No. 18 Oklahoma at No. 9 Kansas
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT OKLAHOMA (12-5, 3-2 Big 12): The Sooners were expected to contend for the Big 12 title after returning Hield and adding transfer Thomas (formerly of Houston) to a veteran rotation. Oklahoma had an early slip-up in league play, falling at home to Kansas State. But the Sooners looked dangerous in a 17-point victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Kansas coach Bill Self complimented Oklahoma’s offense, but the Sooners, led by coach Lon Kruger, actually grade out better defensively, according to advanced metrics. Oklahoma ranks fifth nationally in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. The Sooners hold opponents to 41 percent shooting inside the three-point line. Hield, meanwhile, has been on a tear offensively, scoring at least 20 points in four of the team's five Big 12 games.
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (14-3, 3-1 Big 12): Saturday’s loss at Iowa State wasn’t all bad for Kansas. Ellis appeared to break out of an offensive funk, finishing with 19 points and 11 rebounds on the road. Now he will try to equal the feat against one of the Big 12’s better defenses. Mason, who experienced cramps at Iowa State, should be fine for Monday’s game. Mason has scored in double figures in 14 straight games and had 21 points at Iowa State. After Saturday, Kansas enters Monday ranked 39th in the country in defensive efficiency. The Jayhawks’ offense currently ranks 24th.
Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 20-5 against Oklahoma, which includes an 18-3 mark in regular-season play and a 13-2 mark under Bill Self.
| Rustin Dodd, email@example.com