- Midwest Region top-seed Kansas Jayhawks open the NCAA Tournament vs Texas Southern
- The Tigers won the first game of the tournament, knocking off Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the opening First Four game Tuesday
- Read below for the Texas Southern vs Kansas odds, analysis, and betting prediction
The Texas Southern Tigers are the first team to pick up a win in the NCAA Tournament.
Their reward? Probably a quick exit, as the 16-seed takes on the Kansas Jayhawks, the top seed in the Midwest Region.
It’s scheduled to tip-off Thursday night around 10pm ET from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
You can catch the game live on truTV.
Texas Southern vs Kansas Odds
|Texas Southern Tigers||+1300||+22 (-109)||O 145 (-110)|
|Kansas Jayhawks||-3335||-22 (-112)||U 145 (-110)|
Odds as of March 16th at Barstool Sportsbook.
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Texas Southern Tigers Betting Analysis
Texas Southern got the tourney going Tuesday night in the opening First Four game, outlasting the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders 76-67 in a battle of 16-seeds in Dayton, Ohio.
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 15, 2022
The champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference were powered by a bench unit that accounted for 55 points, with Bryson Etienne leading the way with 21 points and five rebounds.
The Tigers averaged 69.5 points per game this year, but it’s a collective to get to that total. Only forward John Walker III averaged double-digit scoring on the year at 10.1 points per game, and they rank a distant 269 in KenPom’s offensive efficiency.
This Texas Southern chase down block was sweet 👀 pic.twitter.com/Ui3bwEdvow
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) March 16, 2022
Where they might tangle up the Jayhawks (momentarily) is on the defensive end, where they ranked 101st in KenPom, allowing just 65.5 points per game and holding teams in the SWAC to 39.5% shooting on the season.
Kansas Jayhawks Betting Analysis
After back-to-back second round exits in the last two NCAA Tournaments (split between the COVID-cancelled year), the Jayhawks are looking for their first trip to the Final Four since 2018.
This will be the fourth time they’ll be a top seed since 2016, and they’ve hit the Elite Eight or better each time.
OCHAI AGBAJI: 𝗥𝗘𝗠𝗘𝗠𝗕𝗘𝗥 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗡𝗔𝗠𝗘 pic.twitter.com/WdlRDIaBVh
— Kansas Men’s Basketball (@KUHoops) March 8, 2022
This year’s edition appears battle-tested and equipped for a deep run. KU ranks sixth overall in KenPom, and third when discussing strength of schedule this season.
They tied Baylor with the best conference record in the regular season, then raised it up a level by winning the Big 12 Tournament.
Offensively, they led the Big 12 in scoring at 78.6 points per game, shooting a conference-best 48.1% from the field and 35.5% from three-point range.
Christian Braun – A guy you want on your team pic.twitter.com/pwvBNa4bkJ
— Kansas Men’s Basketball (@KUHoops) February 5, 2022
They’ve been powered by Ochai Agbaji, a top-five candidate in the Wooden Award odds and the unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year. He led the league in scoring at 19.7 points per game, ranking third in field goal shooting (47%) and second in three-point shooting (41.1%).
Guard Christian Braun, a second-team Big 12 selection, averaged 14.6 points, 6.4 rebounds while shooting 50.3% from the field.
Texas Southern vs Kansas Pick
Kansas was 17-17 against the spread this season, just the seventh-best mark in a competitive Big 12. Texas Southern, meanwhile sported a 17-13-1 mark ATS, tied for the third-most betting wins in the SWAC.
Since 16-seed UMBC knocked out the 1-seed Virginia Cavaliers at the 2018 NCAA Tournament – the first time that’s ever happened – the question has always arisen as what 1-seed could be bounced next?
Kansas' Bill Self said he took notice of Texas Southern's 39.6 percent shooting defense. Thought it might have been conference-skewed, but after a look at the nonconference numbers, it wasn't. "After studying them, they don't look like a 16 seed to me at all." #kubball
— Zac Boyer (@ZacBoyer) March 16, 2022
This won’t be the case here: Kansas sports a powerful offense and top-30 defense, and after the first 5-10 minutes, should overwhelm the Tigers and win going away.
If that heavy spread concerns you, consider that Texas Southern played at a pretty good pace, ranking 117th in KenPom. Kansas, meanwhile, ran it at a 68th-best tempo. There’s the potential for a high-scoring game, making that 145 total very enticing.
Pick: OVER 145 (-110)
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