attempts.

Johnson has been a key contributor for the Wildcats over the last 10 games, averaging 16.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game over that stretch. He's been efficient from the field, shooting 51.6% over that span.

Kansas State will look to use their depth and experience to advance past Montana State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. They'll need to continue to play solid defense, as they've held opponents to an average of 64.4 points per game on the season.

 

Betting Trends

Kansas State is 5-5 against the spread in their last 10 games, while Montana State is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games. The total has gone over in 6 of Montana State's last 10 games.

 

Public Betting Data

According to public betting data from KingPin.pro, 64% of bets are currently on Kansas State to cover the -8.5 spread.

 

Prediction

While both teams are very talented, we believe that Florida Atlantic has the edge in this matchup. They have been one of the best teams in the country all season, and they have been playing at an extremely high level over the last 10 games. Memphis has been playing well, but their defense has been somewhat suspect at times. We expect Florida Atlantic to take advantage of this and come away with the win. Our pick is Florida Atlantic to win and cover the spread.

 

PICK: Kansas State -8.5 (-110)

 

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