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Kansas State vs Duke - How Fun is This?

Well the people behind the CBE Classic taking place in Kansas City couldn't have planned it any better. Meeting in the final tonight will be the #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils, who are either loved or hated and nothing else, against the #4 ranked Kansas State Wildcats whose campus is a short drive away. Not a bad game for fans to be able and watch and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!

The game will provide an early season matchup of two Preseason All-Americans in Kyle Singler of Duke and Jacob Pullen of K-State. While they won't be going head to head it will be interesting to see who can step up more in tonights game.

While K-State's win over Gonzaga on Monday was impressive there are many things that will have to be improved upon against Duke if the Wildcats hope to notch another win over a ranked opponent.

More after the jump

  • (1.) Limit Turnovers - KSU committed 22 turnovers against Gonzaga, luckily for KSU the Bulldogs couldn't convert on their opportunities as they missed some easy shots. Duke is more likely to make K-State pay for being careless with the ball.
  • (2.) Hit Free Throws - Yes it's a broken record but eventually K-State will get burned if they can't start hitting some more of their attempts. You know it's bad when on Monday against Gonzaga after Jamar Samuels hit the front end of a 1 & 1, the sell out crowd cheered quite loud, much more so than is customary for a free throw make.
  • (3.) Limit Fouls in the Post - While Mason Plumlee only went 1-4 from the line in his 25 point outing against Marquette, don't expect him or his brother Miles to shoot that poorly from the line again. In fact, KSU needs to limit their fouls period, which is hard considering how aggressive they play on the defensive end though.
  • (4.) Get Curtis Kelly Going - While it was his first game back, if KSU expects to upset Duke they need Kelly playing like he did in last years NCAA Tournament. Might be important to run a set for Kelly soon after entering the game especially if he can get hit a shot early this could set him up for a good game.

So what do we think happens in tonight's game? After watching both teams last night in person, I can't wait to watch this one. I think Mason Plumlee will once again have a big game as I think he is a much better player than Robert Sacre who had major opportunities to score on KSU and missed some easy chances. If Singler, Nolan Smith & Kyrie Irving are hitting their outside shots it will be tough for K-State to win but if KSU can once again be hot from long range they have a chance. Don't discount the fact that Kansas State has played many games in the Sprint Center and should have a large majority of the crowd in their favor hoping to see Kansas State get some respect on the national stage.