I meant to get these predictions up before the game started, but unfortunately my computer didn’t cooperate. But since I don’t want to waste a good opportunity for us to be ridiculed, I decided to release them at halftime, so we can both see how foolish we all are and also how ridiculous it is to try and tell everyone else what is going to happen. Call it an experiment.
So without further ado, here are our belated predictions:
Fizzle406: I have spent all week expecting a loss today. After reading fetch’s preview I feel a bit better. Almost to the point where I could expect a win. However I posted a picture of my bracket a few days ago showing Northeastern winning and I feel like i can’t back down from that. Northeastern 66, Kansas 58
Mike.Plank: I think fizzle means after reading fetch’s AND Mike’s EXCELLENT previews. Anyway, I’m already on record as saying KU gets the win in this one. I suppose Northeastern could hit 25-35 threes and render everything we’ve analyzed meaningless, but that would be one helluva statistical oddity. Northeastern struggled to score against their P5 opponents this year (Alabama, Virginia Tech, Syracuse). Even though they went 1-2 in those games, their highest point output was just 68, and that was the win over Alabama, who just lost in the first round of the NIT. It may be close for a half or 30 minutes, but KU should pull away in the end. Kansas 82, Northeastern 68.
Kyle_Davis21: Northeastern’s shooting is obviously a bit nerve-wracking. But on the other hand, the Huskies don’t rebound well on offense and have the 272nd 2-point defense, which means they’ll likely only get one shot per possession and Kansas should get to the lane for easy layups. That happened in Northeastern’s last loss against Charleston. The Huskies hit 15 3’s (45.5%) and lost because they let Charleston shoot 55% from 2, get to the line 22 times, and grab 11 offensive rebounds. That’s the recipe. Kansas getting multiple chances on possessions and shooting 50%+ from the field feels like it could be the difference. Kansas 77, Northeastern 70
David: I’ve seen a lot of hand wringing over this one, and I do understand why. Teams that take and make a ton of threes scare me any year, but this Kansas team has had more trouble than usual in running shooters off the line. However, two things are keeping me calm about this matchup: one, Northeastern gives KU no reason whatsoever to overhelp, so they should be free to focus on shooters. Second, Northeastern hasn’t had to deal with the kind of length and athleticism that KU can bring since the noncon. The Jayhawks will cover the spread. Kansas 79, Northeastern 70
Andy Mitts: I’m not sure who talked about it originally, but there is some decent evidence that Kansas is good at defending the 3 when that is what their opponent is known for. There isn’t any better of an example of this than Northeastern. As I said on the podcast, I expect Northeastern to get on a run early, but KU will get it figured out. Dedric Lawson goes for 25 and 15, Mitch goes crazy on defense, and KU pulls away late on free throws. Kansas 78, Northeastern 69.