Big Monday has arrived and it brings the No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks (19-3, 8-1) to Austin. Chris Beard and the No. 20 Texas Longhorns (17-6, 6-4) are coming off an emphatic victory over the then-No. 20 Iowa State Cyclones, winning 63-41.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks are coming off an emphatic win of their own, knocking off No. 8 Baylor 83-59. They're also closing out a daunting five-stretch of their own, playing No. 13 Texas Tech, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 20 Iowa State, No. 8 Baylor, and wrapping it up tonight with No. 23 Texas. Bill Self and KU are 3-1 in that stretch with their lone loss coming to the Wildcats, 80-62, at Rupp Arena.
Kansas has one of the best offenses in the country this year, third per KenPom and fourth per ESPN’s BPI rankings. It stems from an experienced backcourt, featuring senior Ochai Agbaji and junior Christian Braun. Both guards are the only players to average double-digit points per game (Agbaji 20.8 and Bruan 15.2) for Kansas and both shoot above 50 percent from the floor.
Throw in Arizona State transfer Remy Martin and the Jayhawks have one of the best backcourts in the country, leading the Big 12 in scoring offense (80.2 PPG), field-goal percentage (49.25 percent), and second in assists per game and three-point percentage (35.96 percent).
Defensively, the Jayhawks rank 30th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency and their starting frontcourt duo of Jalen Wilson and David McCormack could provide a problem for Texas on the glass.
This could be a big game for the Texas frontcourt, but after riding a three-guard lineup to victory over Iowa State, will Beard try and play small against the larger and more athletic Ja ?
Texas has quietly won four of their last five games, but the next two games feature a pair of top-10 teams. Sitting just 2.5 games behind the Jayhawks in the Big 12 standings, Beard knows how monumental a win would be.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Beard said following the Iowa State game. “This is why you come to Texas... to play in games like this.”
How to Watch:
Time: 8:00 p.m. Central
Radio: Texassports.com affiliates
Odds: The Longhorns are 1.5-point underdogs against the Jayhawks, according to DraftKings.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.