The Cougars are looking to upsetting Kansas State in an effort to make it to the Sweet 16 which will be in Salt Lake City a mere 45 minute drive from their Provo campus. If BYU wins this will be only their second time in school history to make it to the Sweet 16 with the last time being in the 1980-81 season with Danny Ainge.
Kansas State is the opponent who took care of 15 seeded North Texas by 20 points. The Cats are currently ranked 7th in the country and is 27-7 on the year with three of those loses coming to top seed Kansas. Kansas State is a well balanced team that shoots a good percentage, scores a lot of points, and as Vanquish The Foe puts it K-State rebounds quite well. The difference in this game will come down to if BYU can out rebound Kansas State and hold them under 45% shooting from the field.
In all of seven Kansas State's losses they were out rebounded and also shot less then 45 percent from the field. So, it is quite simply if BYU can duplicate those numbers then they will beat Kansas State and be in Salt Lake.
Well not so fast.
BYU is not a great rebounding team as they lack an inside game, and the rebounding effort could determine how well Tyler Haws feels. His eye is getting better and he played 21 minutes, but only managed eight points and a rebound. He needs to play better for BYU to win this game.
As does Jonathan Tavernari who either plays like a super star or is the guy from Along Came Polly who yells, "LET IT RAIN!" and proceeds to break the backboard. Tavernari was benched after being a few three point chucks. BYU needs him to be much more consistent in this game. Also, Michael Lloyd, Jr. who is a complete stud needs a good amount of playing time, but BYU fans do not expect him to put on another career high against Kansas State.
Not forgetting Jimmer here, but he needs to shoot more mid range jumpers instead of relying on his three point shot or going to the basket. He should be fine with at least 20 points, but he needs to have his entire game ready for this game.
The Wildcats have a quartet of scorers who average in double figures, but the player for K-State are Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente who score 40 percent of their offense. The defense is the key for Kansas State since they are ranked 196 in total points allowed per game while BYU is the highest scoring and most offensively efficient team in the tournament.
The real key will be if BYU can get to the line and if they can rebound at least on par with the Wildcats. The Cougs will be playing lose with nothing to lose and nothing expected of them since they are the underdog in this game. Expect this game to come down to the wire.
Here is some good linkage about BYU via @kevingraham1280
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RPI Top 50