Game 30: TCU at No. 1 Kansas – Preview and Prediction

The No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks look to clinch a share of their 1st straight Big 12 regular season title on Wednesday night when they host the TCU Horned Frogs. Thanks to a win over K-State last week and a Baylor loss to this same TCU team, the Jayhawks have a one-game lead with two to go. If Kansas can win its last two games, or if they can split and get West Virginia to beat Baylor on Saturday, they’ll take home the league title outright.

  • Wednesday, March 3, 2020, 7:00 pm CDT
  • Allen Fieldhouse — Lawrence, Kansas
  • ESPN+
  • Kansas will honor two senior student-athletes – Udoka Azubuike and Isaiah Moss, as well as four student managers – Casey Cohen, Alex Lux-Bolivar, Danny Meyers and Lexi Price – on Senior Night.
  • Beginning in 1983-84, Kansas has won a mind-boggling 36-consecutive home finales or “Senior Nights.”
  • A Kansas win would:
    1. Clinch at least a share of the 2020 Big 12 regular season title (KU’s 62nd overall and 19th Big 12)
    2. Mark head coach Bill Self’s 500th win while at KU
    3. Give KU its 37th-consecutive Senior Night victory
  • The KU-TCU contest features the top two scorers in the Big 12 – Devon Dotson of KU (18.2 ppg) and Desmond Bane of TCU (16.1 ppg). It also has the two leading shot blockers in the league – Kevin Samuel of TCU (2.8) and Udoka Azubuike of KU (2.6).
  • KU’s 13-game Big 12 winning streak is the most by a Kansas team since the 2009-10 Jayhawks won 13-straight.
  • KU is No. 1 in the NET rankings as of March 2 games. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is also No. 1. Kansas is one of only two schools (Baylor) with 11 Quadrant 1 wins, currently at 11-3 against Q1 opponents this season
  • Kansas ranks in the top-10 nationally in field goal percentage defense (third at 37.6%), scoring margin (sixth at +14.4), scoring defense (eighth at 60.5) and field goal percentage (10th at 48.5%).
  • Udoka Azubuike recorded his 1,000th-career point on Feb. 24 vs. Oklahoma State. He is the sixth Jayhawk to post 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 150 blocks in a career

Horned Frogs to Watch

Desmond Bane – Senior, Guard, 6’6″
Bane seems like he’s been around forever, and Wednesday may be the last time we see him. The senior comes into the matchup leading the team in scoring at 16.1 PPG. He was magnificent in Saturday’s upset win over Baylor. Bane can fill it up from three-point range, as he’s shooting a robust 42.6 percent from distance this season.

Kevin Samuel – Sophomore, Forward, 6’11”
Samuel is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.6 RPG and chips in with 10.8 PPG. He also shoots 37% at the free throw line, making him a “Great Value” version of Udoka Azubuike. In the first matchup, Samuel had 0 points and 10 rebounds, but that was against Azubuike’s elite defense.

Prediction

With a Big 12 championship on the line and it being Senior Night, there is no way the Jayhawks are dropping this one. Azubuike may be questionable, but KU still has more than enough horses to get by TCU. Devon Dotson stepped up in a huge way against K-State on Saturday. The Jayhawks will need more of that, as we enter the most important month of the year.

Ultimately, I think you’ll see Azubuike out there in a limited role. I think he’ll start, play a few minutes, get plenty of rest for David McCormack, and end up with about 17-20 minutes played. Kansas shouldn’t even need Azubuike in the first place, but everyone wants to see him throw down a few final dunks at Allen Fieldhouse.

Give me the Jayhawks to cover one of the biggest spreads of the year, as they bounce back from a so-so performance on Saturday.

Kansas 79, TCU 61
KU -16

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK

Season Record: 26-3 (18-11 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.