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UC-Kansas State preview: Game/TV info; story/video links; predictions

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Here is a look at Friday's Cincinnati-Kansas State NCAA Tournament South Region first-round basketball game:

No. 6-SEED UC (29-5) vs. No. 11 KANSAS STATE (21-13)

WHEN/WHERE: 7:27 p.m. in Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, Calif.

OPENING LINE: UC by 3.5

RADIO/TV: WLW-AM (700)/truTV.

NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET: Click here for a printable bracket

PREDICTION: UC 69, Kansas State 66. A big key in this game will be on the boards. UC has outrebounded opponents by almost five per game, while Kansas State has been outrebounded by almost one per game. The Bearcats have not scored well away from home and that's a concern. This is a difficult matchup for the Bearcats and they need a big game from senior guard Troy Caupain.

UC BEST-CASE NCAA SCENARIO: Elite Eight. I believe the most realistic outcome is that the Bearcats win this game and lose to UCLA in the second round, but if they can make shots against the Bruins and slow the pace to the game being played in the 70s then they have a chance. If they can beat UCLA they have a chance against likely regional semifinal foe Kentucky and would be favored against Wichita State or Dayton. The Bearcats face a gauntlet, because even surviving all of that, then North Carolina would likely be the regional final opponent and that would be a tall, tall task for them to win it,

UC WORST-CASE NCAA SCENARIO: Losing this game. The Bearcats are better than Kansas State, but the Wildcats area very a solid team and probably better than their record indicates. Kansas State lost seven of its 13 games by five points or less or that went into overtime and among those losses were to Maryland (69-68), West Virginia (51-50) and twice to Kansas (74-71 and 90-88).

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