As Oklahoma and Kansas NCAA Basketball teams face each other tonight we take a look at each of these teams in an effort to get a better feeling for the pointspread winner in this one.
Oklahoma vs. Kansas (-5) 9:00 ET ESPN
At the halfway point of the college basketball season, the Big 12 Conference looks to be the deepest in America with 8 teams ranked in the Top 50 and 7 in the Top 30. Two of those teams are Oklahoma and Kansas, who square off tonight at 9:00 pm ET at Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN. Kansas defeated Oklahoma twice last year by scores of 90-83 and 83-75. Let’s take a look at each of these teams in an effort to get a better feeling for the pointspread winner in this one.
Oklahoma continues to build their program under 4th year HC Kruger. Few have had as much success at as many programs as Kruger, who has guided major programs such as Illinois, UNLV, Florida, as well as this Oklahoma team to the NCAA Tourney. This year’s contingent returns 4 starters from last year’s 23-10 SU team, who was upset by N. Dakota St. in the 1st round of the NCAA Tourney last year. The Sooners are led by returning starters such as PG Woodard, Cousins, Spangler and Buddy Hield. Hield was especially successful Saturday night in going 10-10 from the field to lead Oklahoma to an 82-65 home court victory vs. rival Oklahoma St. In that game, the Sooners shot an amazing 56% against a Cowboy defense that entered the game allowing just 37%. Aiding the cause of these 4 starters is the addition of Houston transfer, Thomas, an agile big man that is necessary to deal with the athletic front line of Kansas. Kruger teams have always played their best on the road, where they are 87-55 ATS away. That includes road wins by 19 at Tulsa this year and at Texas by 21. Note, however, that Oklahoma’s most recent road game was a 21 point loss at WVU.
Not nearly as much was expected from a Kansas team, after losing PG Tharpe along with NBA draftees Wiggins and Embiid. But 12thyear HC Bill Self has banded together a solid returning contingent and great recruiting class to again challenge for Big 12 superiority. The Jayhawks proved that to be true when bolting from the Big 12 gate at 3-0 SU ATS to take early command of the Big 12. In fact, entering their battle at Iowa St. Saturday night, Kansas was on a 5-0 SU ATS run. But, the magic of Hilton Coliseum derailed the Jayhawks in an 86-81 loss in which they allowed the Cyclones to shoot 51% from the field. Prior to that, Kansas was allowing foes to shoot only 40%. Tonight, however, they return to the strong home boards of Allen Fieldhouse to play a team they have dominated on this court. In fact, they have beaten Oklahoma 13 straight times on this court, including the last 5 by an average of 17 PPG. That is just one of many victims that the strongest home court in the country has claimed. For, Kansas is 54-2 SU on this floor the last 3+Y, including 8-0 SU this season. From a pointspread perspective, Kansas is 31-15 ATS at home to -12. In addition under Self, Kansas seldom has a letdown. This is indicated by the fact that the Jayhawks are a resounding 44-19 ATS, if they were an underdog in the previous game.
Look for the magic of Allen Fieldhouse to work again tonight against an opponent Kansas has dominated on this floor. Aided by the divergent results of Saturday night, look for Kansas to cover the NCAA Basketball odds pointspread this evening against Oklahoma.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Kansas -5 (-106) at Pinnacle