Kansas Jayhawks vs. Howard Bison: 2023 NCAA Tournament Odds, Preview & Predictions

Mar 12, 2023 - 10:50 PM

March Madness is officially here! The 2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket has been announced, and the teams are lining up for the Big Dance. Let’s take a look at the early odds, previews, and predictions for the 2023 NCAA Tournament Round 1 game: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Howard Bison.

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2023 NCAA Tournament Guide (March Madness)

2023 March Madness Odds, Preview & Predictions: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Howard Bison

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Howard Bison Odds, Spread & Match Up Overview

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Kansas Jayhawks 2023 NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

Last year’s champion looks to run it back, with Bill Self earning yet another 1-seed this tournament. Kansas enters with a league-leading 327 Quad 1 wins. OK, it isn’t that many, but it’s a lot. The Jayhawks had the toughest strength of schedule this season, per KenPom, and they continued to earn win after win as they went along, mowing down opponents. Jalen Wilson has taken a massive step in leading this team, with role players in Gradey Dick and Dajuan Harris highlighting this championship-caliber squad.

Offensively, Kansas really isn’t too spectacular, but the Jayhawks still rank in the top 25 in offensive efficiency. They have a preference for scoring inside, with nearly 55 percent of their points coming from inside the arc, ranking in the top 75 in that category. Kansas is incredibly consistent and has shown without a doubt that it can play in big neutral-court games. Self is one of the best second-half-adjustments and late-game coaches in the history of collegiate hoops, and it’s shown. Kansas went 9-1 this season in games decided by five or fewer points, with the one loss coming in overtime. While you can chalk a little bit of that up to luck, it’s invaluable to have that much late-game experience for these young players come March.

Defensively, Kansas is awesome anywhere on the court, ranking in the top 30 in defensive 3pt%, MR% and NP% shooting. No matter what their opponent brings, Kansas will be ready for it. The Jayhawks have essentially had everything thrown their way this season, so I can’t think of a team more prepared for this tournament. The Jayhawks play at a fast pace and allow very few transition/breakaway points off of steals. Against teams that shoot well from the perimeter, Kansas actually performs better than average, too, per Haslametrics.

Kansas’ glaring weakness is its depth. The Jayhawks rank near last in the Big 12 in bench minutes. Against teams that draw fouls at a high clip such as Kansas State, Baylor, and TCU, we have seen Kansas struggle. Combine that with an opponent that has a fast pace of play, and fatigue can set in for Kansas starters late in games — especially in a quick-turnaround situation like a second-round game. Kansas didn’t fall to a sub-25 KenPom team all season, so honestly, I’m going out of my way to find a weakness here. The Jayhawks have the potential to win it all again, but luck has been on their side all season. It will be interesting to see if the ball continues bouncing their way in the tournament.

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Howard Bison 2023 NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

The MEAC representative has a solid all-around game with the ability to get hot from deep, but without being overly reliant on the long ball. Elijah Hawkins is an elite facilitating guard with one of the highest assist rates in the nation to go along with his 45 percent perimeter shooting.

Howard forces turnovers at a high clip but does not rebound well on the defensive end, allowing opponents to get second-chance points. Howard’s 356th-ranked turnover rate makes me concerned about its ability to get open looks in tournament games, and its sub-300th-ranked strength of schedule makes me feel like the Bison won’t put up much a fight in the tournament.

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The post Kansas Jayhawks vs. Howard Bison: 2023 NCAA Tournament Odds, Preview & Predictions appeared first on BettingPros.

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