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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 7:00 AM

A few weeks into the college basketball season, everyone started looking on their schedules to see when Kansas and Texas were going to square off in Big 12 action. It was clear (at the time anyway) that we had two national powers who were going to battle it out for the conference title…and then enter March with legitimate shots at reaching the Final Four.

Then…reality stepped in. Kansas was plagued by inexperience in a few spots. Texas found out that you can’t win every game if nobody on your team can shoot! And, THE REST OF THE BIG 12 started earning statement victories.

It’s possible that Kansas and Texas will ultimately be the two best teams in the league when the dust has settled. It’s also possible that Oklahoma will be there instead. Or Iowa State…or West Virginia, or Baylor. The Big 12 is loaded. This Saturday’s much anticipated Kansas/Texas showdown may be the game of the year in the conference…or not even the game of the week!

Either way, it’s one handicappers should pay very close attention to because both teams are going to be front and center in this race, poll discussions, and the postseason. You’ll be handicapping a dozen more games for each team…possibly some of the most important games played outside the state of Kentucky on the road to the Final Four.

Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about the matchup…


Adjusted Offensive Efficiency

Kansas: 113.3 per 100 possessions (#20 in the nation)

Texas: 107.6 per 100 possessions (#56 in the nation)

If you’ve watched Texas, you know that their single biggest scoring threat is the offensive rebound. They just don’t have any shooters. They have big athletes who can crash the board off misses and get putbacks. That makes it very unlikely they’ll be a meaningful force in the Dance beyond spoiling somebody else’s ride. They can hang with anybody…but opponents who can match their size can beat them. Kansas has the more versatile offense, and clearly gets the nod on this side of the floor Saturday.


Adjusted Defensive Efficiency

Kansas: 93.5 per 100 possessions (#45 in the nation)

Texas: 87.9 per 100 possessions (#6 in the nation)

Those Texas athletes play a lot of defense…which is why they can hang with anybody. Kansas has been a disappointment here. They tend to play better on this side of the ball in the seasons where they’re destined to matter. You can see why both teams fell back to the pack a bit after gaining early respect. Kansas doesn’t guard hard enough. Texas can’t shoot. What’s going to happen when those elements square off Saturday? Tricky one for matchup handicappers.


Pace Ranking

Kansas: #101

Texas: #211

Kansas likes to push the ball, though they’re not over-the-top about it. Texas is actually a bit faster than that looks…but grabbing offensive rebounds tends to extend possessions and create the illusion of slowness in the math. Texas doesn’t work the ball around slowly looking for a trey. They shoot…miss…grab the rebound…and try something else on the same possession. That should set up a fast-paced, but potentially ugly game Saturday.


Against the Spread

Kansas: 11-6

Texas: 10-6

This is amazing. We have two teams who stumbled a bit after early sharpness. We have two teams with clear weaknesses. And, we have two teams who are on TV a lot because of their national followings. They’re both covering pointspreads anyway! They’re a combined 21-12 versus the number thus far…and neither gets breaks in the numbers. That’s a tribute to the strengths each team possesses…and the hustle they must be showing late in games when pointspreads are in doubt. Maybe that’s pointing to improvement down the road as hustling athletes fix their areas of weakness.

It’s too early to know whether or not Kansas/Texas will be part of the Saturday ticket here at NETWORK. There are a zillion games that day and night. JIM HURLEY only releases the very best wagering opportunities! You can purchase daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. Build your bankroll for Saturday’s colleges with some Friday night NBA! If you have any questions, call the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask how you can include the Super Bowl in any basketball package.

More basketball the next few days…then we’ll begin expanded coverage for the Super Bowl matching Seattle and New England on Tuesday. Here’s what’s ahead in the NOTEBOOK…

Saturday: College Basketball Preview…#6 Wisconsin at Michigan

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

Monday: College Basketball Preview…#17 Texas at #8 Iowa State

Tuesday-Sunday: Super Bowl coverage!

The more you win between now and Super Sunday…the more you’ll have in your coffers to bet on the big game. Get BIG, JUICY WINNERS every day from JIM HURLEY…then let the winnings ride when the Patriots face the Seahawks next week. In terms of smart bankroll management…this is the most important time of the year!


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