Campus Corner

Breaking down KU’s basketball schedule

KU’s Wayne Selden, who scored 33 points, dunked over Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere during the second half of the Jayhawks’ 90-84 overtime win over Kentucky last season at Allen Fieldhouse. The teams meet again this season in Lexington.
KU’s Wayne Selden, who scored 33 points, dunked over Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere during the second half of the Jayhawks’ 90-84 overtime win over Kentucky last season at Allen Fieldhouse. The teams meet again this season in Lexington. rsugg@kcstar.com

The Kansas men’s basketball team’s full schedule was released by the Big 12 on Thursday afternoon.

Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights:

Toughest stretch: First two games

KU hasn’t started a season 0-2 since 1972, but there’s at least a possibility that happens this year. The Jayhawks open with Indiana (preseason No. 11, according to ESPN.com’s early rankings) on Nov. 11 in Honolulu, before flying nearly 5,000 miles to face No. 1 Duke in the Champions Classic in New York. Even as a likely top-five team, KU would probably be happy to escape this stretch 1-1.

Biggest break: Opening of conference play

In recent years, it seems KU often has been able to ease into conference play without too many challenging games at the start. That certainly is the case this season, as the Jayhawks open at TCU before home games against Kansas State and Texas Tech. KU should be heavy favorites in all three and should begin the quest for its 13th consecutive regular-season title from the top of the standings.

Best nonconference game: KU at Kentucky, Jan. 28

Tough pick here — one could certainly argue for KU vs. Duke in the Champions Classic — but KU playing Kentucky in the Wildcats’ home gym with the John Calipari-Bill Self rivalry gives it an extra boost. KU needed overtime to beat Kentucky at Allen Fieldhouse last year, and you can be sure Wildcats fans will be ready for the Jayhawks’ first trip back to Lexington since 2005.

Best conference game: KU at West Virginia, Jan. 24

West Virginia is likely to be the Jayhawks’ biggest threat in the Big 12, and the Jayhawks haven’t performed well in recent years at WVU Coliseum, losing their last three games there while putting an extra $75,000 in coach Bob Huggins’ pocket. This also comes at a tricky time in the schedule, as it’s only four days before KU’s road game at Kentucky.

Best homecoming: KU vs. Stanford, Dec. 3

First-year Stanford coach Jerod Haase was a beloved player at KU from 1993-97, and he should receive an extended ovation during his return to Allen Fieldhouse. A related question: Will “Floor Burns” receive a spike in sales after the game?

Toughest turnaround: Feb. 11 at Texas Tech; Feb. 13 vs. West Virginia

Saturday/Big Monday transitions are tough enough, but this combination of travel and opponent could result in a sluggish Jayhawks team Monday. Not only does KU have a long flight back from Lubbock, Texas, but the Jayhawks also will have to face West Virginia’s pressing defense without much time to prepare or rest.

Jesse Newell: 816-234-4759, @jessenewell

2016-17 KU men’s basketball schedule

 
DateOpponentTimeTV
Nov. 1WASHBURN (exh.)7 p.m.TWC
Nov. 6EMPORIA STATE (exh.)7 p.m.TWC
Nov. 11vs. Indiana*8 p.m.ESPN
Nov. 15vs. Duke**8 p.m.ESPN
Nov. 18SIENA7 p.m.TWC
Nov. 21vs. Alabama-Birmingham***8:30 p.m.ESPN2
Nov. 22vs. Georgia or George Washington***6:30 or 9 p.m.ESPN2 or 3
Nov. 25UNC ASHEVILLE7 p.m.TWC
Nov. 29LONG BEACH STATE7 p.m.TWC
Dec. 3STANFORD2:30 p.m.ESPN
Dec. 6UMKC7 p.m.TWC
Dec. 10NEBRASKA2:15 p.m.ESPN
Dec. 17vs. Davidson#6 p.m.ESPN2
Dec. 22at UNLV9:30 p.m.CBSS
Dec. 30at TCU8 p.m.ESPN2
Jan. 3KANSAS STATE8 p.m.ESPN2
Jan. 7TEXAS TECH6:15 p.m.ESPN2
Jan. 10at Oklahoma8 p.m.ESPN2
Jan. 14OKLAHOMA STATE1 p.m.ESPN or 2
Jan. 16at Iowa State8 p.m.ESPN
Jan. 21TEXAS1 p.m.CBS
Jan. 24at West Virginia6 p.m.ESPN2
Jan. 28at Kentucky^5 p.m.ESPN
Feb. 1BAYLOR8 p.m.ESPN2
Feb. 4IOWA STATE5 or 7 p.m.ESPN or 2
Feb. 6at Kansas State8 p.m.ESPN
Feb. 11at Texas Tech1 p.m.ESPN or 2
Feb. 13WEST VIRGINIA8 p.m.ESPN
Feb. 18at BaylorNoonCBS
Feb. 22TCU6 p.m.ESPN2
Feb. 25at Texas5 or 7 p.m.ESPN or 2
Feb. 27OKLAHOMA8 p.m.ESPN
March 4at Oklahoma State5 p.m.ESPN

All times Central; Home games in CAPS at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence

Notes: *Armed Forces Classic in Honolulu; **Champions Classic in New York; ***CBE Hall of Fame Classic at the Sprint Center; #Jayhawk Shootout at the Sprint Center; ^SEC/Big 12 Challenge

Television key: TWC (Time Warner Cable SportsChannel or ESPN3 outside KC area/Kansas); CBSS (CBS Sports Network)

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