The defending national champion Kansas Jayhawks enter Saturday’s clash on the road against the Kentucky Wildcats having lost three straight games and will look to both snap the skid and get revenge in the Big XII-SEC Challenge.
Kansas Jayhawks and Kentucky Wildcats (-3, 140)
When these teams met in Lawrence last season, Kentucky won 80-62, the largest margin of defeat at home for Kansas against a non-conference team in the coach Bill Self era.
Thus year’s Kentucky team has had far more defensive issues than a season ago, ranking 83rd in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis after ranking 35th in this category a season ago with an opponents 3-point shooting percentage that is 166th in the country.
Kansas does not have one particular strength on raw numbers, but are solid across the board as they rate outside the top 50 nationally in points scored, points allowed, and turnovers forced on a per possession basis, but within the top 70 in all three categories.
The pedestrian overall numbers of Kansas can be tied directly to the competition they’ve played, as they rank third in nation in strength of schedule according to NET Ratings and have a 16-4 record.
In a close game, Kentucky’s 68% free throw shooting, which ranks 274th in America, could be the difference in a tight game against a defending title winner that wants revenge.
The Play; Kansas +3
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