Kansas vs. Oklahoma State prediction and game preview. The top-ranked Jayhawks try to win an eighth straight game when they visit the Cowboys on Saturday night.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma State Game Preview
When: Saturday, March 4 – 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Okla.
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Can anyone stop Kansas? The top-ranked Jayhawks more than likely will be the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and have wrapped up a 13th consecutive regular-season Big 12 championship. They have the likely National Player of the Year in Frank Mason III and plethora of talent surrounding him, including Devonte’ Graham and freshman standout Josh Jackson.
That doesn’t mean they’re perfect, though. Kansas was deadlocked at halftime in its home matchup with a mediocre Oklahoma team Monday before pulling away for a 73-63 victory. Mason finished with 23 points, six assists and three steals in his final game at Allen Fieldhouse, with Graham adding 16 points and Jackson scoring 11 to go along with 12 boards.
The Jayhawks extending their winning streak to eight requires a victory in a tough environment, and the Cowboys certainly will be fired up. They led Kansas by four at halftime on the road Jan. 14 before the Jayhawks took control in the second half for an 87-80 victory, but it made Oklahoma State realize it can play with them.
It won 10 of its previous 11 games before Tuesday’s 86-83 loss at Iowa State as it tries to make a case for the NCAA Tournament. Jawun Evans scored 29 points against the Cyclones and is averaging 21.7 with 7.0 assists over his last three games. The Cowboys are 20-10 overall and 9-8 in Big 12 play and could use a signature win to boost the resume.
And how’s this for hope? Oklahoma State has won the last two meetings with Kansas in Stillwater.
Kansas Wins If …
… it plays a full 40 minutes. Some believe Kansas will be vulnerable in the NCAA Tournament because of its slow starts that could bite it. The Jayhawks too often are playing close games in the first half before turning it up in the second. It’s worked the opposite way, too, as Kansas blew a 14-point lead to Iowa State and lost at home in overtime Feb. 4. They Jayhawks will need a complete effort in a hostile environment to fend off the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State Wins If …
… Evans doesn’t have to be a one-man show. Jeffrey Carroll is the Cowboys’ second-leading scorer at 17 points per game, but he’s scored fewer than 10 in two of his last three contests. A solid effort from Phil Forte, who is 7 for 12 from 3-point range over his last two, also would be welcomed after he went 3 for 10 from the floor in the first meeting. Carroll picked up Evans in Lawrence, scoring 23 points while Evans went just 6 of 22 from the field. If all three are playing efficiently, the Cowboys could pull off the upset.
Matchup To Watch
Evans vs. Mason
This is going to be the best battle of the night. Both teams rely on them to drive the offense, and they’ll have the ball in their hands more often than not. The outcome could be decided on who gets the better of this matchup.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma State Betting Odds
Spread: Oklahoma State -1
Over/Under: No line as of post
Kansas vs. Oklahoma State Prediction
Oklahoma State will take a slim halftime lead into the locker room behind strong play from Evans. Then, Mason and Jackson lead the charge in the final 20 minutes to pull out a close victory.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma State final score prediction: Kansas 82, Oklahoma State 79