#9 Kansas vs. Oklahoma

#9 Kansas vs. Oklahoma | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 21, 2021

If Kansas has any shot at winning the Big 12 regular-season title again following an early-week loss at Baylor, the Jayhawks can’t lose again on Saturday at Oklahoma. KU likely will be a short favorite on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Kansas at Oklahoma NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

Kansas beat visiting Oklahoma 63-59 on Jan. 9. David McCormack hit the clinching short hook shot with 12.8 seconds to go, and he finished with 17 points. Ochai Agbaji added 14 points and Jalen Wilson had nine points and 11 rebounds for KU. The Sooners, playing without Brady Manek and Jalen Hill because of COVID-19 protocols, took a 57-56 lead when Austin Reaves hit a jumper from the free-throw line with 2 1/2 minutes to go. But McCormack scored over Oklahoma’s Kur Kuath to give Kansas the lead back, and Wilson’s 3-pointer made it 61-57 with 1:26 to go. It was Kansas’ 20th straight home win in the series.

Why Bet on Kansas? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Jayhawks (10-4) lost their second straight game Monday, 77-69 at a stellar and second-ranked Baylor squad. The led throughout in a matchup of this season’s preseason league favorite and the team that has won or shared 15 of the last 16 regular-season titles.

The Jayhawks were within 65-60 with 3:18 left after Jalen Wilson drove the baseline for a slam that capped an 8-0 run. Jared Butler then hit a 3 at the other end, and Kansas never got closer. Coach Bill Self’s team hadn’t lost consecutive Big 12 games since a three-game skid in February 2013 against Oklahoma State, TCU and Oklahoma. It made KU 2-2 in true road games this season and 4-3 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse

Kansas (4-3 Big 12) was led by two players in double-figures including 17 points from sophomore guard Christian Braun and 16 points from junior guard Ochai Agbaji. It was Braun’s 10th-career game in double-figures including his fifth this season. Kansas finished shooting 48% (25-of-52) from the floor and 53% (10-of-19) from beyond the arc.

Wilson had had just four points and five boards; starting big man David McCormack six points and two boards and starting point guard Marcus Garrett nine points, eight assists and five turnovers. The Jayhawks were out-rebounded by the Bears, 23-29, marking the third time this season the Jayhawks lost the rebound battle. KU falls to 0-3 when being out-rebounded.

“We’ve got to correct some things, tighten some things up. We are not that far off,” Self said. “We need everybody playing well. We are not a good enough team to have three out of five starters or two out of five starters play well because our bench isn’t going to be a scoring-type bench. We need our starters to play well.”

Why Bet on Oklahoma? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Sooners (8-4) beat visiting Kansas State 76-50 on Tuesday. Oklahoma closed the first half on a 15-2 run — with nine points by De’Vion Harmon — for a 32-24 lead. Harmon and Elijah Harkless made 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions as Oklahoma took its first double-digit lead during a 14-4 spurt to open the second half. Oklahoma scored 20 points off 20 Kansas State turnovers.

“It was nip-and-tuck there early. Then in the last five minutes of the first half, I thought our guys settled into a nice rhythm defensively and converted some deflections into offense and got down a couple of threes as well to establish a little bit of a lead at halftime,” said Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, whose team improved to 4-3 in the Big 12. “Then in the second half, much better flow offensively and moving the ball and making plays for each other. Really good stops on the defensive end.”

OU shot 46% from the field, compared to 36.1% for Kansas State. It dished out 19 assists, while Kansas State dealt only 10. And OU racked up 13 steals, compared to three for the visitors. The only stat Kansas State had an advantage in was the rebounding column, where it was 47-33, largely because of 15 offensive boards.

Harmon scored 16 points and Harkless had eight points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Sooners. Austin Reaves filled up the stat sheet in a number of ways with eight points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals.  Harmon had a scary moment late when it appeared that he injured his leg, but Kruger said afterward that it was just a cramping issue.

OU has racked up consecutive 25-plus-point victories in Big 12 play for the first time since 2002.

Expert Prediction

  • Oklahoma 71, Kansas 69

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