The Horns opened conference play against a depleted Wildcats team missing head coach Bruce Weber and a number of players to health and safety protocols, winning 70-57 in Manhattan. It was one of Texas senior guard Marcus Carr’s best games this season, leading Texas with 19 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. Four different Longhorns finished in double-digit figures as Texas outscored Kansas State by 19 points in the second half to erase a five-point deficit.
Kansas State lost their first four conference games before upsetting red-hot Texas Tech at home 62-51 last Saturday.
Sophomore guard Nijel Pack leads the team with 15.4 points per game and dropped 21 on the Longhorns in their last meeting.
“He’ll be a focal part of our gameplan,” Texas head coach Chris Beard said on Monday of Pack. “It’s really hard to guard those guys one-on-one, so we’ll have to play some good team defense against Pack tomorrow.”
Texas still has the top scoring defense in the nation (allowing 54.5 points per game and tied with Jacksonville State), but couldn’t stop Iowa State last Saturday. The Cyclones shot nearly 57 percent from the floor, 43 percent from deep, and scored 79 points in the victory.
Of course, turning the ball over 20 times didn’t help either.
Kansas State is expected to field a much more complete roster in tonight’s game after only having seven eligible players in the first matchup against Texas. However, the Wildcats rank as the worst Big 12 team per KenPom with most of that due to an offense that ranks 142nd in adjusted efficiency.
They also rank last in the conference in points per game, field-goal percentage, and field goals made.
With any team Big 12 team capable of winning on any given night, it’s important for the Horns to win these types of games. As of right now, the best Texas win is against...Stanford? Oklahoma? Arkansas Pine-Bluff? Okay I’m kidding about the Golden Lions, but without any signature wins as of yet, including an 0-4 mark in Q1 games, Beard and his squad need to take care of the games “they’re supposed to win.”
How to Watch:
TV: Longhorn Network
Time: 7:30 p.m. Central
Radio: Texassports.com affiliates
Odds: The Longhorns are 10.5-point favorites over the Wildcats, according to DraftKings.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.