The No. 12 Kansas Jayhawks (4-1) are hosting the San Jose State Spartans (2-2) in what looks to be a one-sided matchup between a basketball powerhouse and a mediocre squad with no real chance to contend.
However, if we’ve learned anything about the collegiate game over the past few years, it’s that an upset is always lurking just around the corner and anyone is capable of beating anyone.
Let’s take a look at this impending contest, where you can watch it on television, highlight some players to keep an eye on, make a prediction on the outcome and much more.
When: Monday, Nov. 26 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Line: Kansas -28 (via Sportsbook.ag)
Injury Report (via USA TODAY)
F Zach Peters, OUT, Shoulder
San Jose State
No major injuries to report.
Kansas Player to Watch: Jeff Withey
Withey is widely regarded as one of the Jayhawks' best defenders (along with Travis Releford), but he has been making a large impact on the offensive end lately.
The senior center is averaging 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and an incredible 5.0 blocks through the first five games of the 2012-13 season. In Kansas’ last outing against St. Louis, the big man was an offensive force—helping the team to a 73-59 win behind his 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting, to go along with his five boards, seven blocks and two steals.
If Kansas is going to navigate its way through March Madness and make it back to the national title game, it’s imperative that Withey continues to develop his offensive game down in the post. We’ll see if they keep throwing it down low to their seven-footer on Monday night against the Spartans.
San Jose State Player to Watch: James Kinney
This 6’2”, 180-pound guard is the leading scorer for San Jose and is averaging a ridiculous 21.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.0 assists through four games.
Despite his small stature, Kinney isn’t afraid to play big and bang with anyone for boards or get into the paint for buckets. The senior is easily the biggest threat to Kansas, and it will be important for the Jayhawks to lock him down in order to avoid an upset.
Don’t sleep on Kinney putting together a big game and keeping this one closer than it looks on paper.
Prediction: Kansas 72 – San Jose State 50
We’re going with the Jayhawks in a blowout victory here, as they simply have too much firepower and too strong a defensive presence for a team like the Spartans to overcome.
Which team will win?
While this could be an interesting contest in the opening few minutes, we fully expect Kansas to pull away by the midpoint of the first half and have the backups playing the final few garbage-time minutes.
KU has been rolling and playing its best basketball of the season over the past two games. It’s going to be Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk on Monday night, and this WAC opponent will not stop them.