Do Post-Brawl Suspensions Affect Kansas NCAA Title Odds?
Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa has been suspended 12 games for his role in a wild melee during the Jayhawks’ home win over Kansas State, the Big 12 announced Wednesday. The conference also suspended sophomore Jayhawks forward David McCormack for two games with Kansas set to host Tennessee on Saturday and travel to Oklahoma State on Monday.
The Jayhawks’ college basketball betting odds for the NCAA Tournament have not been affected after the ugly scene Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse, during which De Sousa lifted a stool over his head at one point and appeared intent to use it as a weapon. The brawl began after De Sousa swatted DaJuan Gordon’s layup attempt in the final seconds and stood over the freshman guard in taunting fashion.
Both benches emptied during the incident and several fans were caught in the mix as the brawl spilled into a fan seating area.
De Sousa will be eligible to return for Kansas’ regular-season finale March 7 at No. 18-ranked Texas Tech. McCormack is the more significant loss, as he averages 7.5 points and 4.7 rebounds. He’ll be back for the Jayhawks’ Feb. 1 home game against the Red Raiders.
Kansas big man Silvio De Sousa suspended indefinitely by head coach Bill Self following last night’s brawl with Kansas State. pic.twitter.com/TrjPgL3qkd— Rob Collins (@RCFOX4KC) January 22, 2020
Kansas is the co-favorite in NCAA Tournament college basketball futures betting odds, listed at +900 alongside Gonzaga at DraftKings. Duke and Louisville are even at +1000 while Baylor and Michigan State are +1500.
De Sousa sat out all last season with his eligibility under review in the aftermath of a corruption scandal centered around payments for multiple recruits. The NCAA accepted his appeal and declared him eligible for the 2019-20 season. The Angola native is averaging just 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds this season but adds key depth to the frontcourt. He’s also an imposing figure in the paint at 6 feet 9 and has 15 blocks on the season.
“The conduct of a few of our student athletes at the conclusion of tonight’s game vs. Kansas State was simply unacceptable and not reflective of who we are,” Kansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. “Coach (Bill) Self and I will review the incident, along with the Big 12 Conference and Kansas State to determine appropriate consequences. There is no place for this conduct in college athletics or here at KU.”
Benches emptied at the end of the Kansas State-Kansas game. pic.twitter.com/zWv46h3RJC— ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2020
Other players could also face disciplinary action once the Big 12 and Kansas complete a review of the fight. Every player on Kansas’ bench was ejected for entering the court in the final seconds of the game. It’s also impossible to measure what kind of lasting mark this will leave as a huge distraction in the short term for Kansas.
The No. 3 Jayhawks are 15-3 overall and second in the Big 12 at 5-1. Unranked Tennessee enters Saturday’s game at 12-6 and oddsmakers will surely factor the De Sousa suspension and lingering impact into the betting line once it becomes available. The Jayhawks are 11-7 against the spread this season and covered a 16.5-point spread during Tuesday’s 81-60 win over the Wildcats.
Kansas is among a host of top national championship contenders in a wide-open year and jockeying for seeding position, a key element in March Madness betting. A Feb. 22 showdown at No. 1 Baylor will be critical before the Jayhawks close the regular season at No. 18 Texas Tech. Kansas also has a rematch against Kansas State on Feb. 29 in Manhattan, Kansas.