Kansas travels to Michigan in a Non-Conference Showdown

Kansas Jayhawks at Michigan Wolverines, Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
Sunday, January 9, 2011, 4:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Kansas -10
Current Line: Kansas -10 1/2
Opening Total: 135
Current Total: 136
Money Line: Kansas -650 / Michigan +475

Marcus Morris and the Kansas Jayhawks are 10 1/2 point favorites at Michigan in the last non-conference game of the season for both teams.

Kansas is 14-0 and ranked #3 in the country. If they win this game at 11-4 Michigan, then they will go undefeated in non-conference play, something they haven’t done since they won the national championship in 2008. Kansas has wins over Arizona, UCLA, USC, California, and Memphis on the season. Michigan is 10-1 at home on the season. They have losses to Syracuse, UTEP, Purdue, and Wisconsin on the season. The Wolverines have wins over Clemson, Harvard, Utah, and Penn St on the season. Michigan leads the over series against Kansas 5-1. Kansas won last season 75-64 in Lawrence for their first ever victory in the series. The teams hadn’t played since 1992 before then. Kansas hasn’t played at Michigan since 1985. Michigan is 16-6 ATS after a loss to conference rival over the last 3 seasons. Kansas is 38-24 ATS  versus teams with winning records the last 3 seasons.

Kansas is one of the most dominant teams in the country as usual. They have 6 ins on the season by more than 30 points, which is almost half the team’s games. They are outscoring opponents 86-60 on the season. The Jayhawks are shooting 53.7% from the field and 40.2% from 3-point range. They are holding opponents to 37.1% shooting from the field. The Jayhawks shoot 67% from the free throw line. Kansas averages 40.4 rebounds and has a rebounding margin of +9.4.  Kansas averages 19.4 assists and 13.9 turnovers a game. They force 16.9 turnovers a game on defense. The Jayhawks average 9.6 steals and 5.3 blocks a game. Forward Marcus Moore leads the team in scoring with 15.2 ppg. He also averages 6.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists a game. Freshman guard Josh Selby averages 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.6 steals a game. Forward Markieff Morris averages 12.9 points, 8.5 rebounds to lead the team, 1.2 assists, and 1.0 block a game. Forward Thomas Robinson missed the Jayhawks last game, a 99-52 destruction of Missouri-Kansas City, due to personal reasons. He is listed as probable against Michigan. Robinson averages 9,8 points, 6.9 rebounds, and leads the team in blocks with 1.1 a game. Brady Morningstar leads the team in steals with 1.9 a game. Sometimes Kansas coach Bill Self will play his three point gaurds Selby, Tyshawn Taylor, and Elijah Johnson at the same time. It is a very small line-up but they create havoc with their quickness and ability to steal the ball and force turnovers.

Michigan is outscoring opponents 68-60 on the season. The Wolverines are very young as they have 3 freshmen in their starting line-up and only one senior on the entire roster. The Wolverines are shooting 44.2% from the field and 34.2% from 3-point range. Michigan opponents are shooting 40% from the field. Michigan makes 72.4% of their free throws. The Wolverines average 35.5 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +2.2. They average 14.5 assists and 10.7 turnovers a game. Michigan forces 11.7 turnovers a game on defense. Michigan averages 4.2 steals and 2.2 blocks a game. The Wolverines are healthy right now and have no significant injuries listed. sophomore guard Darius Morris leads the team in scoring with 15.1, points, assists with 7.3 a game and steals with 1.3 a game. He also averages 3.4 rebounds a game. Freshman guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is reminding people of his famous father with hsi play this year. Hardaway is averaging 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists a game. Jordan Morgan averages 9 points and 6.5 rebounds a game. Zach Novak is scoring 8.5 points and leads the team in rebounding with 6.9 a game.

Michigan must slow the tempo down if they hope to compete with the powerful Jayhawks. They can’t run with Kansas and must play the game in the 60’s. Kansas is the far superior team in all aspects of the game, rebounding, defense, and scoring. Last year Kansas started 14-0 before losing at Tennessee in the Jayhawks’ last non-conference game of the year, something they hope to avoid this year playing at Michigan.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot this season. Don’t miss out on any more winners in 2011.

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