By Charles Jay
The Kansas Jayhawks figure to be one of those teams that is challenging for the national title when all is said and done. But there have obviously been some instances where they have disappointed by falling short. In the opinion of their coach, they kind of underachieved in their Big 12 opener, so there is much to work on as they get ready to face in-state rival Kansas State Wildcats, in a game that takes place Tuesday night at 9 PM ET at the Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS. ESPN2 is televising the game, and BetAnySports customers can watch it live and place real-time wagers through the facilities of Live Betting Ultra.
Kansas is ranked 13th in the nation in Defensive Efficiency, but Bill Self got all over his team after a 86-80 victory over TCU in the first conference game. He complained that when the Horned Frogs missed shots, it wasn’t necessarily because of good positioning on the part of one of his players, but poor shooting by the Frogs. Maybe he’s right, but maybe not; TCU did make 20 of their 43 shots from two-point range, and Kansas has limited its opponents to just 41% in that regard so far.
Kansas State is 12-1, but they have not really been tested all that severely. Their only loss came at the hands of Maryland, which does not figure to be in the hunt for the ACC championship this season. They opened up their Big 12 schedule with a 65-62 victory over Texas in Little Manhattan, hitting a lot of key free throws along the way. In fact, in the last minute of the game, when they really had to, they made nine of their 10 attempts.
In the college basketball betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Kansas is a big favorite at home:
Kansas Jayhawks -13
Kansas State Wildcats +13
Over 142 points -110
Under 142 points -110
Kansas is obviously one of those teams that grabs great recruits, and one of them is 6-8 forward Josh Jackson, but Jackson was a very little use against TCU because he got into foul trouble. So other people had to pick up the slack. Landen Lucas, the 6-10 senior, had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and as usual, Kansas got steady leadership out of Frank Mason.
These are things that are worth discussing; when it gets down to playing the NCAA Tournament, experience could matter a great deal, and people like Lucas and Mason are going to be key pieces that help determine Kansas’ fate. Mason, the point guard, may be small in stature (just 5-11), but he is big on offensive efficiency, and he went 9-10 from the line against TCU. He and Devonte Graham are the two best free-throw shooters in a lineup that really doesn’t do it all that well. In fact, Kansas’ free-throw accuracy rate of 61% is just 338th in the nation. So BetAnySports patrons could consider it an aberration that as a team, they hit 20 out of 25 free throws last time out.
Bruce Weber, the coach at Kansas State, is 2-9 lifetime against Kansas. His team is not going to be able to trade three-pointers with the Jayhawks, but they do offer a pretty good matchup inside the arc. Kansas hits 56% of its two-point attempts, but the K-State defense has so far held opponents to just 40% on two-pointers, which is sixth best in the country.
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