For the 3rd year in a row, the Kansas Jayhawks make it to the Elite Eight as the number 1 seed in their regional. The difference this year is that Kansas is not favored, with most lines putting the Duke Blue Devils as a 3 to 4 point favorite. Can Kansas pull off the upset to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2012?
David: Another hard loss in the Elite Eight. Kansas doesn’t have an answer for Duke’s ability to score from both inside and out. KU will do their part to make this a shootout, but ultimately Duke has more firepower. Duke 82, Kansas 77
Fizzle406: I agree with David. Duke is just too much to handle. But hey, it’s been a great season. Who would have guessed back in December/January that this team would go on to win #14, the Big 12 tournament, and make the Elite 8? It’s been a great season. No shame in losing to this Duke team. Duke 77, Kansas 65
dnoll5: I’m going to go ahead and be the optimist here for a few reasons. One, Devonte hasn’t been good so far in this tournament (outside of the Penn game) and I think we could see one of those “Devonte willing KU to victory” type nights. Two, KU carved up the zone on occasion this season, and I think KU’s advanced scouts watched more Duke than Syracuse. That gives me hope. Three, every time I doubt this team, they come through. We’re going to San Antonio, guys. Kansas 82, Duke 75.
Kyle_Davis21: This year’s NCAA Tournament feels like the inverse of last year. Last year, Kansas won each of its first three games by at least 20 points before the dud against Oregon. This year, the Jayhawks have won more narrowly, the last two by four points, and have not played their best basketball. Maybe they’re saving it? I do think KU could play more freely and use the “nobody believes in us” motivation that has fueled this team all year. Everyone expects Duke to win. I picked Duke over Kansas in my bracket, but now I’m calling an audible. Maybe it’s dnoll5’s optimism? Maybe it’s my strong distaste for Duke? Maybe it’s the madness of this tournament? I’m going Kansas in a nail-biter. Kansas 83, Duke 81
Mike.Plank: Y’alls optimism is cute and I get it, but I think if Duke plays their A game there’s not much we can do to them. They are the best - literally, the best - offensive rebounding team in the country, something that has been this KU team’s achilles heel all season. Whenever Doke is out of the game, whatever the reason - fouls, conditioning, etc., Kansas will be at a massive size disadvantage. If KU is going to win, they are going to have to take over 50% of their shots from behind the arc AND make over 50% of them. I could happen, but I won’t predict it. Duke 90, Kansas 83.
Andy Mitts: The only thing giving me hope is the pattern we’ve seen of this team outperforming in games where they aren’t expected to win (i.e. at West Virginia and at Texas Tech). This has all the feel of one of those games where Kansas unexpectedly exerts their will and just goes off from behind the arc, and I could see that happen. If Kansas wins this game, look for Mitch Lightfoot to have a huge role in stretching the floor. I do think Kansas can win it, but if I get too optimistic, I just know it won’t happen. Plus, I see way too many ways that Duke wins this one. Duke 78, Kansas 71.