NCAA Tournament: Kansas State vs. UC Irvine fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, March 22
Game Time: 2:00 ET
Venue: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, CA
All You Really Need To Know About Kansas State (25-8)
(Big 12), NCAA NET Rank: 24. South 4-seed
The Wildcats joined Iowa State as co-regular season champs to break the Kansas hex, but the Cyclones won the battle in the conference tournament. It’s a decent-sized team that gets balanced scoring – four players average in double-figures – and wins by choking the life out of offenses.
The defense is among the best in the country at attacking and forcing turnovers – sloppy teams are going to get destroyed. There isn’t a whole lot happening from the outside, and it’s not a team built to get into shootouts, but there the defensive intensity will be a difference-maker.
All You Really Need To Know About UC Irvine (30-5)
(Big West), NCAA NET Rank: 68. South 13-seed
After dominating the Big West regular season with a 15-1 run, the Anteaters rolled up their 16-game winning streak to take the conference title with ease. They haven’t had a competitive battle since early February, and now they’re a dangerous team with the upside to come up with a few wins.
Very deep with good size and some excellent freshmen who play like seasoned vets, there’s an interesting blend of talent on one of the nation’s best defenses. They dominate on the boards – only North Carolina is better – but they hack way too much, don’t come up with steals, can’t hit free throws, and are just okay from three.
What’s Going To Happen
The Anteaters are going to be a massive thorn in Kansas State’s side. They’ll destroy the Wildcats on the boards and they’ll keep the score low and the game close. However, UC Irvine will give the ball away way too often, and they’ll bog down in the second half as the K-State defense cranks up the intensity at just the right time to survive.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Kansas State 67, UC Irvine 58
Line: Kansas State -5, o/u: 120
ATS Confidence: 2
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle