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No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Texas Southern: Preview, picks for first round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Kansas Jayhawks and Texas Southern Tigers meet at Dickies Arena in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas vs TCU William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 NCAA Tournament is finally here. On Thursday and Friday, we have a combined 32 games set to kick off. No. 1 Kansas will take on No. 16 Texas Southern Thursday at 9:57 PM EST on TruTV. Below we take a look at the matchup and my pick for it.

No. 1 Kansas: 28-6 (14-4): Auto Bid

KenPom rating: 6 Overall, 6 Offense, 29 Defense
NET ranking: 6, (12-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Ochai Agbaji 19.7 PPG
Key stat: Kansas has the most quad 1 wins in the country

The Jayhawks are led by All-American guard Ochai Agbaji. He’s been tremendous all season, and has been a candidate for national player of the year. Coming off a Big 12 Tournament championship, Kansas is red-hot and could make a deep NCAA Tournament run.

No. 16 Texas Southern: 19-12 (13-5): Auto Bid

KenPom rating: 188 Overall, 270 Offense, 108 Defense
NET ranking: 197 (1-2 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: John Walker III 9.9 PPG
Key stat: Texas Southern averages five blocks per game

Texas Southern started their NCAA Tournament Tuesday night with a victory over Texas A&M-CC 76-67. The Tigers lean on their defense, averaging five blocks per game which ranks 20th in the country. But offensively they don't have anybody averaging even double-digits per game.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Kansas -22
Point total: 145
Moneyline: Kansas -6500, Texas Southern +2200

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Kansas -22
Point total pick: Under 145
Pick to Win: Kansas -6500

The most confident pick I have in the tournament is Kansas -22. The talent gap here is massive, and putting KU’s defense against a team that can’t score is a recipe for a pasting. Kansas blows the Tigers out and I’m confident they win by 22+.

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