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NCAA Basketball Preview: Kansas Jayhawks at TCU Horned Frogs

The Big 12 Conference race is heating up, and no team has emerged as the clear favorite at this point. The winner of the Kansas and TCU game on Monday night will stay alive in the conference race, while the loser will likely fall out of title contention. The Jayhawks beat the Horned Frogs by nine points earlier this season, and TCU will look for revenge in this game.

Kansas comes into this game with a 7-4 record in Big 12 Conference play, and have struggled on the road this season. The Jayhawks beat Oklahoma State in their previous game and will have some momentum in this game. TCU has won two straight conference games to improve their record to 5-5 in Big 12 Conference play. The Horned Frogs are -2.0 over Kansas on Monday night.

Jayhawks Turning to Freshmen

Kansas head coach Bill Self was forced to start four freshmen in their win on Saturday due to a number of injuries and suspensions that have left the team short-handed. The Jayhawks are without Udoka Azubuike and Lagerald Vick and are missing more than 27 points per game without their senior leaders. Kansas is scoring just 76.7 points per game so far this season, which is much less than in recent seasons.

The one constant for the Jayhawks this season has been forward Dedric Lawson. Lawson is in his first season with the Kansas team and has carried them on offense. He is averaging a team-high 19.6 points and 10.6 rebounds and will have to be aggressive in this game to lead his team. The Jayhawks do have some solid shooters around Lawson, and guys like Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji will have to make shots to help Kansas win this game.

TCU Scoring By Committee

TCU got a huge road win on Saturday when they upset 17th ranked Iowa State on the road. The Horned Frogs don’t have a true star on their roster, but they have been playing much better of late. TCU is averaging 76.2 points per game while allowing just over 68 points per game this season. They put up 92 points in the win over Iowa State on Saturday, and their offense has been clicking of late.

The Horned Frogs have five different players averaging double-figures, and they do their best offense by committee this season. Guard Desmond Bane leads the team with 15.0 points per game and hardly ever comes out of the game for TCU. The Horned Frogs are shooting close to 47 percent from the field, but have been miserable at the FT line, shooting just 69 percent as a team. This game will likely be close, and free throws could become an issue in this matchup.

Kansas Gets Huge Road Win

Kansas is a walking mash unit at this point, and TCU is coming in with a ton of momentum. All signs point to the Horned Frogs winning this game at home, but Kansas coach Bill Self is a Hall of Famer for a reason. The Jayhawks have a history of finding a way to win the Big 12 Conference, and they aren’t losing this game. Take the points or bet on the Kansas Jayhawks to win this game outright on Monday night.

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