Bear Trap: Kansas Better Not Overlook Belmont Tuesday Night

Nick UremovichContributor IDecember 26, 2009

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 19:  Xavier Henry #1 of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts during the game against the Michigan Wolverines on December 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Bill Self is earning his paycheck.  That's not a surprise, and niether is the Jayhawk's 13-0 record thus far, considering the explosion of freshman phenom guard Xavier Henry and the leadership of senior Sherron Collins. 

But don't be surprised when you turn on the tv tuesday night and see the Jayhawks in a rough spot against a team you may, or probably may not have heard of.

Kansas' matchup with Belmont isn't as lopsided as it may look.  As a matter of fact, it will be one of the more evenly matched games they have played so far in the non-conference season. 

Belmont, practicially the annual Atlantic Sun champion as of recently, might not have the 5 star recruits, 9,000 capacity stadium, or bi-weekly television exposure that the Jayhawks have. But there is one thing that the Bruins share with KU: intensity.

Remember two seasons ago, when Duke had to scrape out a victory against that one no-name team?

Yeah, that was Belmont.

While Kansas has far more weapons, and an obvious coaching advantage, expect the Bruins to take advantage of any mistakes the Jayhawks might make.  If the Jayhawks aren't careful with the turnovers they tend to make in transition, Belmont will eat those up, and probably cash those in. 

Belmont will need more than intensity to make this game reasonably close, though.  Forward Mick Hedgepeth will need a big game, and they will have to find someone to at least stick with Xavier Henry.  That hasn't been easy to do.

Now even though I think Belmont will compete, I'm not crazy.

I think Kansas wins, by at least 15. Henry, Collins, and Aldrich will be too much for the Bruins. However, if Kansas seems content with thier previous victories, or if they are looking ahead to thier January 2nd game against Temple, Belmont might trap the Jayhawks.