Sooners Look to Take Advantage of Struggling Jayhawks
The Kansas Jayhawks and the Oklahoma Sooners will meet at Lloyd Noble Center in Big-12 basketball action on Tuesday night. Many people across college basketball believe Kansas is overrated and on borrowed time pending the NCAA investigation into the shoe debacle with Adidas that has been bringing programs to its knees this past year.
TIME: 9 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN; LINE: Kansas 4; O/U: 135.5
Kansas’ extended streak of dominance over the Big 12 came to an end last season. The teams last game may be an early sign that a return to the top of the conference may be put on hold. The sixth-ranked Jayhawks look to bounce back from a rare home loss tonight. They return to Oklahoma for the first time since their 14-year streak of regular-season conference titles was officially snapped late last season.
Oklahoma never trailed after racing out to an early 16-point advantage and was never threatened thereafter en route to an 81-68 victory on March 5th. It was the penultimate game of the regular season for both squads last year. It marked the first time Kansas did not win at least a share of the Big-12 title since 2003-04.
The Jayhawks took another kick to the groin in Saturday’s 67-55 loss at home to No. 2 Baylor. It was an early showdown of the Big 12’s highest-ranked teams. The Bears got their first-ever win in Allen Fieldhouse in 18 tries. “We were without question the second-best team on the court today. (Baylor) controlled the game. …The difference in the game … we turned it over (14 times) and they would score 21 points off our turnovers and they turned it over (five times) and we score two points,” coach Bill Self said.
The Sooners fell short in their bid to start 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2013 on Saturday, dropping an 81-68 decision at Iowa State.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Kansas is 12–3 overall and 2-1 in Big-12 Conference play. Another key factor in the Jayhawks’ loss Saturday was the extended absence of the conference’s leading scorer, Devon Dotson. The play-maker is averaging 18.0 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. He missed a significant portion of the second half after suffering a hip pointer before the half. “He’s going to be sore. … He was hurting out there and there’s no question about that. (Fellow starting guard Marcus Garrett) hurt his ankle, so he wasn’t 100 percent. You need to have one of them in the game,” Self said.
Udoka Azubuike, who averages 12.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks, was limited to six points against Baylor but was still dominant in other areas. He grabbed at least 11 rebounds for the fifth time in seven games while rejecting a career-high seven shots.
Oklahoma is 12-4 on the season overall and 2-1 in Big-12 play. Forward Brady Manek, who averages 14.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, finished 5-of-6 from 3-dollar land to pace the Sooners. He ended with 17 points in Saturday’s loss. Manek has shot 53.8% beyond the arc while averaging 17.5 points and six boards in two career home games versus the Jayhawks. Forward Khristian Doolittle had 24 points and 11 rebounds in last spring’s victory over Kansas. He ranks third in the conference in scoring at 17.1 points and sixth in rebounding at 8.7 per game. This is despite managing just 14 points and five boards versus the Cyclones.
Austin Reaves is chipping in 15.9 points and 5.5 rebounds a game. He has been unable to shake his season-long slump from 3-point range and is shooting just 26.8%. The Big 12’s ninth-leading scorer is shooting 48.6 percent from the field over his last four outings, after firing at only 39% previously.
The Dart Throw: Oklahoma 69, Kansas 64
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Big-12 Basketball Trends
- Trend Over is 17-4 in Sooners last 21 games as a favorite of 13.0 or greater. Hit % 81.00% (21) O/U 17|4 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 6-2 in Sooners last 8 games as a home favorite. 75.00% (8) 2|6 0
- Under is 10-2 in Sooners last 12 games as a favorite of 7.0-12.5. 83.30% (12) 2|10 0
- Under is 9-2 in Sooners last 11 games as a home favorite of 7.0-12.5. 81.80% (11) 2|9 0
- Trend Under is 6-1 in Jayhawks last 7 games as a road favorite of 13.0 or greater. Hit % 85.70% (7) O/U 1|6 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 4-0 in Jayhawks last 4 games as a road favorite of 0.5-6.5. 100.00% (4) 0|4 0
- Under is 6-0 in Jayhawks last 6 games as a road favorite. 100.00% (6) 0|6 0
- Under is 5-0 in Jayhawks last 5 games as a favorite. 100.00% (5) 0|5 0
Kansas Jayhawks vs Oklahoma Sooners H2H Meeting Trends
- Trend Underdog is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings. Hit % 22.20% (9) O/U Push 0 W/L 2|7
Kansas at Texas Saturday, January 18
Oklahoma home to TCU Saturday, January 18