Getting to know: Texas basketball
One day after the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, No. 3 Kansas will welcome Texas to town for a Big Monday matchup between two Big 12 teams.
This will be KU’s first rematch of the 18-game conference slate in 2020, as it earned a 66-57 road win over Texas on Jan. 18. The Jayhawks (18-3, 7-1 Big 12) have actually won six games in a row, including their meeting with the Longhorns, since falling to Baylor on Jan. 11.
Texas, meanwhile, has won back-to-back close games (62-61 at TCU, 72-68 vs. Iowa State) entering Monday’s contest in Lawrence. The Longhorns (14-7, 4-4 Big 12) used an 11-0 run in the final three minutes to rally for Saturday’s victory against Iowa State. UT is 4-1 this year in games decided by 4 points or less.
KenPom gives Kansas a 93% chance of victory with a projected winning score of 73-56. Torvik, of barttorvik.com, projects the Jayhawks to win by a 73-57 margin at home. According to FanDuel’s Sportsbook, Kansas is favored by 14.5 points over Texas as of Monday morning.
Kansas leads the overall series with Texas, 34-9, including a 17-1 in games played in Lawrence. Dating back to the 2013-14 season, KU has won 12 of the last 13 meetings with Texas with the lone loss coming last season in Austin.
Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.
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BREAKING DOWN TEXAS
No. 2 — G Matt Coleman III | 6-2, 185, jr.
Coleman has remained a constant at point guard for the Longhorns.
In his three-year career, Coleman has started all 92 games and has reached double figures in scoring on 48 different occasions. Coleman has scored 969 points in his career, which is an average of 10.5 points per contest. He is just 31 points shy of becoming the 38th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark.
Through the first 21 contests, Coleman leads the team in scoring (12.3 ppg), assists (4.2 apg), steals (31) and minutes (33.4 mpg) while adding 3.2 rebounds per game. He has also converted 34-of-79 (.430) attempts from three-point range.
No. 3 — G Courtney Ramey | 6-3, 185, so.
Ramey has shown noticeable improvement in his sophomore campaign.
This season, Ramey ranks second on the team in assists (3.2 apg), rebounding (4.0 rpg) and steals (16), while also being tied for second in scoring (10.5 ppg) and third in minutes (30.4 mpg) for UT. He has 14 double-digit scoring efforts this season, including one 20-point performance.
In eight Big 12 Conference games, Ramey has averaged 11.0 points per outing while converting 42.9% (15- 35) of his attempts from beyond the arc.
No. 20 — F Jericho Sims | 6-9, 240, jr.
Kansas coach Bill Self said Sims might be the best athlete in the conference leading up to this game, and for good reason.
Sims, who is in his third season in the UT frontcourt, has played in 90 games (48 starts) for Texas. He has reached double figures in scoring 20 times and in rebounds nine times. Sims has posted four double-doubles in his career, all of which took place this year.
So far this season, Sims leads the team in rebounding (8.0 rpg) and blocked shots (27) and ranks fifth in scoring (9.8 ppg) and steals (10). He is also converting 65.7% (90-137) of his shots from the floor in 27.2 minutes per game.
In the first meeting between these two programs, Sims posted a career-high 20 points against Kansas.
MEET THE COACH
Texas is coached by Shaka Smart, who is 85-73 in his fifth season at UT and 248-129 in his 11th season overall.
ONE THING TEXAS IS GOOD AT
The Texas frontcourt has helped the team limit production on 2-point shots this season. Opposing teams are shooting 44.8% on 2-point attempts, a number that ranks 42nd in the country on KenPom.
ONE THING TEXAS IS BAD AT
The Longhorns most likely won’t get a lot of scoring production from the charity stripe tonight. UT is shooting 65.3% from the free-throw line, which ranks 317th in all of college basketball.
Kansas wasn’t able to bury Texas Tech just two days ago, and that surely is the plan against Texas. That being said, I think 14.5 points might be too big of a number in this one. If Texas shoots better than 6-for-20 from deep — like it did in the first meeting — that will be enough to cover the spread.
Prediction: Kansas 75, Texas 63
This year’s record ATS: 11-9