Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji (30) shoots a layup during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)
- #6 Kansas is a 4.5-point road favorite versus TCU on Tuesday (Jan. 5th, 10 pm EST)
- The Jayhawks were blown out in their last game, while the Horned Frogs enter play riding a 5-game winning streak
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
Eight Top-25 teams hit the hardwood Tuesday night, including #6 Kansas. The Jayhawks (8-2, 2-1 Big 12) visit TCU (9-2, 2-1 Big 12) at 10 pm EST, looking to snap the Horned Frogs’ 5-game winning streak.
TCU is fresh off a 67-60 victory over Kansas State, while Bill Self’s program suffered one of their worst home losses ever last time out.
#6 Kansas vs TCU Odds
|Kansas Jayhawks||-4.5 (-120)||-225||Over 137.5 (-108)|
|TCU Horned Frogs||+4.5 (-102)||+188||Under 137.5 (-112)|
Odds taken Jan. 4th at FanDuel.
Despite a humbling 84-59 loss to #4 Texas, Kansas still opened as a 4.5-point road favorite in this contest. The loss to the Longhorns snapped the Jayhawks 8-game winning streak, and bumped them down three spots in the AP-Top 25 rankings this week.
2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
Jayhawks Looking to Rebound
The 25-point loss to Texas tied the record for the most lopsided defeat in Kansas history at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks shot 31% from the field, and were atrocious from behind the arc. They made just 3-of-23 long distance looks, which is not a reflection on this team’s 3-point shooting pedigree. Kansas averages 8.6 made 3’s per outing, and for the season is hitting 3’s at a 37.2% clip.
Nobody racked up more wins in 2020 than these teams 🔥
Who will be on the list in 2021? pic.twitter.com/aWp9nFirtJ
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) December 31, 2020
The Jayhawks are led offensively by forward Jalen Wilson, who averages 15.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. All five starters average at least 9 points per contest, while the team ranks 29th in all of college basketball in offensive efficiency according to KenPom’s metrics.
They’re not an especially big team, with just one rotational player standing taller than 6-foot-8, but that hasn’t stopped them from clamping down on enemy offenses, the Texas result not withstanding.
Part 1 of 2 nasty blocks from @Mitchlightfoot ✋ pic.twitter.com/trpWxFEIRT
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) January 2, 2021
Kansas ranks 24th in the nation in total rebounding, 57th in blocks, and is holding teams to just 90 points per 100 possessions.
Horned Frogs Red-Hot
TCU meanwhile, hasn’t lost in nearly a month, but it should be noted their recent schedule has been very favorable. They’ve played just one team ranked inside the top-97 during their winning streak, while three of their opponents have been ranked outside the top-155.
A look at the 6️⃣7️⃣ – 6️⃣0️⃣ road win over K-State.#GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/lkqzzmJ3IJ
— TCU Basketball (@TCUBasketball) January 2, 2021
Last time out versus the 158th ranked Wildcats, they escaped with a 7-point victory, despite a below average shooting performance. The Horned Frogs shot 45.1% from the field, but made just 3-of-13 attempts from beyond the arc. RJ Nembhard led the way with 21 points, and averages a team-high 18.7 points per game.
Like Kansas, TCU is a smaller squad with just two rotational players standing above 6-foot-8, but unlike the Jayhawks they haven’t been able to overcome their lack of size on the glass. The Horned Frogs rank 177th in total rebounding and 157th in their own end.
Their defense has taken a big step back in Big 12 play, allowing 105.6 points per 100 possessions, nearly 11 points more than versus non-conference opponents.
Kansas Cruises Versus TCU
After such a humiliating loss, we should expect a strong bounce back game from the Jayhawks. Their outing against Texas was their first game in 12 days, and perhaps rust played a bigger factor than most people expected.
Business trip ✈️ pic.twitter.com/nLPa7oVRCh
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) January 5, 2021
Kansas is battle tested, having already faced five top-16 teams, while TCU has been stacking wins versus bottom-feeders all season. The Horned Frogs have lost to two of the three best teams they’ve played, and have yet to square off against an opponent in the Jayhawks’ class. I expect the Kansas defense to clamp down on Nembhard and company, and cruise to a convincing win.
Pick: Kansas Jayhawks -4.5 (-120)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.