First Four: No. 11 Kansas State vs. No. 11 Wake Forest Prediction, Game Preview

Kansas State vs. Wake Forest prediction and game preview, as the No. 11 Wildcats and No. 11 Demon Deacons face off in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament.

Two of the last four teams to get at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament square off in the First Four in Dayton, as Kansas State and Wake Forest battle to move into a first-round game. The Wildcats made a late-season push to get into the Big Dance, while the Demon Deacons competed hard in the tough ACC that received nine bids into the Tournament. The winner will face No. 6 seed Cincinnati in a South Region matchup.

Kansas State vs. Wake Forest Game Preview

Date: Tuesday, March 14
Venue:  UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio

Kansas State Strengths

Kansas State’s biggest strength is that it’s playing its best basketball of the season heading into the Tournament. It won three in a row – including a win over Baylor – before losing by one point to West Virginia in the Big 12 semifinals. Four players are averaging at least 11 points per game, and Wesley Iwundu has scored in double figures in 14 of his last 16 games. Bruce Weber has the Wildcats on a bit of a roll going into the Big Dance and they could make some noise.

Kansas State Weaknesses

Inconsistency is the biggest reason Kansas State is 20-13 and finished with an under-.500 record in Big 12 play. It went from shooting 52.3 percent in the win over Baylor to hitting just 39.1 percent the next day against West Virginia. The Wildcats have been known to go cold, and they’ll have to avoid that since their defense isn’t strong enough to make up for a lack of offensive efficiency.

Kansas State Wildcats In-Depth Analysis

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Wake Forest Strengths

John Collins. The Demon Deacons star big man has been a double-double machine throughout his sophomore season. The Florida native became the first Deacon in the last 40 years to score 20 points in 10 consecutive games and became the third player in the last 20 years with at least 30 points and 15 rebounds against a Mike Krzyzewski-coached squad in a close loss to Duke. Collins is helped on the scoring sheet by guards Bryant Crawford and Keyshawn Woods.

Wake Forest Weaknesses

Transition offense and defense: The Demon Deacons aren’t very good in either their transition offense or defense. Wake has an accomplished offense, but Danny Manning’s team leaves a lot to be desired defensively.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons In-Depth Analysis

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Kansas State vs. Wake Forest By The Numbers

Kansas State Statistics

Scoring Margin: 4.8
Rebounding Margin: minus-1.1
Turnover Margin: 2.1
3-Point FG Percentage: 36.1

Wake Forest Statistics

Scoring Margin: 4.9
Rebounding Margin: 3.3
Turnover Margin: minus-0.2
3-Point FG Percentage: 38.3

Kansas State vs. Wake Forest Prediction

Collins will be the difference in this one. The Wake Forest big man goes off for 25 points and 15 rebounds to help the Demon Deacons advance to Sacramento to face Cincinnati.

Kansas State vs. Wake Forest Score Prediction: Wake Forest 83, Kansas State 72

MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions