It’s that dreaded last game before everyone goes home for a quick Christmas. Kansas has been caught flat-footed in this game before, the most recent being two years ago when Temple upset the Jayhawks in Philadelphia. Can Kansas avoid the upset this year as they travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to play the UNLV Rebels? Take a look at what our writing staff thinks, and then make sure to give your own prediction in the comments.
KU Grad 08: I actually watched a good chunk of the UNLV-Duke game since I knew we’d play the Rebels later in the non-con. UNLV didn’t even belong on the same court. They’ve also been thrashed by a host of other average-to-decent teams (Arizona State, Oregon) and dropped close games to teams that aren’t good (Southern Alabama, TCU). Point being, this is a team we should beat pretty easily. Being on the road in a fairly empty building will likely lead to a lethargic start and some bad stretches but we can’t lose this one. Kansas 82, UNLV 62.
David: Remember a few years ago when KU played a mediocre Temple team on the road right before Christmas and played like garbage? That phenomenon is the only thing concerning me here. UNLV is downright bad, but a road game in Vegas right before the players get to go home and see their families and friends might be enough of a distraction to make this a sloppy game. I think the Rebels are too bad to actually pull off the upset, but this may not be the route it could be under different circumstances. Kansas 79, UNLV 67, and Aaron Rodgers breaks his coccyx Sunday, causing the Packers to fall apart and lose at home to the Vikings, ruining their shot at a playoff spot.
mikeville: Lol at Grad for thinking that Arizona State is “average-to-decent” in basketball. I’m going to assume that the Jayhawks come out focused, built a big lead, still play Frank Mason 35+ minutes, and then we get 4 minutes of Tyler Self and company. Kansas 99, UNLV 65.
Jakebogen95: Blowout. This isn’t a UNLV team you will see come March. Nothing to fret about. More resume building for Frank Mason and his candidacy as a potential National Player of the Year. Kansas 112, UNLV 61
Fizzle406: These away games a few days before Christmas are awful. Players are ready to go home and sleepwalking can be an issue. I don't know anything about UNLV but I think they win. Kansas 67, UNLV 72
dnoll5: I have no idea what to make of this game, honestly. As Fizzle said, KU kinda sucks at these games right before the break, but with all that Grad has said, I think KU will roll out winners. It’s a Thursday night game with little competition from anything else for the viewer’s eye (The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl featuring Idaho and Colorado State doesn’t count), so I look for KU to put on a show. Kansas 89, UNLV 70.
Andy: I went back and looked at the game right before Christmas each year, and I was a bit surprised to realize that every year since at least 2007-08 that game has been on the road. In many cases it was our first true road game of the season, and so it isn’t really a surprise that we got off to a slow start pretty much every time. This game should be a little different in that we are playing a team that is truly not very good at all. Despite being without Udoka Azubuike, this should be a blowout. Kansas 97, UNLV 53.