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Kansas State Wildcats vs. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
Where and when: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday, 4 pm EST
Two teams that have not met since 2010 will get together on Saturday afternoon as the Wildcats of Kansas State will travel to the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, to face the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at 4 pm EST. UNLV took the four-point home win in their last meeting while Kansas State prevailed on their home court in 2009 by 15 points. No line has been set for this contest as of yet.
Each of these teams picked up a win in their home openers as the Wildcats were able to win by 13 over the North Dakota State Bison just two days ago with their defense being the huge catalyst in allowing just 29% shooting to the Bison while giving up only 8-30 three-point attempts. It will be interesting to see how their unit fares versus a Runnin' Rebel offense that shot 51% in addition to posting 86 points versus their opponent, the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons, on Tuesday night.
On the other hand, UNLV's defense surrendered 48% shooting to the Mastodons on this night, which can certainly create some opportunities for a Wildcats squad that shot only 42% in its opener.
Wildcats find ways to win in openerSenior Cartier Diarra led Kansas State with 23 points while also pulling down 6 rebounds in addition to dishing out 6 dimes in their win over the Bison. The only other double-digit scorer was Makol Mawien, who posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards. Double-digit scorer from last year in Xavier Sneed finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds for a Wildcats team that truly struggled shooting the ball on this night.
One can certainly see that while Kansas State possesses strong leadership on their squad, they also need to practice better shot selection moving forward, particularly with Diarra (8-21 FG) along with Sneed (4-11) struggling for much of the night.
However, as pointed out, their defense came through strong for Wildcats on this night. Facing a UNLV team that possessed five double-digit scorers in their opening win of the season will definitely be a tall order. Important to note that Kansas State is 5-1 SU along with 5-1 ATS in their last six road games dating to last season.
Diong lead rebels to win over MastadonsThe Runnin’ Rebels, on the other hand, happens to be winners of five of their last eight games at Thomas and Mack, yet are .500 versus the number(s) during this time (4-4). Despite their average number against the spread, if they continue to get quality contributions from their starting five, they are bound to increase this record over time.
In their win over the Mastadons, the home team sprinted to a 17-point lead at the half while being pace for the game by juniors Cheikh Mbacke Diong (17 boards) along with Australian Jonah Antonio with 17 points each. Each were able to improve upon their averages during last year’s campaign as Diong posted just 7 ppg while Antonio averaged double-digits (11 ppg).
#RebelsGive STARTS TOMORROW and @DRFrancois1 & @WorldStarDave have a message for all of Rebel Nation!— Rebel Athletic Fund (@UNLVRAF) November 6, 2019
We hope you consider joining us on November 7th and 8th as we provide life changing scholarship support for our 515 student-athletes.
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Look for Diong and Antonio along with junior Donnie Tillman (16 points) and Amauri Hardy (15 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) to have a huge impact on the offensive end for UNLV throughout the season. Much like the Wildcats, the Runnin’ Rebels also have their fair share of leadership from their upperclassmen. Again, the home team must be able to take advantage of offensive opportunities versus a Kansas State team that really made a statement on the defensive end in the game one of 2019.
(Trends provided by (Covers.com)
- KSU are 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 games overall.
- No trends to report
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
UNLV had little to no trouble scoring versus a Mastodons team that won 18 games last year while finishing third in the Summit League. However, their matchup with the Wildcats will definitely be a step up in competition. As stated, the Runnin’ Rebels have had success at home dating back to last year; however, the Wildcats have been outstanding on the road as well while being even better against the spread. And while Kansas State struggled in their opener, expect for them to play with a bit more flow to their offensive game on Saturday en route to an exciting win.
Prediction: Kansas State Wildcats
Full-Game Total Pick
The under was not only the result in the last meeting amongst these two squads, but has also been the play in six of the last eight games for both the Wildcats and the Runnin’ Rebels. The Wildcats will make their defensive unit the tip of the spear for this contest while UNLV will seek to prevent the offense for Kansas State from showing any signs of life. In all, I happen to believe that the under is the strong play between these two teams.