Texas Longhorns at #8 Kansas Jayhawks
Allen Fieldhouse – Lawrence, Kansas
Saturday, February 28, 2015, 5:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Kansas -7
Current Line: Kansas -7 1/2
Opening Total: 134 1/2
Current Total: 136 1/2
Opening Money Line: Kansas -340 / Texas +280
Current Money Line: Kansas -350 / Texas +290
The 22-6 Kansas Jayhawks are trying to win at least a share of the big 12 title for an 11th straight season. However, a pedestrian 3-3 record in their last 6 games has put those hopes in jeopardy. The Jayhawks still lead the conference with an 11-4 record by a razor thin margin of one game over Iowa State, West Virginia and Oklahoma. Kansas host the suddenly fading Texas Longhorns Saturday. Texas is 17-11 overall and in eighth place at 6-9. The Longhorns have lost 3 straight games all to ranked teams. In fact Texas is projected to be one of the first four teams out in the NCAA Tournament according to Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com.
Kansas leads the series 24-8 against Texas including 12-1 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks have won 10 of the last 12 and 7 of the last 8 games against the Longhorns. Kansas won in Austin 75-62 January 24. This series dates back to 1938.
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Texas is coached by Rick Barnes. The Longhorns have road losses at Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma and West Virginia 71-64 Tuesday, along with home losses to Stanford, Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State. Texas has neutral site wins over Iowa and California in a tournament in New York, home wins over North Dakota State, Long Beach State, Rice, West Virginia, TCU, and Texas Tech, plus road wins over Connecticut, Texas Tech, TCU and Kansas State. The Longhorns are 14-12 ATS and the total is 9-12 this season. Texas was a 3.5 point underdog against West Virginia and the total was 136.5.
Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks have losses to Kentucky in Indianapolis, plus road losses at Temple, Iowa State Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Kansas State 70-63 Monday. Kansas is 13-0 at home this season. The Jayhawks have home wins over UC-Santa Barbara, Florida, Kent State, UNLV, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and TCU. Kansas has neutral site wins over Rhode Island, Tennessee and Michigan State in a tournament in Orlando, plus over Utah in Kansas City. The Jayhawks have road wins at Georgetown, Baylor, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech. Kansas is 15-11-1 ATS and the total is 14-11-1 this season. The Jayhawks were 5 point favorites against Kansas State and the total was 128.
Texas is outscoring teams 69-61 this season. The Longhorns are #39 nationally in points allowed. Texas is shooting 44.1% from the field including 34.3% from 3 point range. The Longhorns make 72.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 36.6% from the field including 34.3% from 3 point range. Texas is #4 in field goal defense nationally. The Longhorns average 40.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 26 per game. Texas is in the top 8 nationally in both categories. The Longhorns average 13 assists, 13.3 turnovers, 3.8 steals and 7.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.7 assists, 9.2 turnovers, 6.4 steals and 3 blocks per game.
Texas guard Isaiah Taylor averages 13.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1 steal per game. Myles Turner averages 11.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Jonathan Holmes averages 10.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He is questionable due to a possible suspension. Javan Felix averages 9.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Cameron Ridley averages 8.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Demarcus Holland averages 7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Kendal Yancy, Connor Lammert, Prince Ibeh, and Jordan Barnett will also get minutes in the rotation.
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Kansas is outscoring teams 72-65 this season. The Jayhawks are shooting 44.7% from the field and 40.7% from 3 point range. Kansas is #16 nationally in 3 point shooting. The Jayhawks make 70.8% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.8% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. Kansas averages 38.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.9 per game. The Jayhawks are #31 nationally in rebounding. Kansas averages 14.1 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.5 assists, 11.4 turnovers, 6 steals and 5 blocks per game.
Kansas forward Perry Ellis averages 14 points, 7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Frank Mason III averages 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 9.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Kelly Oubre, Jr. averages 8.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Cliff Alexander averages 7.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Devonte Graham, Brannen Greene, Jamari Traylor, and Landon Lucas will also get time in the rotation.
Texas is 9-3 ATS in road games and against teams with winning home records, 1-4 after a straight up loss and in Saturday games. The under is 5-2 in the last 7 games in this series including 4-1 in Lawrence. The underdog has covered 5 of the last 7 games in this series.
Kansas is 7-1-1 ATS at home, 24-9-1 after a straight up loss, and 5-2-1 after failing to cover. The home team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.
While Kansas has struggled on the road in conference play, they are almost unbeatable at home. It will even be more emotional as it is the 60th anniversary of historic Phog Allen Fieldhouse with many former coaches expected to be there for the pre-game ceremony. Texas is reeling on the other hand and might have played themselves out of the NCAA Tournament. Kansas wins comfortably.