NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas vs. Florida
Date/Time: December 10th, 7:00 ET
College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Florida -2.5
The Florida Gators and the Kansas Jayhawks have identical 6-2 records, but neither has really faced a team quite like the other yet this season. We’ll get a good measure for just how good both of these teams are on Tuesday when they face off as a part of the Big XII/SEC Challenge.
The Jayhawks aren’t the best team in the world yet, but by the end of the season, they could very well be the ones cutting down the nets. They have already played a pre-season tournament, taking on three solid teams at the Battle for Atlantis in the Bahamas. They also have a neutral site win over the Duke Blue Devils in dominating fashion. That was the game where G Andrew Wiggins and the gang really proved that they can play against anyone in the nation. We’ve seen some slips though, most recently against the Villanova Wildcats and the Colorado Buffaloes, teams which a good team like KU should be beating. That was a part of what is now a four-game coverless streak, something that Head Coach Bill Self and the gang will want to stop in Gainesville on Tuesday night just three days after losing to Colorado on a last second three-pointer at the buzzer. Wiggins is living up to the hype which he brought to Lawrence, as he is one of the two scoring in double figures this year for a well-balanced team that figures to be a lot better defensively as the year goes on as well.
Florida has some experience, but we are a bit concerned about it dealing with the size and the bulk of the Jayhawks up front. The combination of C Patric Young and F Will Yeguete is definitely worthwhile, but we are more concerned with the lack of backcourt play. Gone are all of those great Gator guards that helped bring Head Coach Billy Donovan deep into NCAA Tournaments of yesteryear. G Scottie Wilbekin was always one of the lesser used guards on those great UF teams, and G Michael Frazier III, in spite of his 13.5 points per game scoring average, doesn’t do all that much for us at this point. F Casey Prather is the man that is doing the majority of the scoring from away from the basket. He is shooting 63.6 percent from the field and is scoring 19.1 points per game, but there’s just no way that can keep up. It’s not often that a man goes from doing absolutely nothing in his first three seasons on a team to being a dominating scorer, and we can’t imagine that Prather is going to be able to do that at this point in his career.
It’s this backcourt that really has us worried right now for Florida. Can Prather really keep up with Wiggins shot for shot if that’s what this comes down to? Kansas will no doubt be a much better team in the future months than it is right now when Wiggins and the gang get a better feel for each other, but in the end, we think that it has a better squad that Florida has. The Gators probably shouldn’t be favored in this one, especially if it turns into a shooting fest where rebounding the ball and sharp shooting is the key. Kansas 75 – Florida 71