3 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
KMCI (Ch. 38); KCSP (610 AM)
•ABOUT TCU (9-14, 0-11 Big 12):
The last time TCU faced Kansas, the Horned Frogs suffered a 91-69 loss in Fort Worth on Jan. 25. It hasn’t been much better since. TCU is winless in 11 Big 12 games, losing by an average of 16.5 points per contest. The Frogs have had some close ones; they lost just 59-54 to Texas at home, and they played within six points at Texas Tech. But mostly, TCU is the one bottom-feeder on the Big 12 schedule. TCU ranks 286th nationally in KenPom.com’s offensive efficiency metric, and just 142nd in defense. … This is TCU’s second trip to Lawrence since joining the Big 12. After pulling a stunning upset over Kansas last year in Fort Worth, TCU and coach Trent Johnson fell 74-48 at Allen Fieldhouse.
•ABOUT KANSAS (18-6, 9-2 Big 12):
After starting the Big 12 season with seven straight victories, Kansas is just 2-2 in its last four, dropping games at Texas and K-State. If there was a common theme in the losses, it’s a KU defense that didn’t make the opposing team play poorly. In the loss against K-State, the Wildcats had 14 dunks and layups in the second half and overtime. “We did not defend the rim worth a flip,” KU coach Bill Self said. “And we certainly allowed the ball to get in too tight off the bounce. I do think that you can get better doing it, but I also think there comes a point in time where it’s pride … just not allowing it to happen.” Many of those layups came with freshman center Joel Embiid on the bench, and Embiid won’t play Saturday as he recovers from knee and back issues. Senior forward Tarik Black will likely start in his place.
Kansas’ streak against unranked opponents at Allen Fieldhouse is up to 111 straight victories. Even with Embiid out, it will likely improve to 112.