A trip to the regional semifinal in the Midwest region will be on the line tonight as the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks will battle the No. 9 Creighton Bluejays at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX.
The game will tip off at 2:40 p.m. ET on CBS. Kansas enters as an 11.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 1 Kansas: 29-6 (14-4 Big 12)):
First round result: Defeated No. 16 Texas Southern 83-56
KenPom rating: 5 Overall, 7 Offense, 24 Defense
NET ranking: 6, (12-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Ochai Agbaji (19.4 ppg)
Key stat: Kansas is 5-3 against the spread on neutral courts this season.
Kansas barely broke a sweat on Thursday and did what a No. 1 team is expected to do by torching Texas Southern by 27 points. The Jayhawks limited the Tigers to just seven points in the final 10 minutes of the first half and went into the locker room with a commanding 47-19 lead. Remy Martin led 15 points while Christian Braun followed with 14 points and five rebounds.
Creighton has a high turnover percentage of 20.7% and it’d be wise for Kansas to try to take advantage of that and force numerous turnovers.
No. 9 Creighton: 23-11 (12-7 Big East):
First round result: Defeated No. 8 San Diego State 72-69 (OT)
KenPom rating: 53 Overall, 125 Offense, 17 Defense
NET ranking: 55, (7-6 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Ryan Hawkins (13.8 ppg)
Key stat: Creighton has won three of its last four games
Creighton was teetering on the verge of elimination on Thursday before coming back to edge San Diego State in overtime. Trailing by nine with 3:51 left in regulation, the Bluejays held firm defensively and broke off a 9-0 run to tie the game and force OT. Trailing in OT, a pair of baskets and a layup by Trey Alexander gave them the lead and they never relinquished it. Ryan Kalkbrenner had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the first round win but he will be sidelined for the rest of the tournament with a knee injury.
The Bluejays are holding opponents to just 43.7% shooting from two and like they’ve done all season, their defense will have to mask their lackluster offense.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Kansas -11.5
Point total: 139.5
Moneyline: Kansas -720, Creighton +500
Against The Spread Pick: Kansas -11.5
Point total pick: Under 139.5
Pick to Win: Kansas
Kalkbrenner going down with a knee injury is a huge blow to Creighton in a game where it’ll need all hands on deck. Kansas should roll with ease here as the Bluejays won’t have enough firepower to keep pace with the Jayhawks here.
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