College Basketball heats up on Monday night as a rivalry game gets underway. The No. 10 Kansas Jayhawks travel down the road to take on rival Kansas State. The game is scheduled for a 9 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds have Kansas favored by 4 points with the total sitting at 135.5 points. The Jayhawks will be looking to continue their dominance of the Big 12 in this contest.
Free Analysis: Kansas has won seven straight Big 12 titles and are looking for their eighth this season. The Jayhawks currently sit atop the standings yet again, this time tied with Mizzou, who has surprised some teams this season. Kansas State head coach Frank Martin said he's been very impressed with Kansas over the years. He has to battle with them for recruits, among other things, but Kansas is often playing on ESPN's Big Monday because they are such a hot ticket in the Big 12 annually. That often means they are playing two games in three nights, coming off playing on Saturdays. Big Monday on ESPN was created 12 years ago and Kansas is 43-16 on Big Monday, though just 18-15 on the road. However under current coach Bill Self, they're sporting a record of 24-8 during Big Monday games. It's no secret that Kansas loves playing in big games and is pretty good at doing so. Kansas State is relatively new to their success under Martin. They usually don't play on Big Monday's and this one will be their only such game of the season. The Wildcats will also come into this game with a sour taste in their mouths with the result from Saturday. Kansas State built a 15-point lead at Texas before foul trouble, turnovers and defensive lapses turned things around completely. Texas had a huge second half and ran away with a win, connecting for 35 of 48 free throws, tying a team record for most attempts. Kansas, on the other hand, rolled over Oklahoma State on Saturday, beating them by 29 points. Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson contributed impressive double-doubles as Kansas won their 19th straight game at home. Kansas has reached at least 20 wins in a season for the 23rd straight campaign and at least 10 league wins for the 18th straight year. Robinson has gone from a contributor off the bench in his career, where he was an afterthought at Kansas, to a likely NBA lottery pick in the upcoming draft after the season. Kansas has played extremely well on the road this season and is looking to pick up another big win away from home tonight. The Jayhawks have struggled against the number a little bit, going 4-6-2 ATS in its last 12 games on the road. However, they've won 14 of 16 on the road against Kansas State. During that same time Kansas State is just 4-12 ATS when playing Kansas at home.
Free Pick: I like Kansas tonight in this rivalry game. They are at least USED to playing on short notice with the Saturday/Monday night thing going on with ESPN and the Big 12. Kansas State isn't used to playing in these types of spots and they are coming off a loss where they were absolutely owned in the second half by Texas. It's a rivalry game, yes, but I think that Kansas is on a completely different planet when it comes to basketball right now. The Jayhawks will be looking to gain some ground on Mizzou in the Big 12 standings, where both teams are tied for first place. This is a spot where Self's team can and should come away with a win.
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