Austin Peavy's storybook run to end vs. KU?

Austin Peay's storybook year to end vs. KU?

Austin Peay understands the seemingly insurmountable odds it faces entering today’s 4 p.m. ET battle with the No. 1 overall seed in the men's NCAA tournament. Still, those in no way detract from an already memorable March.

In mid-February, the Governors sat at 12-17. Then Dave Loos’ squad prevailed in four consecutive games in the Ohio Valley Conference tourney as the eighth seed.

Online sports book Bovada.lv expects the magic to run out vs. the Jayhawks (30-4), who average 81.6 points per contest and haven’t faltered since Jan. 25. KU opened as a 26-point favorite in this South Region showdown.

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The Austin Peay faithful, though, will steadfastly maintain that substance powers the Clarksville-based school’s operation. Six-foot-8 forward Chris Horton certainly objects to any talk surrounding smoke and mirrors. He provides some of the best rebounding in the nation, and can step out and make a series of baseline jumpers.

Kansas would be wise to attack Horton early and often, inviting him to deal with foul trouble. Even considering the senior’s combination of tenacity and scoring proficiency, the Governors rank among the worst defensive units in DI hoops.

Give the Jayhawks’ slew of underclassmen that inch, and they’ll assuredly take the mile. Head coach Bill Self has captured nine straight Big Dance openers. Prepare for double digits, as well as a round-of-32 tussle with either Colorado or Connecticut.

THURSDAY NCAA FREE PICK: KANSAS -26

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