Texas at No. 8 Kansas
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 4 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
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▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (22-6, 11-4 Big 12): Kansas is honoring 60 years of Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, and the celebration will include throwback-styled jerseys that harken back to the uniforms worn in the late 1980s. ESPN’s “College GameDay” program also will be in Lawrence on Saturday afternoon, broadcasting from Allen Fieldhouse starting at 3 p.m. On the court, Kansas will be trying to bounce back after Monday’s loss at Kansas State. The Jayhawks can clinch a share of the Big 12 title with home victories over Texas and West Virginia (on Tuesday), but the first step comes on Saturday. The Jayhawks have won 22 straight inside Allen Fieldhouse, including a perfect 14-0 mark this season. Freshman forward Cliff Alexander led the Jayhawks with 15 points and nine rebounds in a 75-62 victory over Texas on Jan. 24. Alexander, though, has been in double figures just once in Kansas’ last nine games. The Jayhawks, meanwhile, are 24-8 all-time against Texas and have won seven of eight in the series. The Jayhawks are also 10-1 against Texas inside Allen Fieldhouse.
▪ ABOUT TEXAS (17-11, 6-9 Big 12): The Longhorns have lost three straight and sit squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble as they enter a final three-game stretch. After Saturday’s trip to Allen Fieldhouse, Texas will finish the season with home games against Baylor and K-State. But for the moment, something hasn’t clicked for Texas and and head coach Rick Barnes. When the season began, it was thought that the Longhorns could pose the most dangerous threat to end Kansas’ Big 12 streak. But the Longhorns are just 3-7 in their last 10, falling out of the race with a four-game skid that began in late January. The advanced metrics are kind to Texas. The Longhorns entered the weekend 21st in KenPom.com’s efficiency ratings, with an offense and defense that rank among the top 40 in the country. But it hasn’t translated to wins. Freshman center Myles Turner, who is still coming off the bench, had 25 points and 12 rebounds in a victory over Texas Tech on Feb. 14. But he’s averaged just 6.5 points in the Longhorns’ last two games — losses to Iowa State and West Virginia. To salvage its season and earn an NCAA Tournament bid, Texas likely will need two victories in its last three games — at least. But a victory in Allen Fieldhouse would go a long way. “They’re playing well,” Self said. “They’ll be hungry playing us for high stakes on Saturday.”