It will be a matchup of top-25 teams on Saturday when the number 1 Kansas Jayhawks (10-0) travel to Wells Fargo Arena-AZ to take on the number 18 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-2). After narrowly beating Villanova 74-71 last Saturday, the Jayhawks followed it up with a convincing win over South Dakota Tuesday, 89-53. On the season, Kansas has already taken care of number 3 Tennessee, number 20 Marquette and number 10 Michigan State and look to add Arizona State to their impressive list of teams they have beaten. For Arizona State, they have actually lost 2 of their last 3 games including a loss to number 6 Nevada (72-66) and an ugly loss to Vanderbilt (81-65) on Monday. Their one win in that stretch was against Georgia, 76-74. Kansas and Arizona State will square off Saturday in Tempe with tipoff scheduled for 9:00 pm ET.
In this contest, the Kansas Jayhawks are favored by 4 points despite playing on the road. The over/under for total points scored is set at 152.5.
By The Numbers
On the offensive side, these two teams are awfully similar, at least in terms of points per game. Kansas ranks 31st in the nation, scoring an average of 81.7 points. For Arizona State, they come in at 36th, scoring 81 points per game. When it comes to defense, both teams fall down the rankings a bit. Kansas ranks 116th, allowing an average of 69.5 points per game. For Arizona State, they come in at 164th, allowing 72.2 points per game.
Kansas Looking To Take Down Another Top-25 Team
The Kansas Jayhawks have shown why they are the number one team in the nation under Bill Self. The team is loaded with talent and plays both disciplined and at an all-star level. To date, they are averaging 81.7 points per game while holding opponents to 69.5 and are shooting 48.9% from the field. From behind the arc, the Jayhawks are shooting 37.6%.
The team is led by junior forward Dedric Lawson. On the season, Lawson is averaging 19.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He also has 24 assists, 13 steals and 9 blocks on the season. Impressively, he is shooting 50.4% from the field, although he is only 3 of 18 from the 3 (16.7%).
In addition to Lawson, the team has 3 other players averaging double-digits. Lagerald Vick (17.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 19 assists, 15 steals), Udoka Azubuike (12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 10 blocks), and Devon Dotson (10.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 28 assists, 14 steals) have all had productive starts to the season. Even with all of the talent that Kansas has, they are still going to have to play well in order to beat an Arizona State team that is looking to bounce back after a rough week.
Arizona State Trying To Turn Skid Around
Arizona State has a star in the making with freshman guard Luguentz Dort. I could definitely see him giving Kansas fits and will be interested to see if they will attack him with man-to-man or a zone. On the season, Dort is averaging 19.8 points on 40.8 shooting from the field and 35.8% shooting from behind the 3. He is also averaging 5.5 rebounds and has 22 assists and 19 steals. His numbers have gone a long way towards the Sun Devils averaging 81 points per game. Still, with Kansas in the house, Dort is going to have to come up huge.
He is also going to have to get help. In addition to Dort, 3 others are averaging double-digit scoring. Kimani Lawrence (13.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 20 assists), Zylan Cheatham (11.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 41 assists, 10 steals), and Remy Martin (11.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 30 assists, 10 steals) have all been major contributors this season.
Kansas Wins And Covers
This matchup will likely be the best of the weekend, but for me, I have a hard time trusting Arizona State with the way they have been playing over the last week. I do think Dort will get his points, but I think they are going to have a hard time stopping Kansas’ offense. The Sun Devils will get a boost from playing at home, but with a spread of only 4 points, I am taking Kansas to cover in this one.