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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM

The buzzer just sounded moments ago in Saturday night’s loss for the Kansas Jayhawks on the road at Iowa State. But, they’ll be taking the floor again very soon for another Big 12 test…in what will be another SIX WEEKS of Big 12 tests (!)…as the Oklahoma Sooners come to visit for a Big Monday meeting.

Can any of these ranked Big 12 powers survive their grueling gauntlets!

Oklahoma had a big game themselves Saturday afternoon, winning a “Bedlam” battle with Oklahoma State in Norman. Looking ahead for both OU and Kansas, there just aren’t many soft spots in the double round robin schedule.

*There are 10 teams in the Big 12 until expansion matches the original name

*Only Texas Tech is a true doormat

*Kansas State won’t make the Dance, but is currently in first place!

*TCU is a potential sleeper, currently top 40 in Ken Pomeroy’s computer rankings

*The other SEVEN teams should all earn respectable seeds in the Dance.

We’re looking at eight teams in the Dance if TCU hangs around, and seven teams who are all capable of making Sweet 16 runs (or better) if they haven’t been worn down by all of these league battles.

Handicappers should be paying a lot of attention to the Big 12 the rest of the way. Fatigue issues will develop, and they will matter. These challenges may forge a true battle-tested threat to Kentucky or Duke at the top of March brackets…but could also turn others into upset fodder.

Football only has one game left…so YOU need to start focusing on the road to March Madness. Here are some key indicator stats to get you ready for Monday night’s TV game…


Adjusted Offensive Efficiency

Oklahoma: 107.6 per 100 possessions (#55 in the nation)

Kansas: 111.7 per 100 possessions (#24 in the nation)

Kansas gets the nod here according to Ken Pomeroy’s methodology that adjusts for pace and schedule strength. Oklahoma tends to blow hot and cold in a way that will hurt come March. They can beat anybody, or lose to anybody. Kansas isn’t quite elite, but they are still dangerous.


Adjusted Defensive Efficiency

Oklahoma: 86.8 per 100 possessions (#5 in the nation)

Kansas: 92.5 per 100 possessions (#40 in the nation)

This is why Oklahoma is so scary. They have a top five defense on a per-possession basis. That quality is hidden from the media because the Sooners play at a very fast pace. They force a lot of turnovers and get a lot of stops. Kansas is a disappointment in terms of what’s needed to be a Final Four team. They’re not playing like a true powerhouse thus far this season.


Pace Ranking

Oklahoma: #25

Kansas: #81

Both teams are fast, which should make for a very entertaining game. Remember that Pomeroy looks at more than 300 teams! So, Oklahoma is one of the 25 fastest teams in the nation entering the new week, while Kansas is well above average. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kansas try to slow things down to take OU out of its comfort zone. Kansas is the more comfortable of the two in a half court game.


Against the Spread

Oklahoma: 9-6

Kansas: 10-6

Kansas had covered five straight outings before the loss/non-cover at Iowa State that you may have watched on ESPN. It’s tough for a high profile team like that to cash tickets at such a high rate. So, even though the team isn’t as respected by the computers as much as usual, they’re still doing well against market expectations. Oklahoma’s cover against OSU brought the Sooners to 2-2 ATS in league play. They’ve been very inconsistent, with excellent efforts vs. OSU and Texas, but a bad loss at West Virginia and a stunning home loss to questionable Kansas State.

Will the great defense of OU create value on the underdog? Or, will OU’s inconsistency create a blowout loss that will look a lot like last week’s disaster at West Virginia? JIM HURLEY has plenty to choose from on a busy Monday basketball schedule. This game may or may not be part of the final mix. Also on the radar…Pittsburgh at Duke on ESPN, Villanova at Georgetown on FoxSports1, and that huge NBA holiday schedule that will be running all through the day and night.

You can purchase the final word for Monday right here at the website with your credit card. Try to take care of business EARLY if you want the NBA in your portfolio. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-888-777-4155.

There’s no football until February…so buckle up for WALL-TO-WALL BASKETBALL! Here’s what’s ahead this week here in the NOTEBOOK

Tuesday: College Basketball Preview…Iowa at Wisconsin

Wednesday: Notes on ranked Missouri Valley powers Wichita State and Northern Iowa

Thursday: College Basketball Preview…Arizona at Stanford

Friday: College Hoops Early Look…Kansas at Texas

Saturday: College Basketball Preview…to be determined

Sunday: NBA Preview…Oklahoma City Thunder at the Cleveland Cavaliers (Durant vs. LeBron!)

There are big stories breaking every day in both college and pro hoops…so the schedule is subject to change if needed. What a week of basketball ahead!

If you’ve been dragging your heels in the baskets, now is the time to get up to speed. Call the man with the winners…call the man who’s going to GET YOU THE MONEY…call JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!


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Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley

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