Kansas vs. Samford NCAA Tournament Round 1: How to watch, odds, and predictions for March Madness

Mar 20, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Hunter Dickinson (1).
Mar 20, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Hunter Dickinson (1). / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas’ favorite time of year is here.

The Jayhawks earned the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region of the bracket and are set to face the No. 13 seed Samford Bulldogs.

Devastatingly for Kansas, star guard Kevin McCullar Jr. is out for the rest of the tournament due to a season-ending knee injury.

The Jayhawks recently struggled against the Houston Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats in Big 12 play. This is Kansas’ 52nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the team is looking for its fifth national title in program history.

Kansas went dancing last season but didn’t make it past the Round of 32. At the end of the 2022 season? The Jayhawks brought home the championship banner.

How to watch Oregon vs. Samford in the NCAA Tournament Round 1

Date: Thursday, March 21
Time: 8:55 p.m. CT
Channel: TBS
Streaming: NCAA March Madness Live, fuboTV

Announcers: Brad Nessler, Brendan Haywood, Dana Jacobson

Kansas vs. Samford NCAA Tournament Round 1 odds

With McCullar, the Jayhawks don’t have quite as big of an advantage over the Bulldogs but Kansas is still handily favored. The Jayhawks are currently favored by a 7-point spread and the projected point total is just 154 combined points.

Because of Samford's dominant defense, I don't think the Jayhawks will be able to run away with the game, and I think the final score will be closer than 7 points.

While Kansas has been a force to be reckoned with all season, I expect the Bulldogs to keep the game within reach.

Kansas vs. Samford NCAA Tournament Round 1 prediction

Despite the loss of their star guard, I expect the Jayhawks to breeze past the Bulldogs. Samford has lost just 5 games this season and has allowed just 73.9 points per game while scoring 86 points of their own.

The Bulldogs are the 6th-highest scoring team in the nation this season. The Jayhawks have only been able to average 75.3 points per game this year but have had a lockdown defense. 

Allowing just 68.7 points per game by opponents, Kansas has been hard to beat this year and is currently ranked No. 17 in the country.

462. Prediction. 67. 2474. Kansas vs Samford. 72

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