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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Madison Square Garden (18,200) -- New York, New York. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Delaware 0-0, Kansas State 4-0. Away Record: Delaware 1-1, Kansas State 0-0. Neutral Record: Delaware 1-0, Kansas State 0-0. Conference Record: Delaware 0-0, Kansas State 0-0. Series Record: First- ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Delaware Blue Hens and the Kansas State Wildcats will meet at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday in the semifinal round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The winner of this game will take on either Michigan or Pittsburgh for the tournament title on Friday.
After falling in their season opener, the Blue Hens have won two in a row and are fresh off a 59-53 win over Virginia. It could be a momentum win for Delaware, which ended a nine-game losing streak to the Cavaliers.
Bruce Weber's first season in Manhattan has gotten off to a great start, as the Wildcats have opened up with four straight victories. Entering this week's tournament action as the three-seed, K-State is coming off a 74-55 rout of North Florida. Kansas State has not had much luck playing at Madison Square Garden, posting a 0-5 all-time record in the famed arena.
These two teams have never met on the hardwood before. This will be the first time in school history that Delaware will see competition from the Big 12.
In the Hens' win over Virginia the team was led by Devon Saddler's 15 points. Saddler was unable to score any points in the first half and recorded all 15 in the last 20 minutes. Jarvis Threatt followed closely with 14 points, while Jamelle Hagins recorded a double-double for a second time in three games with 10 points and 16 rebounds. Delaware has been led by three players in double-figure scoring this season. Saddler paces the team with 16.0 ppg, followed by Threatt (14.3 ppg) and Josh Brinkley (10.3 ppg). Hagins has been a force inside, averaging a near double-double (9.3 ppg, 12.3 rpg). As a team this season, the Blue Hens have shot 44.6 percent from the field and held their opponents to just 37.8 percent.
The last time out for the Wildcats ended in a 74-55 victory over North Florida. Kansas State dominated the Owls on the glass, outrebounding North Florida 54-31, KSU's second straight game with 50+ boards. Of those 54 rebounds, 29 were offensive, leading to 21 second-chance points. The team was led in scoring by Rodney McGruder, who had a season-high 16 points. Thomas Gipson added 12 points, while Nino Williams rounded out the top performers with 10. The Wildcats have been impressive this year under Weber. They have dominated all opponents, with closest game resulting in a 19-point differential. Kansas State has averaged 81.2 ppg, and held the opposing teams to a meager 47.0 ppg. Angel Rodriguez leads the team with 11 ppg, followed closely by McGruder with 10.5 ppg.
Kansas State's early season dominance should continue. The Blue Hens have some playmakers on the roster and should put up a fight, but KSU's athleticism should take over, sending the Wildcats into the title game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 79, Delaware 58
11/21 10:37:49 ET
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