The Kansas Jayhawks are one of college hoops’ top contenders this year. Bill Self’s squad will have its share of early tests, while facing a stacked schedule in Big 12 Conference play.
Are you prepared for the upcoming NCAA basketball season?
One of the favorites to win it all this year, the Kansas Jayhawks are listed at 11/2 NCAA basketball odds to run the table in “March
Jayhawks end with momentum
Kansas began last season with high hopes, while
notably dipping in February with three straight losses against Big 12 foes. The
Jayhawks resurged to end the year with wins in 12-of-14 contests, while cashing
at an 11-3 ATS clip.
Jayhawks mates Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey
departed for the NBA, following top numbers in the team’s scoring (16.4 PPG)
and rebounding (8.4 RPG), respectively. The duo led their squad to a Big 12
Tournament title, thrashing Kansas State in a 70-54 final, while edged by Michigan
in the “Sweet Sixteen” of the “Big Dance,” 87-85.
Wiggins leads new recruits
Kansas has lined up a loaded recruiting class,
led by forward Andrew Wiggins. The Ontario native comes in as the 2013
Gatorade National Player of the Year, turning down offers from Kentucky, North
Carolina and Florida State.
Wiggins is joined by five-star freshmen Wayne
Selden and Joel Embiid, while transfers Tarik Black and Hunter Mickelson add
themselves to the Jayhawks’ front court. Kansas’ Naadir Tharpe and Jamari Traylor
return for their junior and sophomore years, leaving some added depth after
pitching in their share of minutes last season.
Jayhawks meet Duke early
Kansas will waste no time seeing how its roster
stacks up, meeting the Duke Blue Devils in November’s Champions Classic at
Chicago’s United Center. Wiggins and Co. finish the month’s action with the
three-day “Battle 4 Atlantis,” opening against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
December’s slate features a road date with the
Florida Gators as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, while hosting the
Georgetown Hoyas. The team’s non-conference play ends with a pair of home
affairs against the Toledo Rockets and the San Diego State Aztecs.
Big 12 action in January has a pair of circled
home dates for the Jayhawks, meeting the Kansas State Wildcats and Oklahoma
State Cowboys. Kansas starts February with a stretch of four road games over
two weeks, making visits to Texas, Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech.
Kansas not worth the ‘chalk’
Kansas has a promising lineup and should be a
top seed come March, but the Jayhawks will have their share of spots as
overvalued ‘chalk.’ Last season saw
Kansas start with a 0-3 spread mark at NCAA basketball betting, while moving to a
9-13 ATS mark through early February.
The Jayhawks had their share of steam in home
affairs down the stretch, cashing with a 7-1 spread record over their final
eight matchups at Allen Fieldhouse. Self’s squad held foes to 55.9 PPG through
that span, with the sole loss coming in an 85-80 defeat to Oklahoma State.
Kansas should again rack up its share of wins in
Lawrence, but its new recruits could see their share of growing pains in big
road spots. Reaching success in the postseason comes from pulling out games
against rivals away from home and the Jayhawks could become too overvalued
there for your sports picks.
Look to back the Jayhawks in mid-season home dates again, but
avoid an early futures position until seeing how the new starting five stacks
up on the road.
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