College Basketball Tuesday Night Preview: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kentucky Wildcats

No. 11 Kansas Jayhawks vs. No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats
Tuesday, 11/15/11, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Kentucky -4
Current Betting Line:  Kentucky -6
Opening Total:  147.5
Current Total:  147.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Kansas Jayhawks are six-point neutral-site underdogs against the Kentucky Wildcats Tuesday night

Kansas had no trouble in its season opener in handing the Towson Tigers a resounding 100-54 defeat in the first round of the EA Sports Maui Invitation, as the team with just eight recruited scholarship players was happy with the performance.  “This will be a fun year for me, but I’ve got to learn to enjoy the process,” commented Jayhawks coach Bill Self.  “We’re going to have two good days and we’re going to have an awful day.”  The offseason saw two promising freshmen be deemed ineligible before the 2011-12 campaign.  Kansas is 8-10 ATS on a neutral court the last two-plus seasons, while the ‘under’ is 10-8 in those contests.

The Jayhawks were led in scoring by preseason All-American candidate Thomas Robinson, who scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, leading a group of four players in double figures against the Tigers.  Tyshawn Taylor is the team’s leading returning scorer, averaging 9.3 points a year ago, as he chipped in with 12 points in the contest.  Self has enjoyed tremendous success since arriving Lawrence, especially over the last five years, as Kansas is the winningest college program in that time frame.

Kentucky tallied an ultra-impressive 108-58 win over the Marist Red Foxes, with five players scoring in double-figures, led by freshman Anthony Davis’ 23 points.  Wildcats head coach John Calipari will certainly be looking for revenge against Self, losing the 2008 National Championship Game when he was coaching at Memphis.  “It may be a statement game, but I hope it’s one they think it will be,” commented Calipari about his youthful roster.  The program watched three freshman start for the first time in history in the opener.  Kentucky is 14-8 ATS in neutral court games the last two-plus seasons.

The Wildcats have a legitimate star in Terrence Jones, who was named a preseason First Team All-American.  Kentucky will be playing inside Madison Square Garden for the 14th time, coming in with a solid 10-3 mark, while also tallying a 41-16 mark when playing in the New York Metro area.  Calipari has recruited a talented bunch and won 30 or more games for the fifth consecutive season a year ago.

Bettors will likely back the Jayhawks due to their 7-1 ATS mark versus the SEC, while the Wildcats are 0-4-1 ATS versus the Big 12 Conference.

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  1. Make that three promising freshmen. Braeden Anderson was also declared partially eligible and due to a Big12 ruling he gave it up and transferred.

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