Local

Big 12 championship preview: (2) Kansas State vs. (1) Kansas

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WHEN/WHERE:

5 p.m. Saturday at the Sprint Center

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TV/RADIO:

ESPN; KCSP (610 AM) for the KU broadcast, WHB (810 AM) for the K-State broadcast

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ABOUT KANSAS STATE (27-6):

For the second time in four years, the Big 12 title game is a Sunflower State battle. In 2010, Kansas, led by tournament MVP Sherron Collins, outlasted the Wildcats and Jacob Pullen, the event’s leading scorer. Kansas State looks for its first conference tournament title since 1980. The Wildcats won two of the first four Big Eight postseason tournaments. Friday’s victory over Oklahoma State gives K-State 27 victories, two away from matching the school record set in 2009-10. Bruce Weber bids to become the first coach to win the conference tournament in his first year in the league. He joined Texas’ Rick Barnes (1999) as the only coaches to win the regular-season title in their first year.

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ABOUT KANSAS (28-5):

Friday’s victory improved Kansas’ record at Sprint Center this year to 5-0. The Jayhawks beat Washington State and Saint Louis in the CBE Classic and Oregon State during the regular season. KU is aiming for 8-0 — a victory Saturday and two in the NCAA Tournament next week. Perry Ellis was terrific against Iowa State, but it marked the second excellent game overall for the Kansas bench. The Jayhawks got a season-best 39 points from reserves against Texas Tech in the opener and 37 against the Cyclones, including eight from Naadir Tharpe and six from Jamari Traylor. The difference? Friday’s production didn’t come in garbage time. For the second straight night, Kansas went 18 of 26 (69.2 percent) from the floor in the second half.

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RPI:

Kansas 7, Kansas State 20

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BOTTOM LINE:

The better seeded team has won four straight Big 12 tournaments, and Kansas, 8-1 in tournament finals, has won five in a row. Bet against Kansas at your risk.

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