NCAA Basketball Betting: Can Kansas Win a National Championship?

NCAA Basketball Betting: Can Kansas Win a National Championship?

The Kansas Jayhawks came back from a double-digit deficit in last year’s NCAA men’s college basketball championship to take a title, and now they are back in March Madness to try and defend that title. They made it to the finals of the Big 12 Tournament by knocking off Iowa State, 71-58, but then they got their doors blown off by 20 by Texas in the tournament final. Head coach Bill Self had health issues that kept him out of the Big 12 Tournament, but he is expected to return for the Big Dance. Can Kansas cut down the nets again this year? Check out our sports betting insights about the Jayhawks.

Can they go all the way this year? We’ll break things down as you consider your NCAA basketball betting for the tournament.


NCAA Basketball Betting: Can Kansas Win the National Championship?

Kansas Jayhawks Info | Updated NCAA Basketball Odds
27-7 overall and 13-5 in Big 12 play – 1st
Conference: Big 12
Venue: Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas University, Kansas


The good: Takeaways from Kansas-Iowa State

The Jayhawks showed steady play despite missing their head coach on the sideline. Kansas led most of the way against an Iowa State that had been better on the boards than the Jayhawks in both of the regular-season meetings and had dominated the showdown up in Ames. However, Kansas controlled things in the conference semifinals. Jalen Wilson put up 25 points and 10 boards, and Gradey Dick went 4 of 10 to finish with 15 points. Dajuan Harris had 11 points, six assists and four steals. The most important number, though, might have been the 22 turnovers that Kansas forced. So even though Iowa State had four offensive boards in the first five minutes, leading to five second-chance points, Kansas still jumped out an early 13-9 lead at the first media timeout. Kansas shot 54 percent from the floor in the first half, giving the Jayhawks the cushion they needed to withstand the Iowa State rally in the second half.

Kevin McCullar took himself out of the game with an injury just after the start of the second half. Iowa State would come back and take a short lead in the first five minutes of the second half, but Kansas put up a 6-0 lead to establish a five-point lead. As well as Iowa State played, they kept coughing up the ball, and Kansas kept making tough shots. This sort of steady, suffocating defense, combined with an opportunistic offense, should give the Jayhawks what they need against just about every team they meet.


The bad: Takeaways from Kansas-Texas

Kansas finished ahead of Texas in the regular-season Big 12 standings, but the Longhorns delivered a 76-56 blowout in the tournament championship. Jalen Wilson did put up 24 points, and Joseph Yesufu, who started the game due to injuries, scored 11. Wilson made some key shots in the first half, scoring 17 – over half of the team’s point total.

Texas caused problems for Kansas with their overall depth and balance, grinding aay to lead at the half, 39-33. The Longhorns lost Dylan Disu to foul trouble early in the first half, but he would bounce back to have 18 on the night. However, the Texas offense just kept piling up the points and led, 70-50, with 4:30 remaining in regulation. Despite shooting just 4 of 17 from behind the arc, Texas was red-hot from two-point land, and they scored at least every couple of minutes, which kept the Kansas-heavy crowd (the Big 12 Tournament is in Kansas City each year) from failure to make noise.

So if Kansas is going to win, they will have to get back to the tough-shooting roster that gets contributions from everyone. They will have to contest shots, both inside and outside the arc, and they will have to pound the paint and get rebounds in order to keep opponents from setting into the rhythm they like. Of the four top seeds, Kansas seems less ripe for an upset than Purdue, but I’m not sure they seem stronger than Alabama or Houston.


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