Kansas Blooms In Sunflower Showdown At K-State

Kansas Jayhawks player celebrating

Monday, February 6, 2017 3:20 PM GMT

Two days after a rare loss at home, the Kansas Jayhawks hit the road as favorites on the NCAA basketball odds in a rematch with Big 12 rival Kansas State.

Kansas Jayhawks vs Kansas State Wildcats

It was indeed a historic day of upsets as all three of the conference's Top-10 ranked teams lost on their home courts to unranked squads. Among the giants to fall where the Kansas Jayhawks, and among the teams pulling off said upsets were the Kansas State Wildcats, helping add to what was already going to be a charged atmosphere inside Bramlage Coliseum tonight for their second Sunflower Showdown of the season (9 PM ET).

BetOnline sent the Jayhawks out -3½ before the spread slipped to -3. Likewise, the total has dropped to 146 after beginning a point higher.

Is Short Bench Catching Up To Jayhawks?

Kansas (20-3 straight up, 7-14 against the spread) seemed to be building on momentum gained from taking down both Kentucky and Baylor in the past week when the Jayhawks built a 52-38 lead at halftime against Iowa State last Saturday, But the pesky Cyclones wouldn't go away and eventually pulled off the 92-89 upset in overtime. It marked the fourth time in the last five games Kansas failed to cover the NCAA basketball odds, leaving Bill Self's side just 2-8 ATS in conference play.

Meanwhile in Waco, Kansas State (16-7 SU, 10-8-1 ATS) dragged a 3-game losing skid into its matchup with Baylor, the Bears favored by seven and needing a bounce-back win following a loss to the Jayhawks. Instead, Bruce Weber's bunch built a big lead in the opening 20 minutes, then held on for the 56-54 decision in a thriller that saw the two teams combine for a sloppy 11-of-25 from the free throw line. K-State's 4-of-12 showing was far and away its worst charity stripe shooting of the season, and marked just the second time in 10 league tilts the Wildcats failed to connect on less than 62% from the line.

Home Teams 16-5-1 ATS Since Start of '07-'08 Season

The 192-93 advantage Kansas holds in the rivalry shows the Jayhawks' dominance overall, and their 44-5 record as Big 12 opponents simply adds to how lopsided this series has been in recent years. The last four results have gone KU's way, sweeping three from the Wildcats a year ago and holding on for a 90-88 decision a little more than a month ago when they met in Lawrence. The Jayhawks were favored by 4½ when they met KSU in Manhattan a year ago, easily covering the spread in a 77-59 final that failed to reach a 143½ scoreboard tally.

With the two teams coming off such contrary conclusions to their games two days ago, getting a good handle on just what frame of mind the players bring into tonight's tilt is tough. No doubt the Wildcats will get an extra boost from their home fans, but I also think the Jayhawks still face fewer distractions on the road than at home. Put me down for a free college basketball pick on KU to continue its dominance in this series.

Free NCAAB Pick: Kansas -3

Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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