The number one seed in the Midwest Region, the Kansas Jayhawks, are facing the number 16 seed, the Texas Southern Tigers, in the first round of March Madness. Texas Southern fought for their spot in March Madness after defeating Texas A&M Corpus Cristi in the play-in game earlier this week. Now that they secured their bid, they have to take on the Big 12 Champions to advance to the second round. Kansas has been one of the most feared teams in Division I basketball, so the chances for Texas Southern to see another game is very slim. One thing about the “Big Dance” is that nothing is for sure, and there is always room for an upset. This game is taking place on Thursday, March 17th, at 8:57 PM CST and can be viewed on TruTV.
Texas Southern vs. Kansas Betting Odds
It is no surprise that the Kansas Jayhawks are the clear favorite going into this matchup. They have a -22 (-105) spread, leaving Texas Southern with +22 (-115). Kansas averages 78.6 points per game, nine points higher than Texas Southern. In their regular season, the Tigers have faced three top 25 teams but only pulled off one win against the Florida Gators early in the season. The Kansas moneyline is the more clear bet to hit with odds placed at -3800. Texas Southern’s chances of pulling off a win are slim, so their moneyline is set for +1600. The Tigers will have some opportunities to make shots in mid-range, so they’ll be able to get a few points up against the aggressive Kansas defense, but their chances of success are some of the smallest in round one.
My Prediction: Kansas Wins 76-53, Kansas Covers
Texas Southern Tigers Odds
The Texas Southern Tigers barely managed to slip their way into the 2022 March Madness Tournament and will probably be sent home after round one. They ended the regular season going 19-12, winning the SWAC Tournament title. The team won 13 of their last 15 games and are on a hot streak going into this first round. As a team, their shooting ability is nothing that stands out compared to the other top teams in the country, shooting 43.7% from the field and 31.6% from beyond the three-point line. This team’s biggest weakness is their free-throw shooting, averaging only 67.1%, which could lose them very clutch points. Their offense was able to hold up in their conference, but the pressure of Kansas’ defense will make them crumble and lose this game due to turnovers and poor shots.
Kansas Jayhawks Odds
The Kansas Jayhawks are one of the top teams favored to take home the title in this 2022 playoff bracket. They ended their regular season 28-6 overall with a first-place finish in the Big 12. As a team, they shoot 48.1% from the field, which is within the top 20 teams in the nation. Their shooting ability is carried by the senior guard Ochai Agbaji who is one of the best college basketball players in the country. He averages 19.7 points per game with 47.7% from the field. Agbaji is nearly impossible to guard due to his versatility around the court with great accuracy from hard drives to the paint and stellar three-point sinkers. Christian Braun will also help carry this team throughout the tournament with his 14.6 points per game average. This team will be one of the teams to watch out for throughout the entirety of the tournament and will almost certainly take this Texas Southern team.
Texas Southern vs. Kansas Picks & Prediction
This game is clearly going to fall with the Kansas Jayhawks. The Texas Southern Tigers have had a great run, but their skill level is just too low to pull off this win. The Jayhawks have absolute weapons on their lineup that will make this game a washout. The Kansas spread is looking more confident every day as we prepare for this game. I’m taking the Kansas moneyline and spread with absolute confidence, but I don’t think the alternative spread of Texas Southern +18 (+125) is a bad bet either.