No. 2 Oklahoma at No. 1 Kansas
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Monday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT OKLAHOMA (12-0): In their fifth season under coach Lon Kruger, a Kansas native, the Sooners are unbeaten and tied for their best start in 28 years. Oklahoma ranks in the top 10 nationally in both scoring offense (87.0 points per game) and scoring margin (plus-19.5 points per game). The Sooners might also be the most experienced team in the Big 12. The foursome of senior Isaiah Cousins, senior Buddy Hield, senior Ryan Spangler and junior Jordan Woodard has started every game (80 total) during the last three seasons. Oklahoma opened the Big 12 with a home victory over No. 11 Iowa State, rallying from a 41-37 halftime deficit. But the Sooners haven’t won inside Allen Fieldhouse since Feb. 17. 1993. According to projections at KenPom.com, the Jayhawks are a six-point favorite on Monday night.
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (12-1): Monday night brings the fifth No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in Kansas basketball history. A brief lesson: KU is 0-4 all-time in such meetings. In the 1957 NCAA title game, No. 2 Kansas lost to No. 1 North Carolina in triple-overtime. In the 1986 Final Four, No. 2 KU lost to No. 1 Duke in Dallas. Four years later, three Big Eight teams took turns atop the poll. No. 1 Kansas lost to No. 2 Missouri at Allen Fieldhouse during conference play, while No. 2 KU lost to No. 1 Oklahoma in the 1990 Big Eight tourney. The Jayhawks will attempt to change that history tonight at Allen Fieldhouse. Just as important for Kansas: Holding serve at home in the Big 12 race. The Sooners are 12-0 and could be the biggest threat in the Jayhawks’ quest for a 12th straight Big 12 title. On Saturday, the Jayhawks rolled to a 102-74 victory over No. 23 Baylor. The Jayhawks hit 11 of 19 from three-point range and now rank second in the country in team three-point percentage (46 percent). Which team ranks third? Oklahoma at 45.3 percent.
Rustin Dodd, email@example.com