Two of the most disappointing teams in the Big 12 will square off for a huge battle on Saturday afternoon. Kansas and Texas Tech were supposed to be the class of the Big 12 Conference this season, but each team has had recent struggles. The winner of this game will stay near the top of the league, while the loser will likely fall out of the title race.
Kansas has lost three of their last four games, and it looks like their streak of Big 12 Conference championships might finally end this season. The Jayhawks are just 5-3 in conference play this season and are 16-5 overall. Texas Tech is also 5-3 so far in Big 12 play, but they have won two straight games and come in with some momentum. Kansas is 3.5 point favorite over Texas Tech in this game.
Texas Tech Relying On Defense
Texas Tech is one of the top defenses in the country this season, allowing just 56.8 points per game. The Red Raiders lead all division 1 teams in defensive efficiency and have extremely hard to score on all season long. Texas Tech has struggled to defend some of the best offenses in the Big 12, but they will need to rely on their defense against the Jayhawks.
Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver has taken over the Texas Tech offense, and he is playing himself into a potential NBA lottery pick. Culver leads the Red Raiders with 18.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.9 assists so far this season, and will need to have a monster game to keep his team in this one. Texas Tech has just two other players averaging double-figures this season, and it’s hard for them to find offense on most nights. If the offense eventually catches up with the defense, then Texas Tech could make a run in March.
Kansas Looking For Answers
The Kansas Jayhawks have simply not been the same team since losing Udoka Azubuike to a season-ending injury. Kansas looked like a solid pick to reach the Final Four this season, but head coach Bill Self is left searching for answers. The Jayhawks are outscoring teams by just over six points per game this season, and are far less dominant than in year’s past. Kansas has still been great at home this season, winning all of their games at historic Allen Fieldhouse.
With Azubuike out, Dedric Lawson has emerged as the top scoring threat for the Jayhawks. Lawson leads the team with 19.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game this season but hasn’t gotten much help from his teammates. Lagerald Vick is heralded as one of the best shooters in the country, but opponents have been able to lock him down of late. Kansas is scoring just over 76 points per game this season, and they will be tested against the Red Raiders on Saturday.
Jayhawks Win at Allen Fieldhouse
Both Texas Tech and Kansas are desperate teams at this point, and they seem to be pretty evenly matched. On a neutral floor, I might give the edge to Texas Tech, but the Jayhawks are almost unbeatable at home. I’m taking Kansas to win this game at Allen Fieldhouse. Bet the Kansas Jayhawks -3.5 over Texas Tech.