Kansas vs. Temple Pick NCAA Hoops – Dec 22nd

We had a big win last night with Maryland not needing any of the nine points they were getting as they went into Gallagher Iba Arena and laid the smack down on the Okie State Cowboys. The win was our third straight NCAA cover, and we will look to extend the streak to four tonight by sifting through a limited slate of NCAA action.

It’s another slower week in college hoops with the attention already focusing on next weekend’s epic clash between instate bitter rivals Kentucky and Louisville at the YUM Center. Fortunately for competitive basketball fans, Montrez Harrell will be available as he was suspended just a single game after his haymaker-went-awry glancing punch to an official’s arm over the weekend. I’m not sure it is going to really matter, but at least the Cards will be at full strength in what feels like the only chance anyone has to derail the Wildcats from their perfect destiny… More on that game (much much more) later in the week. In the meantime, let’s try to snag a fourth straight winner.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Kansas Jayhawks -7.5 at Temple Owls

Kansas got a great sign this weekend in an otherwise meaningless game; the long-belated arrival of Kelly Oubre to meaningful, productive minutes. The heir apparent to Ben McLemore and Andrew Wiggins has been anything but to this point in the season, but perhaps this weekend was a turning point of sorts. If it was, then it could be bad news for the Temple Owls who for a second straight year appear to be far from ready to compete with the Top 25.

Temple enters tonight at 7-4 and a dreadful 3-6 ATS. They lost to Villanova by 23 points in an uncompetitive game, and have lost to St. Joes and UNLV in addition to another blowout to Duke. They’ve struggled to beat LaSalle and Louisiana Tech and have been largely unimpressive this season to date.

Meanwhile, forget the Kentucky game, which seems to linger in everyone’s mind when assessing this Kansas team. Throw that game out and Kansas is 9-0 with wins over Utah, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan State and Tennessee. Those wins comprise five of their last six games and three of them were on a neutral floor. They feature legit All-American and All-Conference players in Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden and have a nice blend of youth to complement their veteran talent.

My point is simply – if you hadn’t seen what Kentucky did to them, this would be a Top 6-8 team and no one would have any reluctance treating them as such. I wonder if Louisville will get the same scorn after Kentucky takes them behind the proverbial woodshed this weekend. Anyway – Kansas is REALLY good. And Temple is not. Look for the Jayhawks to roll em up tonight in a major way.

Free Pick: Kansas Jayhawks -7.5

Chris Scheeren / Author