Big Monday is back, and that means a Big 12 nightcap featuring the no. 7 Kansas Jayhawks and the no. 18 Texas Tech Red Raiders. Both are very much involved in a deep and competitive race in the Big 12. At home, the Jayhawks are listed as seven-point home favorites, with the over/under set at 140 points.
Kansas is coming off a wild comeback win over Kansas State on Saturday. It was the team’s fourth winner since their first and only Big 12 loss of the season, which came against Texas Tech. At 5-1 in conference play, the Jayhawks are at the top of the Big 12 standings, with Baylor and Texas Tech just half a game back.
Therefore, the Red Raiders can take over first place in the Big 12 with a win on Monday night. Texas Tech has won two in a row and five of six, putting them at 15-4 overall and 5-2 in conference play. However, the Red Raiders are just 1-2 on the road in Big 12 play.
The Red Raiders are coming off one of their most impressive performances of the season on Saturday, in part because they are finally back at full strength. Terrance Shannon and Kevin McCullar are both back in the lineup after missing time earlier this month. Both are among the four Texas Tech players who average double figures, while McCullar is also the team’s leader in both rebounds and assists.
In addition to Shannon and McCullar, Bryson Williams and Davion Warren are both scoring over 10 points per game for the Red Raiders. Oral Roberts transfer Kevin Obanor is finally coming around too, scoring double figures in four of his last five games, bumping up his season average to 9.9 points per game. The Texas Tech rotation gets even more depth from experienced forward Marcus Santos-Silva and sharpshooter Adonis Arms.
Big Men to the Rescue
After both have endured a disappointing season, forwards David McCormack and Jalen Wilson both registered double-doubles on Saturday, playing a huge role in Kansas’ comeback win. Wilson has come alive lately, scoring at least 16 points in four of his last five games, while McCormack remains a little less consistent but has two double-doubles in his last three games. Both will play a huge role for the Jayhawks moving forward.
Meanwhile, Kansas has been able to rely all season on Ochai Agbaji, who is averaging 20.4 points per game, shooting close to 46% from the three-point range. Christian Braun has also been huge for Kansas, averaging 15.3 points per game. However, with Remy Martin’s production plummeting and sophomore point guard Dajuan Harris still trying to grow into a bigger role, Kansas has limited options and isn’t getting much production from the bench.
A Matter of Depth
The Jayhawks are at home and have the better talent in this game, although they need all of their key players to perform at a high level to win. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders have a more balanced roster and can get significant contributions from at least half a dozen players. With that in mind, bet on Texas Tech to at least beat the 7.5-point spread on Monday.
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