The Wildcats have been anything but predictable this season. They defeated Top 10 teams Missouri and Baylor on the road toward the end of the season, but they also dropped four games in Bramlage Coliseum. Which version of the Wildcats will we see on Thursday?
Looking through the game notes, here's the conclusion to which I have come: obviously a team needs to do well on both offense and defense, but based on the numbers, defense matters more when it comes to Kansas State. Check out the Wildcats' record when it allows different ranges of points this season.
Opponent scores 80-89 points ---> 1-3
Opponent scores 70-79 points ---> 2-3
Opponent scores 60-69 points ---> 6-3
Opponent scores 50-59 points ---> 9-1
These numbers are why defense has to be the number one priority for the Wildcats in this tournament. When they hold opponents to between 50 and 69 points, they have a 15-4 record. When they allow 70 points or more, they are 3-6. Especially in this first game against Southern Miss, I think the Wildcats can win with their defense.
For more of the same story, check out the shooting percentages and how Kansas State fares in those different scenarios.
Opponent shoots 50% or better ---> 1-4
Opponent shoots less than 50% ---> 20-6
K-State shoots 50% or better ---> 6-1
K-State shoots less than 50% ---> 15-9
As you can see, keeping opponent shooting percentages down seems to make a much bigger impact on the outcome of games than Kansas State keeping its own shooting percentages higher up.
Obviously, the a team probably cannot shoot 30 percent from the floor and win any game, but if the Wildcats can make 40 percent of their shots and limit their opponent, they have a good chance of advancing to the second round.
*This story was originally posted on my blog, fabuloussportsbabe.wordpress.com.*