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Texas Southern preview, odds vs. Kansas: Tigers need huge effort off First Four win

Texas Southern, like last year, won its First Four game, but are heavy underdogs against top-seed Kansas.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round Fort Worth Practice Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Southern fought back from an early deficit to take control and knock out Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the tournament’s First Four in Dayton. Now it’s back to their home state, where blue-blood Kansas seeks to deny Texas Southern from being only the second 16-seed to ever knock off a 1-seed in the men’s tournament.

Team: Texas Southern Tigers

Location: Houston, Texas

Record: 17-12 (13-5 SWAC)

NCAA Tournament History: The Tigers have made nine NCAA tournament appearances, including in five of the last seven.

TSU’s guys are not lacking in experience. They appeared in the Dance last year and won their First Four game. They’ve already done the same this year. Of ten TSU players who average double-digit minutes per contest, nine are seniors and one is a junior. Beyond that, Tigers’ coach Johnny Jones has two decades of college coaching experience at both major and mid-major programs, with several tournament appearances on the resume.

Interesting to note, Texas Southern does not have a scorer that averages 11 or more points per game; rather, they are one of the most balanced scoring teams in the country, with 10 scorers that range from 4.6 points to the leading scorer, John Walker at 10.1 points per game. They have eight players that average at least 2.9 rebounds per game as well. Truly, anyone can step up for them; in their first four win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi, their starters only totaled 21 points, but they had three bench players score at least 14 points, led by Bryson Etienne with 21. If nothing else, Kansas can’t just gameplan to simply shut down one person on the Tigers.

Clearly, Texas Southern is overmatched in terms of talent. Kansas is one of the best teams in the country, especially on the offensive end, and have found another groove since working Remy Martin back into the fold after he returned from injury. The Tigers will need to do what they have done well all year – rebound, and protect the rim (5 blocks per game) and hope that Kansas can’t click on offense to hope to pull off a shocker.

DraftKings Odds and Game Information

Spread: TSU +21.5

O/U: 145

ML: TSU +2500, KAN -8000