Montana State vs Kansas State March Madness Betting Preview: Tough Task Ahead for Big Sky Champs

Surprising Kansas State Takes on Big Sky Champs Montana State in East Region

Montana State Draws a Big 12 Team in NCAA Opener Once Again

Quick, a show of hands of those people expecting to take a look at a Montana State vs Kansas State March Madness betting preview when the season started.

Kansas State took the Big 12 by storm with a 23-win season and tie for third place in the conference standings. Montana State hadn’t been in the NCAA tournament since 1996 before breaking through in 2022 and now the Big Sky champions are back.

These are two of the better teams against the college basketball spreads in the tournament. Kansas State went 21-11 ATS, the second-best mark among teams from the Power 5 conferences while Montana State led the Big Sky with a 19-11-2 mark against the Las Vegas odds.

Kansas State (+6000) is tied with Xavier for the third-best championship odds among the No. 3 seeds in the tournament field.

Montana State: Eight Is Enough

Montana State takes an eight-game winning streak into the NCAA tournament.

The Montana State vs Kansas State March Madness betting preview lists the Bobcats as the 8.5-point underdog. That is an improvement from being a 15-point underdog against Texas Tech in 2022.

A five-game winning streak to end the regular season wasn’t enough to catch Eastern Washington for the top seed in the conference tournament. Northern Arizona took out the No. 1 seed during the tournament.

RaeQuan Battle averaged 21 points per game in the Big Sky tournament. The Bobcats are 8-3 when Battle scores at least 20 points.

Montana State tested itself with non-conference games against Arizona and Oregon.

The Spartans have covered in just four of its last 12 games.

How They Got Here

It wasn’t easy as Montana State trailed with less than four minutes to go in the Big Sky semifinals against Weber State before winning in double overtime. The Bobcats only led by five points with 4:30 left against Northern Arizona in the championship game.

Darius Brown struggled in the first two games in the Big Sky tournament before scoring 15 points with the NCAA tournament spot on the line.

How Far Will They Go

Montana State is 0-4 in its previous four NCAA tournaments and this is going to a tough time to reverse that trend.

The Bobcats lost by an average of 25.5 points in the two games against teams from the Power-5 conferences this season.

Kansas State: Transfer of Power

Kansas State went from being picked to finish at the bottom of the Big 12 to being favored according to the Montana State vs Kansas State March Madness betting preview.

Five of the top six scorers on the Kansas State weren’t with the program this season as first-year head coach Jerome Tang wasted little time in rebuilding the roster.

Top scorer Keyontae Johnson’s career was thought to be over after health scares while he was at Florida. He has scored in double figures in all but one game this season for the Wildcats.

Junior college transfer Nae’Qwan Tomlin, former Arkansas and Arkansas State guard Desi Sills and former Mississippi State guard Cam Carter also made immediate impacts as did forward David N’Guessan after he arrived from Virginia Tech.

The total has gone over in five of USC’s last seven games.

How They Got Here

Kansas State lost its last two games, including a 13-point defeat to Texas Christian in the Big 12 quarterfinals. However, the Wildcats had a 7-4 record against ranked teams during the regular season.

Kansas State went 7-1 in games decided by six points or less and that included a win over defending national champion Kansas.

How Far Will They Go

With a first-year coach and so many new faces, it is hard to know what to expect from this Kansas State team. Purdue and Marquette might be favored to be the two teams vying for the spot in the Final Four. However, the Wildcats did post nine Quad 1 wins and that is right in line with what the Boilermakers and Golden Eagles accomplished.

Barring any upsets, a second-round showdown with Kentucky could be one intriguing matchup.

Handicapping the Game

Montana State draws a Big 12 team for the second year in a row in the tournament.

Other than ranking in the top 15 in assists per game, none of the team stats being put up by Kansas State are overwhelming. The chemistry of this group makes the Wildcats a dangerous team and one drawing interest when it comes to March Madness betting.

N’Guessan, Ismael Massoud, Abayomi Iyiola and Tykei Greene combined to miss 19 games this season for Kansas State. However, they are all back as the Wildcats will have all nine players who average at least 10 minutes per game.

Montana State hasn’t had sophomore forward Patrick McMahon since late December.

Seven of Montana State’s last nine games have been decided by single digits. The Bobcats would love for Friday’s game at Greensboro Coliseum to play out this way.
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