▪ WHEN/WHERE: 2:15 p.m. Saturday at the Sprint Center
▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (7-1): During a six-game winning streak, the Jayhawks have been a tough team to scout. “Teams don’t really know what we’re going to do, because we don’t really know what we’re going to come out and do sometimes,” sophomore guard Wayne Selden said. That’s most true on offense. The Jayhawks rank 10th in the country in offensive efficiency, but much of their success has come at the free-throw line. KU has made 171 free throws on the season, while its opponents have attempted just 151 free throws. The discrepancy has helped the Jayhawks win a cluster of tight games heading into Saturday. For the season, though, Kansas is shooting just 43.7 percent from inside the three-point line, which would be the worst mark of the Bill Self era. The Jayhawks usually thrive on inside scoring, and to this point, they have struggled to score over length. That could come into play against Utah freshman center Jakob Poeltl, a 7-footer from Austria.
▪ ABOUT UTAH (7-1): The Utes’ only meeting with Kansas also came in Kansas City, on Nov. 25, 1995, at Kemper Arena. The Jayhawks won 79-68 in a matchup that featured seven future NBA first-round picks, and the programs haven’t played since. For Utah, this will be the first time they’ve played a top-10 team while ranked in the top 15 since facing Kentucky in the 1998 NCAA championship game. The Utes have already proven they can beat a top-10 team, defeating then-No. 8 Wichita State at home Dec. 3. The Utes’ only loss came at then-No. 16 San Diego State on Nov. 18. Utah senior guard Delon Wright, whose brother, Dorell, plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, is on the watch list for the Wooden Award, given to the nation’s best player. The Utes are solid on both offense and defense, but not elite in either category. They rank 36th nationally in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com, while ranking 28th in defense.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org