Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:35 AM EST.
Quarterfinals of Big 12 Conference Tournament - Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
12:30 PM EST. For the first time in 20-years TCU is going to The Big Dance. The Horned Frogs finished the season at 21-10 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12. The Frogs turned some heads early in the season after they ripped off 12-straight wins, but those victories came against weak non-conference competition like Tennessee Tech, Nebraska Omaha, Yale and Texas Southern. TCU struggled when faced with stiff conference competition like Kansas, Texas and Texas Tech. A pair of losses to Oklahoma could have sunk TCU's season if not for the Sooners stumbles down the stretch. Oklahoma's loss last night to Oklahoma State was huge for TCU, as it pushed the Sooners way down the selection committee's pecking order, which is significant as some pundits have predicted that the NCAA will do whatever it can to get star freshman Trae Young into the tourney. ESPN Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi has penciled the Frogs into a #6 seed. With the heavy lifting done, there isn't much left for TCU to accomplish before the Madness begins therefore motivation or lack thereof could play a role.
This is a defacto home game for Kansas State, as Manhattan is just 120 miles west on I-70 from Kansas City, where this Big 12 tournament will be played. K-State comes into this game as a #5 seed with a 21-10 record overall, but the Wildcats have played in some tough games against the 25th most difficult schedule in the nation according to KenPom. K-State prides itself on tough defensive play and backed that up this season with a unit that ranks 54th in scoring defense, 96th in FG% and 24th in steals per game. The Wildcats also bring a trio of double-digit scorers to the table with Dean Wade (16.7 Points Per Game), Barry Brown (16.6 PPG) and Xavier Sneed (10.7 PPG). A fourth player, Kamau Stokes, just misses the cut after averaging 9.7 PPG this season. For a team that is known for its defense, the Wildcats are capable of scoring in bunches if needed. Unlike TCU, K-State's tournament future isn't quite as clear and so a one-and-done appearance in this Big 12 championship might be enough for the selection committee to snub the Wildcats in favor of a more high profile, but less deserving program --- think Sooners. The Wildcats should be highly motivated to make sure that doesn't happen in its home state and we’ll play it accordingly.
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#702 Kansas State +116 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.32)