Kansas (17-7) at Texas (13-6)
When: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021
Where: Erwin Center,
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Texas -2/139.5
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Two Big 12 teams going in opposite directions will battle on Tuesday night as the 12th-ranked Texas Longhorns host the 23rd-ranked Kansas Jayhawks. It has been a rollercoaster season to say the least for the Jayhawks, who come into this contest on a high-note. KU has won five in a row to improve to 6-1 this month after a 3-5 January and 8-1 start to the season. The Jayhawks are coming off a nice 67-61 home victory over No. 15 Texas Tech on Saturday and are looking for some revenge. The Longhorns gave Kansas coach Bill Self his worst home loss in the 84-59 win on Jan. 2 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks have not only won five-straight, but they’ve covered the spread in each of them. Texas will enter Tuesday’s game with losses in five of their last eight games after being ranked as high as No. 4 in the national polls. Saturday’s loss was not pretty, as the Longhorns blew a 19-point second half lead in the 84-82 home loss to No. 13 West Virginia. The turning point of the setback was when teammates Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones got into a verbal sparring bout during the under-16 TV timeout. Texas was outscored 34-18 from that point on. Kansas had won eight of the last nine meetings with Texas before the Longhorns blowout win last month. Texas is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings with KU and the under has cashed in four of the last five encounters.
Kansas’ current winning streak wasn’t that impressive until Saturday’s win over Texas Tech. The Jayhawks’ other four wins were against sub-35 NET teams. All five starters for Kansas had at least 19 points, but only one player scored off the bench on Saturday. David McCormack led the team with 17 points and eight rebounds and will be looking forward to playing better this time around against Texas. In the first meeting, McCormack finished with eight points (all free throws) while going 0-of-4 from the field. Ochai Agbaji had 14 points and 13 rebounds versus the Red Raiders, while Jalen Wilson scored 11. Christian Braun’s 3-pointer with 21 seconds put the game away as he and Marcus Garrett finished with 10 points. Kansas is averaging 73.7 points on 44.0 percent shooting from the field this season.
Texas drained 14 three-pointers on 26 attempts but gave the Mountaineers plenty of opportunities at the foul line Saturday, where West Virginia connected on 26-of-37. Texas, on the other hand, was just 4-of-10 from the free-throw line. The Longhorns are unlikely to see Kansas get to the line that many times, as the Jayhawks rank 189th in the nation with 17.8 free-throw attempts per game. Ramey scored a career-high 28 points in Saturday’s loss, sinking 7-of-8 from beyond the arc before fouling out with 2:27 to play. Matt Coleman III added 20 points and Jericho Sims scored 14 for the Longhorns. In the blowout win over Kansas last month, Ramey had 18 points, while Kai Jones had 12 points and five rebounds. Texas also dominated the boards versus Kansas, with 43 rebounds to just 33 by the Jayhawks.
I was hoping to get more points here, but I still have to take the Jayhawks. They are playing much better basketball than Texas right now and you have to factor in the revenge factor. Kansas was humiliated last month and they’ll be ready for this one. Kansas wins a close game.
Pick: Kansas +2.5