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How and what to watch for Kentucky vs. Kansas in Champions Classic

The Champions Classic nightcap will feature two of the most prominent college basketball programs in the sport on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.

Kentucky Wildcats guard Terrence Clarke takes a shot in the second half against the Richmond Spiders at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night’s Champions Classic will finish up with the Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks competing at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Kentucky is the lowest ranked team among those competing in the Champions Classic checking in at No. 20 and is coming off a 76-64 upset loss to Richmond in the Bluegrass Showcase. Freshman Brandon Boston Jr. led the way for the Wildcats with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but it was not nearly enough as the Wildcats dropped to 1-1 on the season. Kentucky began its season with an 81-45 win over Morehead State.

Like Kentucky, Kansas has a 12-point loss this season, though it’s much more forgivable coming to the No. 1 team in the country Gonzaga on Thanksgiving in the Fort Myers Tip-Off. In that game, Kansas lost 102-90 allowing 23 points or more to three different players. Marcus Garrett led the Jayhawks with a 22-point performance on 7 of 9 shooting. The next day, Kansas beat Saint Joseph’s 94-72 to even its record at 1-1.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Kentucky vs. Kansas on Tuesday, December 1st at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Kentucky vs. Kansas (-4.5)
Point Total: 146.5
Money line: Kentucky (+165) vs. Kansas (-205)

  • Kansas is 17-1 straight up in its last 18 games, and Kentucky is 10-2 in its last 12 games.
  • Kentucky is 9-3 against the spread in its last 12 games, while Kansas is 8-3 ATS in its last 11.
  • The point total went over in six of Kansas’ last nine matchups, and Kentucky unders hit in each of its first two games this season.

The Best Bet

Kentucky was a mess in its loss to Richmond and looked exactly like a team that returned less than 8% of its minutes from last college basketball season. The Wildcats missed all 10 of their attempted 3-pointers, missed 13 free throws and turned the ball over 21 times. That will improve, but it will not improve quick enough in a short turnaround against Kansas. Let’s go with the more veteran Jayhawks.

Pick: Kansas -4.5

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