Texas forward Greg Brown (4) celebrates a play with head coach Shaka Smart and teammates during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against TCU, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
- #17 Kansas (17-7, 11-5 Big 12) battles #14 Texas (13-6, 7-5 Big 12) on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 9pm ET
- With five wins in a row, the Jayhawks are back in contention for a high seed in the NCAA tournament
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
Fans, players, coaches and bettors … we all deserved this rematch. When Kansas and Texas met last month, as a pair of highly-ranked, one-loss teams, everyone expected a classic. But instead, we got an 84-59 beatdown in favor of the visiting Longhorns, which equalled the Jayhawks’ worst-ever loss at Allen Fieldhouse.
That loss began a bit of a five-week spiral that saw Kansas left out of the top-25 rankings at one point. Now they’re back, they’re hot, and they’re ready to give the Longhorns their best go on Tuesday (9:00 pm ET tip off) as slight road underdogs.
#17 Kansas vs #14 Texas Odds
|Kansas||+2.5 (-110)||+124||Over 139.5 (-110)|
|Texas||-2.5 (-110)||-146||Under 139.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Feb. 22nd, 2020 at FanDuel.
How They’ve Fared Recently
Kansas is riding a five game win streak, though, to be fair, most of those wins have come against far lesser opponents. On Feb. 8, they beat Oklahoma State (43rd in KenPom) at home, then followed up with a home-and-home sweep over Iowa State (162nd), a road win over Kansas State (186th), and a home win over a Texas Tech team that hadn’t played in nearly two weeks.
Beating Texas Tech is the only win of this recent bunch that should truly restore bettors’ faith in Kansas. The Red Raiders have several quality wins this season (including Texas, Oklahoma twice, and LSU), and they’ve become a premier NCAA Division I program in recent years.
Thank you future Kansas coach Chris Beard. I needed this. pic.twitter.com/PZUbF94xrE
— We good? (@Jifhawk) February 20, 2021
Texas has had a less rosy go of things lately, dropping four of its past six, albeit to quality opponents. Their four recent losses include setbacks against #7 Oklahoma, #2 Baylor, and #10 West Virginia (read: the Big 12 is super deep).
So the Longhorns have been tested a lot lately, and they haven’t passed those tests. They’ve come close though, with three of those four losses coming by one point, two points, and in double overtime. On Tuesday, Kansas will serve as another test.
— Texas Men’s Basketball (@TexasMBB) February 20, 2021
The term “home-court advantage” hasn’t exactly rang true for the Longhorns this season. They are 7-12 against the spread overall, but that deteriorates to 3-9 ATS at home. It hasn’t mattered where Texas has played lately — they’ve struggled ATS. The Longhorns have dropped seven of their past eight in that regard.
That’s 𝟱 straight 💪
Playing some of our best hoops as we head into March…⁰
• 𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲 🎥 #𝟮𝟯 𝗞𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗮𝘀 𝘃𝘀 #𝟭𝟱 𝗧𝗲𝘅𝗮𝘀 𝗧𝗲𝗰𝗵 • pic.twitter.com/uCgIJ13lwq
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) February 21, 2021
The Jayhawks are 12-11 ATS this season, with a 5-4 ATS road record. More importantly, though, is that the Jayhawks have covered in all five games of their active win streak. The under has hit in their past three games, but the over hit in the three before that.
In a way, the Jan. 2 matchup between Texas and Kansas feels like a lifetime ago. The Longhorns asserted their dominance, collecting an 84-59 road win as five-point underdogs. That victory is all the more impressive considering Texas committed more turnovers and more fouls.
So what the heck happened to Kansas? Well, they shot 3-of-23 from three-point range and only made 40.5 percent of their inside shots. Offense isn’t the Jayhawks’ calling card, but they’re better than that.
I like the Jayhawks to earn some vengeance in straight-up fashion on Tuesday. They couldn’t possibly be worse offensively than they were in the last matchup, and the Longhorns’ ATS trends are concerning.
Pick: Kansas Money Line (+124)
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.