Wildcats, Tigers Play Final Home Games Tonight

The Kansas State Wildcats and Missouri Tigers each have key home games tonight. Here is a rundown on all the things you need to know about the Wildcats matchup against TCU and Mizzou’s game against Arkansas.

ARKANSAS at MISSOURI

Mar 2, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers forward Alex Oriakhi (42) goes for a basket over LSU Tigers guard Charles Carmouche (0) and forward Johnny O

When: 6 p.m.
TV: ESPN
Line: Missouri -10, O/U 152
KenPom Projection: Missouri 81, Arkansas 70

Missouri has likely punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament no matter the result of tonight’s game. At this stage the Tigers are playing for seeding and completing a perfect season at home. What other team better to do it against than new SEC rival Arkansas who stole a game in Fayetteville three weeks ago.

Arkansas beat the Tigers by forcing 17 turnovers and holding Mizzou to just 2-14 from three point range. Then there was the whole officiating debacle as well. The game was a disaster for Missouri and is probably the difference between Mizzou being a two seed in the SEC tournament right now instead of a five seed. Not to mention the Tigers are probably projected to be seeded higher than eight in the NCAA tournament if they got that win. Alas, Arkansas won, and now Missouri has to find a way to win out this week and make a deep run in the SEC tournament to avoid having to play a one or two seed in the second round of the NCAA’s.

Alex Oriakhi will be the key in this game for the Tigers. He’s played excellent basketball the three games, taking advantage of put backs, getting rebounds, and playing solid defense. The Tigers need him to slow down Marshawn Powell, who went for 24 points last time the two teams met. If Oriakhi can keep him contained it is unlikely Arkansas will be able to pull off the upset.

Prediction: Missouri 86, Arkansas 75

TCU at KANSAS STATE

Feb 23, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats guard Rodney McGruder (22) reacts against the Texas Longhorns during the first half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

When: 7 p.m.
TV: KCMI (Ch. 38), ESPN3 (online)
Line: Kansas State -21, O/U 117.5
KenPom Projection: Kansas State 67, TCU 46

It is “Senior Night” in Manhattan, which would be motivation enough to put together a good game against a terrible TCU team except the Wildcats are also still in the hunt for the Big 12 title. This will not be a trap game for the Wildcats.

TCU is a really, really bad team. They’ve lost 15 of their last 16 and are ranked 283rd by Ken Pomery. Their win over Kansas was more of a byproduct of the Jayhawks shooting 18-61 from the field and 38.5 percent from inside the arc. If TCU is going to win tonight it is going to be because the Wildcats beat themselves, not because TCU beat the Wildcats.

Senior Rodney McGruder should have a big night for the Wildcats. Thomas Gibson should have one of his better efforts of the season tonight since TCU has nobody on their roster that can matchup with him physically.

Prediction: Kansas State 75, TCU 50

 

Topics: Alex Oriakhi, Kansas State, Missouri, Rodney McGruder, Thomas Gibson

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