Frank Mason Bill Self Kansas
Head coach Bill Self and guard Frank Mason III, pictured at BOK Center on March 19, 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will lead Kansas against Purdue in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Getty Images

The new favorite in March Madness 2017 looks to take the next step towards winning the national championship Thursday night. No.1 Kansas takes on No.4 Purdue in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The Jayhawks and Boilermakers are scheduled to take the court at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri at 9:39 p.m. EDT, but the start time will likely be pushed back a few minutes. CBS will broadcast the game on TV and will have a free live stream, but not until the conclusion of No.7 Michigan vs. No.3 Oregon.

READ: Kansas is the new favorite to win college basketball's national title

The winners of the two games will meet in the Midwest Regional Final Saturday night, and Kansas appears on their way to reaching the Elite Eight. With two impressive victories in the first weekend of March Madness, they now have the best title odds of any team in college basketball.

According to the latest betting odds at OddsShark, Kansas is a five-point favorite and the game’s total is 155 points.

Kansas was just about any good as anyone in the regular season, going 28-3 with their 13th straight Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks were upset by TCU in their first Big 12 Tournament game, but the team has certainly not been affected by the loss.

A blowout win over No.16 UC Davis was expected, but they were even more impressive against No.9 Michigan State than they were in their 38-point first-round victory. The Jayhawks defeated the Spartans by 20 points in the Round of 32, cruising to a matchup with the Boilermakers.

Purdue’s path to the NCAA Tournament wasn’t all that different than that of Kansas. They suffered six losses in the regular season on their way to a Big Ten Championship, and an upset in their first conference tournament game prevented them from getting higher than a No.4 seed. Purdue’s first weekend of the Big Dance, however, was far from an easy one.

No.13 Vermont gave them a battle in the first round as the Boilermakers turned a one-point halftime lead into an 80-70 victory. In the second round, Purdue found themselves down in the final minutes after blowing a 19-point lead over Iowa State, but they made key plays down the stretch to advance with a four-point win.

Caleb Swanigan has led Purdue in the tournament as he has all year. The big man is a double-double machine, leading the NCAA with at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in 28 of the team’s 34 games. He’s posted a 20-20 on four different occasions, and the Boilermakers need him to be at his best in order to upset the Jayhawks.

Swanigan has gotten help during March Madness, and junior forward Vince Edwards scored 21 points in each tournament game. Purdue, however, will be hard-pressed to defeat an immensely talented Kansas team.

The Jayhawks are led by Josh Jackson, who could be among the first five players selected in the 2017 NBA Draft. He’s only improved his draft stock in the tournament, totaling 40 points on 60.7 percent shooting from the field.

Frank Mason III won’t be a high draft pick, but he’s as good of a college basketball player as they come. The senior guard has gotten at least 20 points and four assists in eight of his last nine games, giving Kansas an offense that can put up a lot of points quickly.

Purdue should put up a fight, but Kansas might just be too good when it’s all said and done.

Prediction: Kansas over Purdue, 88-80