The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks are at Allen Fieldhouse looking for a monster upset against the Kansas Jayhawks. This is a win that would cause waves across the country, but it’s going to require the performance of a lifetime by the Mavericks. The last time I watched an Omaha game closely, they looked outmatched against the Creighton Bluejays on December 1.
Creighton cleared Omaha with ease, as they torched the Mavericks for a 94-67 win. There was no keeping up for Omaha in that game. Six different Bluejays scored in the double digits against the Mavericks. Creighton emptied the bench in that game and they got production pretty much across the board.
Any chance of Omaha sneaking into the NCAA Tournament as a bottom seed looks dead in the water early in the season in December. In any case, let’s see how the Mavericks play an equally talented opponent on Friday night in a hostile environment. Well, I would have said hostile environment if we had a full crowd at Allen Fieldhouse.
That said, it always has to be intimidating to step on a court that carries as much history as it does at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Omaha enters this matchup with a record of 2-4 on the season. They recorded their second win of the season with a 65-63 win over SIUE on Saturday. Omaha had to fight and claw for every point in their two wins, the other a 60-59 win over Middle Tennessee on November 26.
Kansas is on a five-game winning streak after opening up the 2020-21 campaign with a loss against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Zags are going to be a tough team to beat this season, which Kansas found out about right out of the gate. Gonzaga, the No. 1 team in the country, emerged with a 102-90 win in that contest. Kansas has since responded nicely, but can’t take their eyes off the Mavericks tonight. Head below for our free Omaha vs. Kansas pick for December 11, 2020.
Omaha Mavericks vs. Kansas Jayhawks NCAAM Betting Odds:
Omaha vs. Kansas Prediction:
Nebraska-Omaha could very easily be a winless team right now at 0-6 if the ball didn’t drop their way against Middle Tennessee and SIUE. Both games could have easily gone to either team. Omaha were fortunate to be on the winning side. They weren’t so fortunate in a close call against Austin Peay to open the season on November 25. Austin Peay held a 1-point advantage at halftime, and built on that slim lead to beat Omaha, 72-66.
Their other losses this season were not close calls at all, with Abilene Christian, Drake, and Creigton all handling Omaha easily. The most discouraging loss had to be a 87-66 beatdown against Drake following the loss against Creighton. That was a game they probably should have made more of a contest, but Matt Pile can only do so much. Pile led the Mavericks with 17 points and 9 rebounds. He recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds over SIU Edwardsville in their 65-63 win.
Despite the win for Omaha, the offensive punch has been lacking for them this season. They’ve recorded 63.7 points per game for 269th in the country. Omaha will have to find a way to keep up with a Jayhawks squad that is scoring 79.3 points a game. And this came against much better competition than what they’ll see today against Omaha. Kansas should have no problems eclipsing their season average and get into the 80’s.
The Jayhawks just beat a Creighton team, 73-72, that manhandled Omaha. This was after the Jayhawks had a close call against North Dakota State in a 65-61 win. That was undoubtedly a lookahead spot for Kansas, but they escaped with a win and got a wake up call in the process.
There isn’t a player on the floor for Omaha that can match up with forward Jalen Wilson. Wilson has been impressive with 16.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. The 6’8” freshman is talented enough to bang down low around the rim or pull up from deep with accuracy. I’m anticipating a 85-57 win for Kansas on Friday night at Allen Fieldhouse.