Monday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Free NCAAB Pick: Jayhawks ATS
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Good Big Monday doubleheader on ESPN this week. It tips off with Syracuse visiting No. 1 Duke, which my cohort Willie is previewing. We’re here for the late game, Texas at No. 7 Kansas – although KU could be higher in Monday’s new AP Top 25.
This rivalry hasn’t been much of one with Kansas leading the all-time series with Texas 31-8, including 16-1 in Lawrence. KU has won the past nine overall in the series, although the past three have been decided by 10 points or fewer. Kansas won 92-86 in Austin in the first meeting last season and 80-70 at Allen Fieldhouse to clinch yet another Big 12 regular-season title. Udoka Azubuike led all scorers with 20 points, but the Jayhawks are without their star center the rest of this season due to injury. UT’s last win in the series was Feb. 1, 2014, 81-69 in Austin.
A pretty amazing streak is on the line here as Kansas has won its past 30 Big Monday games at home. Overall, the school is 37-1 all-time at home on Big Monday.
Which Team To Back ATS?
Kansas has won its past two since an upset loss at Iowa State on Jan. 5. The Jayhawks prevailed 73-68 at Baylor on Saturday, covering a 3.5-point spread. On his 22nd birthday (he’s got to be one of the oldest players in Division I), Lagerald Vick had 18 points – all three-pointers. Kansas had a 23-point lead with 6 1/2 minutes left before getting a bit sloppy as Baylor closed to within four.
Dedric Lawson, the Big 12 Player of the Year favorite, added 17 points, five steals and five blocks. The Memphis transfer became just the third player in Big 12 history to tally 5+ blocks and 5+ steals in a game and is the only player in the conference averaging a double-double (19.3 ppg, 10.8 rpg). He’s second in the conference in scoring and first in rebounding.
You’d have to say Texas has disappointed overall under Coach Shaka Smart. The Horns were knocked off at home by a good Texas Tech team on Saturday, 68-62, for their second loss in a row. It was the Red Raiders’ first win in Austin since 1996.
One bright spot Saturday was freshman Jaxson Hayes tying his career high with 15 points. The Ohio native is shooting an absurd 74.7 percent from the field. Texas had won its past four at home vs. AP Top 20 teams. The Longhorns are 1-2 vs. ranked teams this season, beating North Carolina and losing to Michigan State, both at a neutral-site Thanksgiving tournament.
- Longhorns are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Jayhawks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big 12.
The road team has managed to cover the past eight in this series, but that ends here. KU wins by 12 for a cover.