Sports

Kansas-TCU shootout won’t happen with missing guards

Kansas and TCU both pulled off big Saturday wins to set up Monday’s showcase (ESPN, 9 p.m.).

Both offenses exploded in their most recent games, but have struggled since the turn of the New Year.

Kansas will be without Lagerald Vick for an unknown amount of time due to personal matters and he was the team’s top 3-point shooter, making 45.5 percent of his outside shots. This puts even more burden on Dedric Lawson, who is averaging 19.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, to take total control for the Jayhawks.

Though TCU has had much more time to acclimate, it, too, is without a sharp-shooting guard in Jaylen Fisher. The team was 8-1 in games he played as he sunk 44.1 percent of his 3s. Since he decided to transfer and left the team for good after Christmas, TCU has had 70 points or fewer in seven of its 11 games as both teams have not been digging much into their respective benches since the departures.

Both these teams are solid but not great on defense, with TCU being 70th in defensive efficiency and Kansas 82nd among Division I teams. Though Kansas won the first meeting between these two 77-68, the Jayhawks needed 31 points and 14 rebounds from Lawson in that game while TCU went 9-of-21 from 3-point range.

A lot has changed since then, as Kansas has not scored 70 or more points in a game on the road since Jan. 12 while TCU had scored 70 or fewer in each of its past six games prior to the win over Iowa State.

With both offenses losing their sharpshooters mid-season and both teams being quite equal in both defensive efficiency and tempo, this looks like a spot where it will be a struggle for either team to reach 70 points.

The play: Kansas-TCU Under, 149.

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