Kansas Jayhawks vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Pick & Prediction JANUARY 22nd 2024

Sometimes a quick turnaround is a good thing.

That might just be the case for No. 3 Kansas and Cincinnati on Monday night in Lawrence, Kan., as both teams try to move past close losses Saturday.

Kansas (15-3, 3-2 Big 12) lost 91-85 at West Virginia. Kansas is now 5-7 in Morgantown since 2013.

The Jayhawks had plenty of opportunities to win on the road, but late mistakes cost them. Trailing 82-81, Kansas had a chance to take the lead in the final minute but threw the ball away on the offensive end.

West Virginia’s Quinn Slazinski hit the front end of a one-and-one but missed the second. He got his own rebound and was fouled with 33 seconds left. He hit both free throws.

Kevin McCullar Jr. appeared to hit a 3-point shot that would have cut the deficit to one with 11.9 seconds left, but review showed that he had a toe on the line. Noah Farrakhan and Kriisa each hit a pair of free throws to ice it.

Self was appalled at the Jayhawks’ defensive performance.

“Our ball screen defense was atrocious,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We lost the game because we couldn’t guard. We didn’t come as turned up as we need to be.

“The first-half defense was pretty optional,” the coach continued. “Offensively, we executed and got what we want. We screwed up at the end of the half (letting WVU beat the buzzer and score). Instead of going in with the lead, it’s tied. It’s my fault. We have to drill those situations better.”

Kansas may have found a fifth contributor on the offensive end as freshman Johnny Furphy scored 13 points on Saturday. The Jayhawks were led by McCullar with 24 points. Hunter Dickinson added 19 points and KJ Adams had 11.

The Bearcats (13-5, 2-3) lost 69-65 at home to No. 15 Oklahoma on Saturday. The game was tied 31-31 at halftime, then Oklahoma took control of the second half.

Simas Lukosius led Cincinnati with 17 points. John Newman III added 14 points, but the Bearcats had no other players in double figures.

Cincinnati coach Wes Miller was not pleased with his team’s effort, especially considering the fact that they were in the game until the end.

“They kicked our butts on the boards,” Miller said Saturday of Oklahoma’s 42-36 advantage in rebounds. “That’s two games in a row that’s happened, and I’m frustrated by that. I didn’t think we played our best basketball.

“I’m disappointed, and if we had found a way to win, I would have been happy and proud and would have sat up here and told you, but I’m not,” the coach added. “For some reason, we’ve had better attitude, approach and effort all year than we had today. I’m not sure why, but we’re back to it. We don’t have time to dwell, because in this league, you have to respond and get back to work. We have a big game in 48 hours.”

Viktor Lakhin paces Cincinnati with 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. McCullar averages 20.0 ppg for Kansas and Dickinson has averages of 19.3 points and 11.3 boards.

–Field Level Media

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