UTEP vs #13 Kansas

UTEP vs #13 Kansas | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 3, 2021

It’s an unusual non-conference game this late in the season for No. 13 Kansas, which will be a massive home favorite on the NCAAB odds against UTEP on Thursday. The Jayhawks are +2800 to win the national championship and this is their regular-season finale.

How to Bet UTEP at Kansas NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

This series dates back to 1966 with the Miners leading 3-1. The first meeting was an memorable 81-80 overtime win for UTEP, then known as Texas Western, in second round of the NCAA Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Western went on to win the 1966 NCAA title in historic fashion. KU won the last matchup with UTEP, 67-63, on Nov. 30, 2013, in the third-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis. This will be the first meeting between the two schools in Lawrence.

Why Bet on UTEP? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

UTEP is 12-10 overall and fifth in the West Division of Conference USA at 8-8. This will mark UTEP’s first game against a ranked opponent since 2014. The Miners also are slated to play at Kansas during the 2021-22 season.

UTEP comes off a 77-62 home win over Charlotte on Sunday to conclude its regular-season conference schedule. Bryson Williams (23 points, 14 rebounds) recorded a double-double on a career high in rebounds, and Souley Boum dropped 23 points on a career-high six 3-pointers on Senior Day.

Boum ranks first in C-USA and sixth nationally in made free throws. Boum is shooting over 34 percent 3-pointers and over 82 percent from the foul line over the last 10 games. Overall, Boum ranks fourth in C-USA in scoring (18.7). Williams, the lone senior to play, notched his fourth double-double of the season, the ninth of his UTEP career, and 13th in his collegiate career. He shot 11-for-17 from the field.

The Miners extended their winning streak to four games after shooting 50.0 percent (10-for-20) from deep. Overall, UTEP shot 50.8 percent and outworked Charlotte on the boards, 36-28, that included 10 offensive rebounds.

UTEP never trailed in the contest, and led by as much as 32 points. Since allowing 86 points at UTSA on Jan. 28, UTEP is yielding just over 60 points per game in its last seven contests.

After this game, the Miners will head to Frisco, Texas, for the 2021 C-USA Championships. Their seeding will be determined at the conclusion of league play for teams making up games this week.

Why Bet on Kansas? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

This game was added because KU’s non-conference contest against Tarleton State on Dec. 13 was cancelled due to COVID protocols in the Tarleton State program. KU wanted this game so it didn’t have 11 days between its Big 12 finale against No. 2 Baylor last Saturday and the start of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City on March 10. The risk comes from the fact that the Jayhawks will be bringing to town another team that has been navigating playing in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kansas (18-8) upset No. 2 Baylor on Saturday 71-58 to knock the Bears from the ranks of the unbeaten. The win over the Bears marked the 38th-consecutive Kansas victory on a senior night, which started in the 1983-84 season.

Kansas improved to 12-6 in Big 12 play, giving KU 12 league wins for the 21st consecutive season beginning in 2000-01. It also made Kansas 9-1 against top-five teams at home under head coach Bill Self. KU has now won seven games against ranked opponents this season, the most in Division I.

KU won the rebounding battle 48-28, making this the 16th time winning the rebounding battle this season, improving to 14-3 this season in such games.

David McCormack’s 20 points marked the fourth time he has scored at least 20 points in a game this season and the fifth time in his career. Marcus Garrett finished with 14 points on Senior Night, his 11th double-figure game this season and 35th in his career. Freshman Jalen Wilson finished with 14 rebounds, his 11th time this season in double digits and sixth in his last seven games.

The win over Baylor jumped KU from 17th to 13th in the AP poll. Kansas is one of seven teams from the Big 12 Conference ranked in the Top 18 of this week’s AP poll. KU is projected as a No. 3 seed in ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s latest mock NCAA Tournament bracket. Conference tournament seeding will be determined by the end of the week.

Expert Prediction

  • Kansas 77, UTEP 59

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