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It’s a quarterfinal matchup in the Big 12 Tournament in the Show Me State. The fifth-seeded Texas Longhorns battle the fourth-seeded #17 Kansas Jayhawks with a berth in the semifinals on the line Thursday night. Texas was dumped 69-56 at home in their regular season finale Saturday by TCU. Kansas outslugged Baylor 78-70 at home in their regular season finale Saturday. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series between the schools 29-8 but it was the Longhorns pulling a 73-63 home upset win in the last matchup on January 29.
Texas Longhorns Hope for Statement Win to Help Resume
Texas dropped two straight and four of five to close the regular season as they were dumped at home by TCU. The Longhorns enter the Big 12 Tournament 16-15 overall and 8-10 in conference play: they may need a signature win here to help their resume for the NCAA Tournament. Texas led 22-16 with 7:08 to play in the first half before getting outscored 19-5 to trail by eight at halftime. The Longhorns never got closer than that in the second half as the Horned Frogs kept them at bay. Texas shot 37.3 percent from the field, including four of 19 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 35-24. Jaxson Hayes led the Longhorns with 19 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Febres was on 🔥 yesterday 👌
Check it out 👇 pic.twitter.com/vDjOqFbQp2
— Texas Basketball 🤘 (@TexasMBB) March 3, 2019
The Longhorns puts up an average of 71.2 points per game this season. Texas is collecting 33.8 rebounds per contest and dishes out 12.9 assists per contest. The Longhorns are 60th in the nation in scoring defense as they give up just 67.1 points per game this season. Kerwin Roach II leads the team with 15 points plus 4.5 rebounds per contest. Matt Coleman III (10.2 points, 3.7 assists) and Jaxson Hayes (10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds) are each averaging in double figures as well. Dylan Osetkowski (10.2 points, 7.4 rebounds), Jase Febres, Elijah Mitrou-Long, Courtney Ramey and Jericho Sims each puts up at least 3.9 points per game. The Longhorns shoot 43.6 percent from the field as a team this season. Texas knocks down an average of 8.5 triples a night while hitting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc. The Longhorns are shooting 71.3 percent at the stripe as a team this year. Texas did reinstate Roach II earlier this week after he was suspended the final five games of the regular season for a violation of team rules.
Kansas Jayhawks Looking to Shake Off Disappointment of Missing Big 12 Title
Kansas saw their string of 14 consecutive seasons with at least a share of the Big 12 title go by the wayside this season, though they did manage to remain unbeaten at home by downing Baylor. The Jayhawks enter this one 23-8 on the season overall and 12-6 in conference play. Kansas led by three at the half and opened the second half on an 8-0 run to go up 40-29. The Jayhawks didn’t let the Bears closer than five the rest of the way. Kansas shot 44.1 percent from the field, including six of 19 from three-point range, and overcame missing 10 of their 30 free throw attempts. Dedric Lawson led the way for the Jayhawks with 23 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) March 10, 2019
The Jayhawks are averaging a solid 75.6 points per game this season. Kansas collects 37.7 rebounds per contest and dishes out 13.4 assists a night. The Jayhawks are 151st in scoring defense as they allow 70.1 points per contest this season. Lagerald Vick, who puts up 14.1 points per contest, is second on the team in scoring. Dedric Lawson chips in a team-leading 19.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest and Devon Dotson puts up 11.7 points plus 3.5 assists per game. Ochai Agbaji (9.2 points, 4.9 rebounds), Quentin Grimes, Marcus Garrett, Charlie Moore, David McCormack, K.J. Lawson and Mitch Lightfoot all have to contribute on the offensive end of the floor. The Jayhawks shoot 46.4 percent from the field as a team this season. Kansas knocks down 7.5 three-pointers a night while sinking 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Jayhawks are dismal at the free throw line as they convert 69.5 percent so far this season. Azubuike suffered a torn ligament in his hand earlier this season and is done for the year. Vick is out indefinitely as he deals with a personal matter and will not return to the program.
- Jayhawks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games
- Longhorns are 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 neutral site games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Kansas has really had their issues this season without Azubuike and Vick, not to mention Silvio de Sousa, who was declared ineligible for all of this season and the 2019-20 campaign. The Jayhawks are trying to get by with secondary options. Lawson is a force in the low block and that is going to be a massive undertaking for Texas, especially Osetkowski, to handle. The Jayhawks have been here before and they should have a fair amount of crowd support with the Sprint Center being within relative shouting distance of Lawrence. Texas hasn’t proven that they are capable of playing a full 40 minutes and that’s their undoing here. Kansas moves on and Texas is left wondering if their record is worth an at-large bid in March Madness.
Prediction: Kansas Jayhawks -2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Texas has had their struggles on the offensive end of the floor and that is a major reason they sit a game over .500 on the year here. The Longhorns are 219th in scoring offense on the season while they rank 226th in field goal percentage and 197th in three-point percentage on the year. While Kansas is near the middle of the pack in scoring defense, they rank 31st in field goal percentage defense as they hold the opposition to 40.7 percent shooting from the floor. One other major advantage Kansas has is on the glass: they were 60th in the nation in rebounding while Texas is 260th on the year: can the Jayhawks avenge their loss in Austin with a triumph here?
The over is 5-1 in the Longhorns’ last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 7-3 in their last 10 games following a straight up loss. Kansas has seen the over go 5-1 in their last 6 games following a straight up win, 8-2 in their last 10 overall and 8-2 in their last 10 against Big 12 opponents this season. This one squeezes over the total as Kansas does enough damage late to help it past the number.
Prediction: Over 137.5