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ESPN's Surprising New Kansas Basketball Prediction

Kansas coach Bill Self clapping with Devonte' Graham by his side.

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 06: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks watches the scoreboard as he is honored for his 600th win following the game against the UMKC Kangaroos at Allen Fieldhouse on December 6, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. The jayhawks defeated the Kangaroos with a final score of 105-62. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

At 15-2, and 4-1 in the Big 12 with a loss to Iowa State, Kansas basketball sits a game back in conference play.

Obviously it is extremely early in the conference season, as teams have played just four or five games thus far.

KU has won the league's regular season title 14 years in a row.

While this Kansas team has some clear things to overcome, including serious free throw line struggles and a season-ending injury to big man Udoka Azubuike, you won't find many people brave enough to pick against them this early in the year.

Still, the Jayhawks have a serious challenger at the top this year.

Texas Tech, currently 15-1 and 4-0 in league play, is ranked one spot behind KU in both the AP and Coaches Polls.

The Red Raiders' only loss was a tough fought game at Madison Square Garden against Duke.

Right now, ESPN's Basketball Power Index gives Texas Tech a much higher chance to win the Big 12 then Kansas basketball.

Chris Beard's team sits at 70.6-percent to win the league, vs. just 37-percent for Kansas. No other team is higher than 7.1-percent.

ESPN's Big 12 Basketball Power Index has Texas Tech ahead of Kansas.

ESPN

BPI has Texas Tech No. 9 overall, and No. 1 in defense. Kansas is No. 10.

The two teams play in Lawrence on February 2, and Lubbock on February 23.

[ESPN]