Things weren’t looking good in Lexington early in the season. John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats weren’t playing well and were losing to teams they shouldn’t be losing to. As in years past, Calipari again assembled a very talented roster with high expectations. The Wildcat Nation was on edge, and many were calling for a change at the top of the program.
Fast forward to March, and the Wildcats now find themselves playing for a Sweet 16 berth, as the #6-seeded Wildcats will take on the #3-seeded Kansas State Wildcats in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Sunday afternoon.
We will preview each of the two teams and give you our college basketball betting lines for the battle of the Wildcats in Greensboro.
2023 March Madness Round of 32 Game
No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats vs. No. 3 Kansas State Wildcats Betting Preview
When: Sunday, March 19 at 2:40 pm ET
Where: Greensboro Coliseum – Greensboro, NC
TV / Streaming: CBS
The Wildcats had struggled in recent postseasons heading into Friday’s contest with the Providence Friars. It was a struggle, but the Wildcats broke their postseason losing streak with a 61-53 victory over the Big East’s Providence Friars. Oscar Tshiebwe had eight points, along with 25 rebounds.
Kentucky finished the season with a 22-11 overall record, with a 12-6 mark in the SEC. Kentucky’s starting point guard, Sahvir Wheeler, missed his 10th straight game on Friday, and his status for Sunday’s game is yet to be determined. Shooting guard CJ Fredrick was limited to just seven minutes in this one.
Kentucky’s lack of depth could be an issue against Kansas State. They will heavily rely on the play of Tshiebwe, Jacob Toppin, and Antonio Reeves. Tshiebwe will need to pick up the scoring load, as Kansas State could have trouble guarding him inside.
Kansas State Wildcats
Head coach Jerome Tang finally got his opportunity to lead a program, and he has done a fabulous job in his rookie season. He led the Wildcats to a 24-9 regular season record and a #3 seed in this year’s tournament.
Florida transfer Keyontae Johnson leads the Wildcats. Johnson, a third-team All-American, averaged nearly 18 points per game this season. Johnson, whose career almost ended with heart issues, has been quite the story since joining the Wildcat program. Guard Markquis Nowell has also had a stellar season and has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.
Kansas State has one of the top defenses in the country, rated in the Top 20 in the KenPom defensive rankings, which will give a limited Kentucky offense some big issues. Look for Kansas State to try and take Tshiebwe away from the rim and make him defend on the perimeter.
The oddsmakers have spoken, and while the early line favored the Kansas State Wildcats, Kentucky has now been made a 1.5-point favorite. Looking at some of the betting numbers, Kansas State is 8-2 against the spread against ranked opponents this season. The Kentucky Wildcats are just 12-14 against the spread this season and 5-9 against the spread against non-conference opponents.
We like Kansas State to win this game. Tang and Johnson are great stories, and their defense will give Kentucky fits.
March Madness Pick: Kansas State | Bet Kentucky vs. Kansas State Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
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