Updated January 21, 2024By Chris Boline
What: Two Division I NCAA college basketball games in week 12 of the 2023-24 NCAA Basketball season
Who: Cincinnati Bearcats at Kansas Jayhawks & Wake Forest Demon Deacons at North Carolina Tar Heels
When: Monday, January 22nd, 2024
Where: Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS, and Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel, NC
In what has been an excellent college basketball season, thus far, two blue-blood teams have emerged again as legitimate title contenders. In the Big 12, Kansas has raced out to a 15-3 record (3-2 conference) and has an interesting showdown Monday night with Cincinnati. The Bearcats enter this contest coming off a loss to Oklahoma but have been playing great this year with wins over BYU and TCU. Kansas is looking to avenge a loss at West Virginia this weekend as they return to Lawrence. Meanwhile, in the ACC, Wake Forest travels to North Carolina for a battle with the Tar Heels. North Carolina is currently riding an eight-game winning streak which includes wins over ranked Oklahoma (seventh overall at the time) and also Clemson (sixteenth). Of course, Wake Forest enters this game as the potential spoiler, as they look to hand the undefeated Tar Heels their first ACC loss.
In this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from each squad, a predicted winner in each matchup, and also share some more notes about info about NCAAB wagering.
NCAA Basketball 23-24 Week 12 GamesThe Pick
Cincinnati at KansasKansas ML-220-220-220Wake Forest at North CarolinaUNC ML-250-250-250
NCAA Basketball Game One Overview
Team Spotlight: Cincinnati Bearcats
While the Bearcats are coming off a tough loss to Oklahoma at home, they still have had a strong season to date. Cincinnati currently ranks as a top-40 NET team in the country at No. 36 and has scored two Quad 1/2 wins this season so far. They are also undefeated against Quad 3 and 4 opponents.
However, Kansas is a firm Quad 1 basketball team and the Bearcats have struggled against this level of competition so far, going 1-4 against opponents in this range. Moreover, Cincinnati, while fantastic at home at 11-2, is only 2-2 this season in true road games. Nonetheless, Cincy does feature some bruising power in forward Viktor Lakhin who leads the team in both points and rebounds (13 ppg along with 7.5 rpg).
Team Spotlight: Kansas Jayhawks
A squad that each year has national title aspirations, Kansas has looked excellent at times this season. Despite losing to West Virginia this past weekend, the Jayhawks are still a firm top-15 team in the NET and were most recently ranked as the No. 3 overall team in the AP poll. With an undefeated record of 9-0 at home this season, the Jayhawks have also been excellent in big-time matchups, accruing a record of 6-2 in Quad 1/2 contests so far.
Of course, the main athlete to keep an eye on for Kansas is a preseason national player of the year contender, Hunter Dickinson. The former Michigan Wolverine leads the squad in rebounding at 11.3 per contest and has been a wrecking ball when the Jayhawks are humming along. With some staunch competition up and down the Big 12 this season, this game is an excellent rebound opportunity for the Jayhawks.
Prediction: The Bearcats are entering Allen Fieldhouse at a tough juncture with Kansas coming off a loss. So you know the Jayhawks will be ready to throw down for a win here as they have not lost consecutive games this season.
Kanas MoneylineTo beat Cincinnati
NCAA Basketball Game Two Overview
Team Spotlight: North Carolina Tar Heels
As noted above, the Tar Heels enter this game with an undefeated record in conference play and are riding a fantastic winning streak. Moreover, like Kansas, North Carolina has yet to lose this season on their home court. Also like the Jayhawks, the Tar Heels feature another preseason player-of-the-year contender in forward Armando Bacot. The post-player averages 10.4 rebounds per game and has been instrumental in UNC dominating opponents at times this season. Moreover, another athlete to watch in this game is guard R.J. Davis who paces the team in points with 20.2 per contest.
Team Spotlight: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
On the other side of the court, at least to start the game, will be Wake Forest looking for a huge opportunity for an upset. Led by guard Hunter Sallis (17.7 ppg), the Demon Deacons have jumped out to a strong conference record in the ACC (5-2) which has bolstered their overall mark of 13-5. Moreover, with a NET ranking of 42, Wake Forest has put themselves in a position to secure an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament if they can keep up this pace. That said, their main weakness this season has been playing games on the road with an overall mark of 1-3. However, this could be an opportunity to change that narrative with a key upset over their Carolina rivals.
Prediction: Another fun Monday night game, take North Carolina to win in this one, in what should be a hard-fought contest.
North Carolina MoneylineTo beat Wake Forest
Even more notes and insights for your NCAAB bets
Once you are all dialed in regarding the latest news and notes coming from the world of college basketball, make sure to check out the wide variety of resources available to you at SBS. Of course, for even more information on the topic at hand, our NCAAB betting sites guide is a must-read resource where you can find information on the latest betting markets. Moreover, for those looking to maximize their wagers, the best bonus betting sites rundown is a fantastic resource. Here you can find tips for getting the most out of the promotions and also a catalog of different bonus offers. Finally, for those on the go, the best betting apps breakdown is a great guide for mobile betting sites and how you can stay on top of the action while you are out and about.
About the Author
As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.
Read Chris’s Profile
Ask Chris about this guide: