The Kansas Jayhawks and the Howard Bison meet in an NCAA tournament first round matchup in college basketball action from the Wells Fargo Arena on Monday afternoon.
Kansas Jayhawks Team Preview
The Kansas Jayhawks come into the NCAA tournament after going 27-7 on the year, including 13-5 in Big 12 conference play, winning the Big 12 regular season championship. Kansas took down West Virginia and Iowa State in the Big 12 conference tournament before falling to Texas in the conference championship game. Jalen Wilson leads the Jayhawks in scoring and rebounding with 20.1 PPG and 8.4 RPG while Gradey Dick has 14.1 PPG with 4.9 RPG. Kevin McCullar Jr. and K.J. Adams Jr. each had 10+ PPG as well this season while Dajuan Harris Jr. leads Kansas in assists with 6.2 APG this season. As a team, Kansas is averaging 74.9 PPG on 46.6% shooting from the field, 34.4% from three and 71.7% from the foul line this season.
Howard Bison Team Preview
The Howard Bison come into the NCAA tournament after going 22-12 in the regular season with an 11-3 mark in MEAC conference play, finishing as the MEAC regular season champion. Howard took out South Carolina State, Maryland Eastern Shore and Norfolk State on their way to becoming MEAC tournament champions and earning the automatic bid into the big dance. Elijah Hawkins leads the Bison in scoring and assists with 13 PPG and 5.9 APG while Steve Settle III has 11 PPG with a team-high 5.7 RPG to lead the Bison on the glass. Shy Odom has 10.8 PPG to cap off the trio of double-digit scorers for Howard up to this point in the season. As a team, Howard is averaging 75.5 PPG on 46.1% shooting from the field, 37.7% from three and 71.4% from the foul line this season.
I’m sticking with Kansas here. This isn’t a game I’m rushing to the window to bet necessarily, but the Jayhawks are simply the better team here and while Howard’s played well over the course of conference play, stepping up from the MEAC to take on the defending national champions isn’t the ideal jump in competition to make and Kansas has a tendency to romp in these early round NCAA tournament games. I’ll lay the points with the Jayhawks here.