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NCAA Tournament Predictions: 4. Kansas State vs. 13. Boise State or La Salle

Rodney McGruder

Rodney McGruder

 4 Kansas State (27-7, 14-4 Big 12)-The Wildcats have a speedy point guard in Angel Rodriguez and a terrific scoring guard in Rodney McGruder (MCGRUDER!!) They also have a lot of size inside in Jordan Henriquez and 6-6 guard Shane Southwell. Will Spradling is a three-point specialist and Thomas Gipson is a gritty defender.

Kansas State has a gaudy win-loss record and do own some quality wins, but this team could be ripe for an early-round upset. It is coming off of a deflating blowout loss to archrival Kansas in the Big XII championship game and struggles to score at times. If KSU faces Boise State in round 1, it will struggle to defend Derrick Marks. La Salle’s Ramon Galloway would also give the ‘Cats issues.

KEY STATS:

127th Points Per Game

33rd Points Allowed

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Guard Derrick Marks

Guard Derrick Marks

 13 Boise State (21-10, 9-7 Mountain West)-The Broncos were one of the final two teams into the NCAA Tournament and received an at-large bid despite finishing fifth in the nine-team Mountain West. That’s how much respect the selection committee has for the conference. The Broncos are led by a duo of terrific scoring guards in Anthony Dmric (17.3 ppg) and Derrick Marks (16.3 ppg). Marks is probably their best player; he’s a tough cover and can shoot the lights out of the ball.

The Broncos own a win over Creighton and nearly upset Michigan State in East Lansing early in the season. They have also beaten UNLV and San Diego State.

KEY STATS:

46th Points Per Game (73.3)

53rd Field Goal Percentage (.459)

 

Ramon Galloway

Ramon Galloway

 13 La Salle (21-9, 11-5 Atlantic 10)- The Explorers own wins over Villanova, Butler and VCU. They’ve got a handful of a scoring guard in 6-3 senior Ramon Galloway, and four players on the team average in double figures in scoring. The game with Boise State should be a back-and-forth affair with both teams showing off their tremendous backcourt play.

For both La Salle and Boise State, 2013 has been a banner year. The Explorers have the edge in that matchup because of their scoring depth. Their lack of rebounding ability could prove fatal however, in a potential matchup with Kansas State.

KEY STATS:

60th Points Per Game (72.4)

292nd Points Per Game

PREDICTION:  Kansas State over La Salle

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