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[CBK] Nov 14, 2017

NCAA Basketball Betting Preview: Kentucky vs. Kansas

By Gracenote

No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats at No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks (-4.5)

As the two winningest programs in college basketball history with a combined 31 Final Four appearances between them, Kansas and Kentucky are routinely in the national championship discussion every year, but only one of them has looked the part in the early going. The third-ranked Jayhawks hope to build on an impressive season-opening victory and halt their struggles at the State Farms Champions Classic on Tuesday when they meet the fourth-ranked Wildcats in Chicago.

Kansas made its first nine field-goal attempts and shot 60 percent in Friday's 92-56 home rout of Tennessee State in its only tune-up for the only currently ranked foe during the non-conference portion of its schedule. The Wildcats have probably been tested a bit more than they would have cared for in their two victories thus far, as they were forced to overcome a 12-point second-half deficit en route to a 10-point triumph Friday against Utah Valley before holding off a late charge from Vermont for a 73-69 win Sunday.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (2-0): The Wildcats have 12 players listed as freshmen or sophomores, including Hamidou Diallo (team-high 17 points per game), who is one of Calipari's eight freshmen and has scored at least 16 points in both games. Backcourt mate and fellow first-year player Quade Green poured in 15 points against Vermont after missing all four of shots in a four-point effort in the opener, while 6-7 classmate PJ Washington shook off a sloppy debut with 17 points and 10 rebounds against the Catamounts.

ABOUT KANSAS (1-0): Guard Lagerald Vick matched his career high with 23 points to lead six Jayhawks in double figures, while surprise starter Marcus Garrett tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds in his college debut. The 6-5 freshman guard drew the surprise start as a result of guard Malik Newman losing his spot in the lineup after the Mississippi State transfer had a poor practice earlier in the week.

TIP-INS

1. Self (417-88) is one win from tying Roy Williams (418-101) for second on the all-time win list for Kansas coaches. Phog Allen (590-219) sits atop the list.

2. Kentucky leads the all-time series 22-8 but has dropped each of the last two meetings.
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