Texas vs. KSU: 3 bold predictions in Big 12 Tourney opener

Texas basketball is riding some momentum upon the beginning of their quest to defend the Big 12 Tournament crown in Kansas City, MO, this week.

Max Abmas, Texas basketball
Max Abmas, Texas basketball / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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Tyrese Hunter, Texas basketball
Tyrese Hunter, Texas basketball / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

Texas shoots over 50 percent from deep

Texas's floor spacing against Kansas State's perimeter defense and strong close outs will be a critical part of the matchups between the Longhorns offense and Wildcats defense in this game.

Led by the sharpshooting from senior big man Dylan Disu and senior guard Max Abmas, Texas has ranked among the best three-point shooting and floor-spacing teams in the Big 12 this season. Disu led the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage in conference play this season, at a clip of nearly 50 percent on four attempts from deep per game.

Texas ranked fourth in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage in conference play during the regular season.

In the last three games, the three ball has been falling for the Longhorns. Texas is shooting over 38 percent from beyond the arc in the last three games, including 50 percent three-point shooting in the finale win over Oklahoma.

Kansas State has defended the three-point shot as well as just about anyone in the Big 12 during the regular season. The Wildcats were the only team to hold its opponents below 30 percent shooting from deep in conference play this season (29.4 percent).

Kansas State neutralized the three-point shooting threat from the Longhorns when these two teams met during the regular season. Texas was held to just 19.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc in its win over Kansas State on Feb. 19.

Hitting the three-ball and getting out and running in transition are two keys to victory for the Longhorns in this game. Kansas State likes to slow things down, running more of an old-school offense that plays inside-out and relies on paint and mid-range scoring to wear down opponents on defense and limit scoring threats.

If Texas can get Kansas State out of its comfort zone, it could set the tone and play its game on both ends.

When Kansas State plays at a pace of over 70 possessions per game this season, it is 2-4.