NCAAB Betting: How McCullar Jr’s Injury Changes the Jayhawks’ Tournament Chances

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  • The Jayhawks net efficiency drops from +14.1 to -3.6 when McCullar is out
  • McCullar led the team in scoring and steals
  • Hunter Dickinson averaged 18.0 points and 10.8 rebounds this season

Kansas had high hopes for the NCAA Tournament, but those were tampered this week when it was announced that star Kevin McCullar Jr. will be out. It is a massive loss that comes ahead of a dangerous matchup with a very good Samford team on Thursday.

Below, we will break down how the loss of McCullar will affect the Jayhawks tournament chances. We’ll provide the latest odds and insights from our USA Legal Betting experts to give you everything you need to wager on Kansas at March Madness betting sites.

Latest NCAA Tournament Odds for Kansas 

Betting sites across the US have differences in opinions on how this loss affects Kansas. Some still see them as a possible Final Four team, but many believe the loss has all but ended their season.


Odds to Make Final 4 

Odds to Win NCAA Tournament 

FanDuel Sportsbook 



BetMGM Sportsbook 



BetRivers Sportsbook 



Betting on the game in The Sunflower State? Check out our guide to Kansas sports betting

How the Loss of Kevin McCullar Jr. Hurts the Jayhawks 

McCullar’s contribution to the Jayhawks cannot be understated. The guard averaged 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.5 steals. According to ESPN, the Jayhawks net efficiency drops from +14.1 to -3.6 when McCullar is not of the floor. On top of being one of the best players in the country, he is also a senior with three years of experience in March Madness.

While Kansas has some of the best players in the country, they do not have the depth needed to make up for the loss of McCullar. Nicolas Timberlake and Elmarko Jackson would be the top choice to replace the star in the Kansas lineup, but both average under 4.8 points per game. That leaves the Jayhawks with just two players with scoring averages in the double digits.

On top of the missing scoring, Kansas will also sorely miss the star on defense. McCullar led the team with 1.5 steals per game. The guard can generate turnovers, which is crucial in March Madness. KJ Adams Jr. and Dajuan Harris Jr. are also active on defense, but the loss of McCullars will be felt.

How Kansas Can Overcome the Loss

There is no way to fully make up for the loss of one of the best players in the country, but it’s a mistake to completely count Kansas out. One reason for that is center Hunter Dickinson, who is averaging 18.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks this season. The 7’2” big man is also a senior, meaning the team will have still have veteran leadership.

Dickinson’s size makes him unique in college basketball, and it could give them a big advantage come tournament time. If Dickinson can lock down the paint and force teams to work from outside, it could open a path to the Final Four. This theory will be put to the test tonight as Kansas faces off against a Samford team that is one of the best shooting teams in the country.

The Jayhawks could also get a boost from freshmen Elmarko Jackson. His is only making 39.7% of his shots this season, but that could change with a larger role likely coming. Jackson was the 20th ranked recruit coming into the season, thanks to his ability to get past defenders and drive towards the basket. Kansas doesn’t shoot from three much, meaning Jackson’s game could fit with the rest of the starting lineup.