Defense Never Rests for Jayhawks, Badgers
Yesterday, the opening games in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament for Wisconsin and Kansas were not easy. Kansas was tied with North Carolina State with seven minutes to play. Returning starters Jalen Wilson and Dajuan Harris Jr. combined to score 14 of the Jayhawks’ final 17 points in the first game back for Kansas head coach Bill Self. Wisconsin survived a scare against Dayton aided by a missed free throw in the final minute.
Kansas and Wisconsin are both in the top 50 nationally in field-goal percentage defense and playing the second game in three days. It will be worth watching how much the starters play in what could be a physical matchup.
Wisconsin has covered in the only other game this season when Las Vegas odds list the Badgers as the underdog.
Wisconsin guard Jahcobi Heath is questionable for the game.
According to the college basketball playoff odds, Kansas (+425) is seventh in the second-best odds to reach the Final Four. Wisconsin is well back at +3300.
Kansas is third in both the coaches poll and Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Kansas’ Jalen Wilson (+1500) is tied for fifth in the odds to win the Wooden Award as the national player of the year.
Wisconsin Looking to Get Going
There is no doubt that Wisconsin will once again be among the best defensive teams in the country. However, to beat Kansas or at least to stay with the defending national champion, the Badgers need to do more on offense.
There are five players who average more than 20 minutes per game and all of them are shooting less than 40% from the field.
They have players who know how to get it done against elite competition. Tyler Wahl averaged 16 points and 5 rebounds in his last four games against ranked teams last season. Wahl is the only Wisconsin double-digit scorer, but he is shooting just 32.6%.
Jordan Davis has gone from averaging 6.5 to 27.5 minutes per game and he is one of the players expected to contribute alongside Wahl and 7-footer Steven Crowl.
Six of Wisconsin’s last seven games went under the Las Vegas odds total.
Freshman Lighting It Up for Defending Champions
In-state product Gradey Dick was the No. 14 rated freshman in the country according to ESPN’s recruiting database, and he might have been slightly underrated.
In Wednesday’s win over North Carolina State, he was carrying the offense for the Jayhawks for stretches. Dick had six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 25 points in the hard-earned win.
Making a name for himself real quick 👑 pic.twitter.com/glYIUQtYvM
— Kansas Men’s Basketball (@KUHoops) November 24, 2022
He has scored in double figures in every game this season. Dick not only leads the team with 16 3-pointers, but he is shooting 50% from 3-point range and 51.5 overall.
He has wasted little time forming chemistry with returning starters Jalen Wilson and Dajuan Harris, as well as Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar as the Jayhawks have now won 16 games in a row. Dick is averaging 18.4 points to help out Wilson, who leads Kansas, putting up 23.4 points per game.
Kansas has covered against the college basketball betting lines in only one of its last five games.
Wisconsin vs Kansas Game Injuries
Wisconsin vs Kansas Head-to-Head
The teams haven’t met since 1969, with Kansas winning three of the four games in the series.
Kansas has won its last six games against Big Ten teams.
Wisconsin vs Kansas Game Information
- Game: Wisconsin (4-0) vs Kansas (5-0)
- Location: Imperial Arena, Nassau, Bahamas
- Day/Time: Thursday, Nov. 24, 11:00 a.m. ET
- Wisconsin vs Kansas Live Stream: TBS.com
Wisconsin vs Kansas Betting Lines
Wisconsin vs Kansas Picks & Prediction
This game will come down to whether Wisconsin can make enough shots to hang around against the defending national champions. Kansas has struggled to cover against gaudy point spreads so far this season.
Just one of the first four Wisconsin games has finished over the total this season, and the Badgers will look to control the tempo against the talented Kansas lineup.
Wisconsin is 14-5 in the last 19 games against Big 12 teams. This could be a major challenge for the Badgers.
The Wisconsin Badgers are listed at +263 in our Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Badgers, you have a chance to win $263. The Kansas Jayhawks are -320, offering a chance to win $31 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Wisconsin a 27.55% chance to win, with Kansas at 76.19%.