Guard Marcus Garrett #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks handles the ball. John E. Moore III/Getty Images/AFP
Two teams that are surprisingly in the middle of the Big Twelve standings will look to move up when Oklahoma State heads to Kansas. Let’s check their NCAAB odds before making our pick.
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Monday, February 08, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Phog Allen Fieldhouse
With the new AP poll coming out a few hours before game time, there’s a very good chance the Jayhawks will no longer be “No. 23 Kansas” by the time their Big Twelve showdown with Oklahoma State tips off. Kansas is expected to be dropped from the rankings, making it the first time since January 2009 that the Jayhawks have been unranked.
“We won’t be ranked next week, nor do we deserve to be ranked,” said head coach Bill Self, after the Jayhawks lost to West Virginia on Saturday to fall to 12-7, 6-5 in the Big Twelve. With five losses in the last seven games, the big surprise is that Kansas was still ranked in the first place. Four of Kansas’ seven losses have been by double digits, including West Virginia’s 91-79 win on Saturday. It’s also the most points Kansas has given up since losing to Gonzaga in the opener, 102-90.
Oklahoma State, on the other hand, may see itself ranked when Monday’s poll comes out, following a double-overtime win over Texas on Saturday. The Cowboys have won three of four to improve to 12-5, 5-5 in the conference. Oklahoma State also holds a win over Kansas this season, knocking off the Jayhawks at home, 75-70, on January 12th.
With three freshmen and three sophomores among the top eight players, Oklahoma State is a very young team. That leads to inconsistency on the court—They look like a top contender when they’re at their best, while at their worst … it can be tough to watch.
Both were on display in the win over Texas. The Cowboys shut the Longhorns down on defense, holding them to 20-of-79 from the field, OSU’s top defensive efficiency performance of the year, as well as the lowest opponent’s shooting game this season. Of course, the cowboys also turned it over on one quarter of their possessions and had their worst shooting and offensive efficiency game of the season.
Freshman Cade Cunningham shot just 3-of-16 in regulation and 5-of-22 for the game, but he hit a game-tying three to force overtime and a game-clinching three near the end of the second OT. The young Cowboys seem to step up for big games. Five of their last seven wins have been against Quadrant I foes, including road wins at Wichita State and Texas Tech.
Oklahoma State may be without freshman Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe. The power forward averages 9.7 ppg and 5.5 rebounds, but he suffered an unspecified injury in practice on Friday and missed the Texas game. Coach Mike Boynton said his status for Monday was “undetermined.”
Kansas has a chance to move up in the standings and improve its fading hopes of a NCAA bid, over the next two weeks. Starting with Oklahoma State, the Jayhawks face four teams that were unranked last week (although as stated earlier, the Cowboys may be ranked by game time). Following those four games, Kansas closes the regular season against Texas Tech, Texas and Baylor. So the Jayhawks need to pile up wins now.
They’ll need to do it without freshman Bryce Thompson, who broke his finger in the first game with OSU and hasn’t played since. Three days ago, Self said Thompson was a week away, adding that timetable may be “wishful thinking.” If all goes well, he’ll be cleared to practice early this week. Junior Tyon Grant-Foster could return for the game. He missed Saturday’s game with a sprained ankle but is day-to-day, according to Self.
Oklahoma State’s resume-building wins have come on the strength of its defense. The Cowboys are second in the Big Twelve in shooting defense. Only four of their opponents have had more assists than turnovers in a game this season.
Kansas has struggled with its shot recently, making just 26 of its last 90 threes over the last four games for a .289 percentage. The Jayhawks have also struggled to defend the three. They rank No. 257 in outside shooting defense and have allowed three of the last six foes to post effective shooting percentages over 60.
Oklahoma State +4.5(-110)Visit Site
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.