USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Grant Williams and Dedric Lawson
Gonzaga-Duke lived up to the hype in the Maui Invitational, as the Bulldogs claimed an 89-87 win over the No. 1 program in the country. Tennessee-Kansas should provide similar drama in the NIT Season Tip-Off final, but which team comes out victorious? Let’s comb through this top-five matchup.
Betting odds: Tennessee-Kansas
- Spread: Kansas -3.5
- Over/under: 150
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
>> All odds as of 9 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets
Both units were in a dogfight Wednesday evening versus Louisville and Marquette, respectively. The No. 5 Volunteers went on a 14-0 run late in the contest to close it out, while the No. 2 Jayhawks tipped off the second half on a 22-0 spurt to take control against the Golden Eagles.
This contest will be teams’ first meeting since 2014 and should come down to guard play. Elite-level forwards Grant Williams (22.5 ppg) and Dedric Lawson (16.3 ppg) will look to establish themselves to get their teammates sound looks from around the floor.
Both programs present a top 60 Effective Field Goal Percentage, with the Vols showcasing 59% of their scoring from inside the arc. Kansas is more of a perimeter-oriented bunch, and wing Lagerald Vick has represented a massive reason why.
The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Vick owns the 26th-highest eFG% in the country, hitting three 3s against Marquette. But unlike the Golden Eagles, Tennessee possesses length that should bother the Jayhawks’ backcourt.