Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Both teams are playing some stellar basketball down the stretch. So, Monday Night’s ESPN battle featuring Kansas and Texas is truly must-see TV. Both had big victories at home Saturday against Dance-bounce competition. Let’s quickly run the numbers from those games before crunching JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats…
Kansas 67, Texas Tech 58
Two-Point Shooting: Texas Tech 29%, Kansas 45%
Three-Pointers: Texas Tech 6/16, Kansas 9/21
Free Throws: Texas Tech 16/18, Kansas 10/15
Rebounds Texas Tech 39, Kansas 34
Turnovers: Texas Tech 14, Kansas 14
Phantom Score: Texas Tech 63, Kansas 64
Wow…a mismatch inside the arc. Texas Tech shot just 12 of 41 on two-pointers…but 14 offensive rebounds gave them some extra chances. That’s how they were able to stay close enough to cover. You longtime readers will remember that Phantom Score is two-point scoring plus rebounds. We’ve found that’s a helpful “secondary” score because it helps negate the influence of fickle three-point shooting and inconsistent officiating. Great result for Tech in that sense. Tubby Smith’s guys will be a tough out in the Big 12 and NCAA tourneys.
In terms of the Monday matchup with Texas, Kansas must continue that defensive passion, but save some energy for rebounding!
Texas 76, Oklahoma 63
Two-Point Shooting: Oklahoma 34%, Texas 46%
Three-Pointers: Oklahoma 10/28, Texas 6/15
Free Throws: Oklahoma 7/9, Texas 20/27
Rebounds Oklahoma 31, Texas 43
Turnovers: Oklahoma 11, Texas 10
Phantom Score: Oklahoma 57, Texas 81
Home underdog Texas trailed at the half…but then absolutely dominated the visiting Sooners over the last 20 minutes. You can tell that…because that looks like full-game domination in the boxscore. From the Oklahoma perspective, a debacle in an important road test. For Texas, a nice confidence builder after being humbled on this court by Baylor a week ago. Phantom Score shows it was an even bigger blowout than it seemed. Oklahoma needed to make a bunch of treys just to hang around.
Onto the numbers, as posted entering the weekend at Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball statistical site. Pomerory’s “adjusted” numbers account for pace and strength of schedule…
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency
Kansas: 119.0 per 100 possessions (#7 in the nation)
Texas: 111.6 per 100 possessions (#33 in the nation)
Kansas has been on fire lately, with opposing defenses having trouble figuring out how to slow them down. Texas has improved through the season…and is probably better than you thought because a very slow pace influences the scoreboard eye-test. So, two decent offenses. But, a clear advantage to Kansas on this side of the floor. And, the Jayhawks are on such a great run right now that they’ve been outperforming computer expectations on a regular basis. (Though, they couldn’t cover the Tech game Saturday because the line was SO high.)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency
Kansas: 94.2 per 100 possessions (#19 in the nation)
Texas: 96.4 per 100 possessions (#33 in the nation)
Again, Kansas gets the nod here. You saw in the boxscore that they protected the rim with a passion against Tech. That did hurt their effort on the boards though. If you fly up to block a shot, you’re in horrible rebounding position! Texas has come a long way since November. And, ranking in the 30’s on both sides of the floor is impressive in the transition to a new coach. Tough matchup here against an opponent who’s just a bit better at everything. Rebounding could be a key based on the boxscores above…as Texas owned the boards against OU.
Texas does have a chance to spring a second straight home upset if they can take Kansas out of its comfort zone. Though, Kansas is middle-of-the-road in pace, so slowing down isn’t a brutal adjustment. Clearly, faster basketball favors the Kansas athletes…while slower basketball favors some of the bulk of Texas and the Horns’ intelligent approach. Texas needs a slow game in front of a LOUD crowd to get the win here.
Against the Spread
Kansas: 18-9 ATS (9-18 to the Under)
Texas: 15-13 ATS
Another Under for Kansas in that win over Tech, as the team continues to play slower basketball and better defense than the market will give them credit for. The Jayhawks couldn’t cash that team side ticket, but are still at 67% for the season. Very tough to do for a big name program…so you know Kansas has been REALLY hot down the stretch. Texas is capable of beating anybody, but still has issues with consistency every so often.
Could be a classic…or just the latest reminder that Kansas is closing the regular season on a tear. Will this Big Monday matchup on ESPN qualify for a NETWORK release? We don’t force picks just because a game is on TV. If his makes the cut…it will have run the gauntlet through our exclusive TEAM HANDICAPPING approach.
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The final week of regular season action will transition into a tournament frenzy. Here’s what’s coming up in the NOTEBOOK…
Tuesday: Indiana at Iowa in the Big 10
Wednesday-Thursday: California at Arizona Thursday in the Pac 12
Friday-Saturday: North Carolina at Duke in the ACC (long awaited rematch!)
Sunday: SMU at Cincinnati in the AAC (last day of the regular season!)
Monday March 7: Conference Championship Previews (Colonial, Metro-Atlantic)
We’ll do our best to check in on all the major conferences come tourney time. Coverage will depend on the best matchups on any given day. Keep reading the NOTEBOOK for helpful handicapping tips…then hook up JIM HURLEY’s NETWORK for BIG, JUICY WINNERS!
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