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No. 11 Texas Tech opens Big 12 home games against injury-plagued Kansas State

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The Wildcats travel to Lubbock without two of its best players

NCAA Basketball: Southern Mississippi at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Two days after their first victory ever in Morgantown, the Red Raiders take the court in Lubbock for their first Big 12 home game of the season, hosting the Kansas State Wildcats (10-3, 0-1 Big 12).

The team coached for the eight season by Bruce Weber reached the Elite Eight last season and was expected to have another outstanding year, but injuries are threatening the Wildcats, with two of their best players unable to play due to foot injuries.

Senior forward Dean Wade led the team in points (16.2) and rebounds in 2017/18 and was having the same results this year (13.6 points and 7.8 rebounds), but he’s out indefinitely after he suffered an injury against Georgia State in December.

Recently, also senior guard Kamau Stokes suffered a setback from an old foot injury. He didn’t play in the Big 12 opener against Texas and is unexpected to play in Lubbock.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, this affects the offensive production, and Kansas State ranks 303rd out of 353 NCAA teams in points per game, with 65.8. On the other hand, the Wildcats show a brilliant defense that only allows 58.5 points per game (8th in the country, with the Red Raiders in the second position with 52.8).

There’s no doubt the Red Raiders are heavily favored for this game (the current spread is -11, just to give an indication, with an under/over) of 118. At the same time, they need not to be involved in a close game like the one against West Virginia. Despite injury problems, Kansas State has some really brilliant players who can create problems when the game is tight.

The game will start at 1 p.m. and will be aired by ESPNU.