Game 7: Dayton vs. No. 4 Kansas – Preview and Prediction

The Kansas Jayhawks look to capture their third Maui Invitational championship today when they take on the upstart Dayton Flyers. The Jayhawks took down BYU 71-56 in the semifinal on Tuesday night. A win would give the Jayhawks six-straight in-season tournament titles, and two straight Maui Invitational titles.

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 4:00 pm CDT
  • Lahaina Civic Center — Maui, Hawaii
  • ESPN or ESPN App
  • Kansas is participating in its seventh Maui Jim Maui Invitational and has a combined record of 17-6 in the event. The Jayhawks are 3-0 mark in campus round games and a 14-6 record in Maui.
  • Kansas has won two Maui Invitationals in 1996 and 2015, its last appearance in the event.
  • Kansas has won its last five in-season tournaments with the 2015 Maui Invitational included in the run. The streak started with the 2014 Orlando Classic, then the 2015 Maui Invitational, the 2016 CBE Classic, the 2017 HoopHall Miami Invitational and the 2018 NIT Season Tip Off.
  • Kansas is 3-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season and has a 24-game home court winning streak, which is third longest nationally behind Tennessee (28) and Gonzaga (25).
  • Kansas is ranked No. 4 in the Nov. 18 Associated Press national poll. KU has been ranked in the top-five 339 times overall and 133 times in the Bill Self era.
  • KU has been ranked in each of the last 203 AP polls dating back to 2008- 09. The 203-consecutive weeks in the polls is the longest active streak in the nation. KU holds the same streak in the coaches’ poll at 211.

Flyers to Watch

Obi Toppin – Sophomore, Forward, 6’9″
Toppin has the ability to be an absolute game wrecker. At 6’9” he has the size to bang down low, but he also has the athleticism to handle the ball and play on the perimeter. Toppin, a late bloomer, is quickly rising up NBA Draft boards. Through the early season, the sophomore is averaging over 24 points, eight rebounds and shooting better than 72 percent from the field. KU will have their hands full with him.

Jalen Crutcher – Junior, Guard, 6’1”
Crutcher directs the Flyers’ attack, as he leads the team with 5.3 assists per game. He’s also second on the team behind Toppin with 13.3 PPG. The point guard matchup between Crutcher and KU’s Devon Dotson should be a good one.

Prediction

While Dayton hasnt played a team as good or talented as Kansas this season, they have looked quite impressive, as four of their victories have come by 18 points or more. Obi Toppin will be a load to handle. I think KU will try and throw Marcus Garrett or Ochai Agbaji at him; someone with some length and athleticism.

Kansas should have the advantage in the post. The Flyers don’t have the size to matchup with the likes of Udoka Azubuike and David McCormack. Kansas should go to Azubuike early and often. Look for him to have a huge night.

I expect this one to go down to the wire, but I expect Dotson and Azubuike to make one or two more plays and put the Jayhawks over the talk and give them the Maui Championship.

Kansas 79, Dayton 73
KU -4.5

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK (go to 47:45 mark of podcast)

Season Record: 5-1 (2-4 ATS)

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I'm from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I'm a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They'll always come No.1.