Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 7:00 PM
The Kansas Jayhawks entered the season as a Final Four contender that was seen as the clear favorite to win the respected Big 12 conference. But, after a stunning 72-40 thrashing at the hands of Kentucky, the Jayhawks are barely in the top AP top 10…and are now seen as worse than Texas in their own league.
Luckily, there’s plenty of time to do something about that. And a national TV game against Georgetown Wednesday night will give pollsters another look at the Jayhawks. It’s not a battle of ranked teams because the Hoyas are currently #28 in the voting. This creates a “statement” situation for BOTH universities. Kansas wants to climb higher in the top 10. Georgetown knows they would soar into the top 25 with a TV win over the Jayhawks.
To the degree Georgetown is known to TV viewers, it’s from a near upset of Wisconsin on a neutral court in a tournament in the Bahamas…but then an upset loss the next day to Butler in the same event. Let’s see what key indicator stats gathered from the website of college basketball guru Ken Pomeroy say about the Hoyas and this TV showdown that you can watch on FoxSports1.
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency
Kansas: 111.4 per 100 possessions (#8 in the nation)
Georgetown: 109.1 per 100 possessions (#24 in the nation)
Two good offenses when you adjust for context…which Pomeroy does with both pace and schedule strength. Georgetown has had some really ugly offenses in past seasons…so this is a promising sign for the re-emergence of the program. Kansas always recruits offensive talent, then gives them free reign to attack the basket. Edge to the Jayhawks. You know going in that watching Kansas on TV means seeing a talented offense.
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency
Kansas: 90.1 per 100 possessions (#16 in the nation)
Georgetown: 93.3 per 100 possessions (#43 in the nation)
You can see why Kansas is in front of Georgetown in the polls. The best statistical reads show them being superior on both sides of the floor. Georgetown may have trouble rising too far in the national consciousness this season with that level of defense. Yes, it’s strong by overall standards…but not really by NCAA tournament standards. The key to a home upset for the Hoyas will be lifting their defensive performance against one of the most dangerous offenses they’ll see all season.
Very similar teams in terms of early-season pace. That’s about national average. Your perceptions based on reputation were probably be that Kansas would be faster, Georgetown slower. To this point, both are chugging along at average paces, which means neither can take the other out of its comfort zone Wednesday night. Should be a fun game to watch. Not too fast, not too slow.
Against the Spread
Kansas: 4-3 ATS
Georgetown: 2-1-1 ATS
Both teams have been moneymakers so far. Though, one will obviously fall back to .500 after this game (unless it’s a push!). A good sign for “name” teams who can cover early spreads. They normally don’t get any breaks from oddsmakers. Note that Kansas is 4-2 ATS when not playing Kentucky. It’s going to be hard for many teams to look good against the Wildcats this season.
JIM HURLEY loves handicapping early season college basketball. His scouts and sources put him ahead of the game right off the bat. His computer simulations have been state of the art since computers first came on the scene. His statheads were doing analytics before that became a vogue term. And, his Wise Guy connections always alert him to import moves before they happen. It’s a winning combination that’s put NETWORK at the top of the rankings for 30 years!
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It’s back to the NFL tomorrow, when a non-contender will be laying points to a divisional leader! Here’s what’s coming up in the NOTEBOOK…
Thursday: NFL TV Preview…Arizona at St. Louis on the NFL Network
Friday: Early Look: Army vs. Navy in college football
Saturday: College Hoops TV Preview…North Carolina at Kentucky
Sunday: NFL TV Preview…Dallas at Philadelphia on NBC
Monday: NFL TV Preview…New Orleans at Chicago on ESPN
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