Top teams tangle in Big 12 matchup

By: Stephen Nover | Sunday, January 17, 2010

Texas is just 6-20-2 ATS in its last 28 Big 12 contests.

After reaching No. 1 status in the Associated Press top-25 college basketball poll for the first time last Monday, the Texas Longhorns may have been caught looking ahead to Monday’s nationally-televised Big 12 Conference road showdown versus the 13th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats.

The Longhorns got past Texas A&M in overtime this past Saturday, 72-67, failing to cover as 14 ½-point home favorites. The combined 139 points still fell ‘under’ the 154-point closing total.

The Wildcats won for the first time on an opponent’s home floor when they defeated Colorado, 87-81, as six-point road favorites this past Saturday. The combined 168 points sailed ‘over’ the 153 ½-point closing total.

Texas, Kansas and Missouri are the only other Big 12 schools to post a conference road victory this season.

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Kansas State dealt Colorado its first home loss in 10 games at the Coors Events Conference Center this season. The Wildcats achieved the victory by out-rebounding the Buffaloes, 44-27, and making 38-of-54 free throws.

Jacob Pullen, who entered the game second in the Big 12 in scoring at 19.8 points per game, led the Wildcats with 18 points. Denis Clemente chipped in with 15 points.

Colorado made 27-of-40 free throws as there were 67 fouls called. Kansas State’s 54 free throw attempts ranked third in school history, and its 38 made free throws rated fourth-best among team marks.

The Wildcats are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games, but are 6-18-3 ATS during their past 27 Big 12 games.

The top-ranked Longhorns were averaging 88.2 points, second-best in the country, and had shot 54.5 percent from the floor in their last three games before struggling against Texas A&M.

Texas trailed by 13 points in the first half, the Longhorns’ biggest deficit of the season. Texas didn’t take the lead against the Aggies until senior Damion James scored the first basket of overtime. The Longhorns shot just 35.3 percent from the field.

James, though, scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds helping Texas reach 17-0 for the third time in school history and first since 1932-33.

James tied former Texas star Chris Mihm’s Big 12 career record of 47 double-doubles. James is the conference’s all-time leading rebounder.

Texas doesn’t just win with offense. The Longhorns also are strong defensively. They entered the Texas A&M matchup holding foes to 64.3 points per game on 36.9 percent shooting from the floor.

The Longhorns are 8-4 ATS versus foes with a winning record, while Kansas State is 15-2. The Longhorns are 3-0 in the Big 12, while the Wildcats are 2-1 in league action.

Kansas State nipped Texas, 85-81, in overtime last season as a 10 ½-point road underdog. The combined 166 points sailed ‘over’ the 135 ½-point closing total. Clemente lit up the scoreboard for the Wildcats scoring 44 points hitting 13-of-25 shots from the floor and 12-of-12 from the foul line. The rest of Kansas State’s players made only 13-of-42 shots from the field.

Texas got its revenge in the Big 12 tournament by beating the Wildcats, 61-58, as 3-point favorites at neutral site Oklahoma City. The combined 119 points dipped ‘under’ the 137 ½-point closing total.

The Longhorns held Clemente to 10 points on 4-of-20 shooting from the field.

The ‘over’ has cashed in five of Texas’ last seven games. The ‘over’ has cashed in eight of Kansas State’s past 11 games.

Texas is just 6-20-2 ATS in its last 28 Big 12 contests.

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