- When: Saturday, 4:30 PM ET
- Where: Allen Fieldhouse
- TV: CBS
- Stream: CBS Sports app
- Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Kansas will be favored)
Kansas won both games vs. OU last year fairly easily. The most recent was in Lawrence and the Jayhawks prevailed 87-70. Marcus Garrett finished with a career-best 24 points, added seven assists, five rebounds and four steals – Garrett is still one of KU’s best players but known more for defense. Garrett knocked down a trio of first-half 3-pointers, including one that capped a 17-5 surge over the final 8 minutes and gave Kansas a 41-32 lead at the break. Kansas kept its momentum going with a 12-2 run to start the second half. Kristian Doolittle had 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead Oklahoma.Why Bet on Oklahoma? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis
The Sooners (6-3) are off a 76-61 loss at No. 2 Baylor on Wednesday. OU would fall down 16-2 to open the game and then allowed a 14-2 run at the end of the first half.
“Obviously got off to a horrible start. … They made a bunch of shots and obviously we weren’t getting into them enough to make those shots more difficult,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “Definitely disappointed by the way we finished the first half.”
Sooners junior guard Umoja Gibson, who is from Waco, was coming off a 29-point game against West Virginia when he was 8-of-11 on 3-pointers. Back at home, all five of his points came on free throws while going 0-for-7 shooting, four of those 3-pointers.
Brady Manek, in his 100th career start for Oklahoma, had all 10 of his points after halftime. He was 0-for-4 shooting in the first half when he took a hard fall onto his lower back that left him on the floor for several minutes. Manek collided with a Baylor offensive player and was called for a blocking foul with 15:41 remaining in the first half. The 6-foot-9 forward also had blood coming from his mouth.
Manek is averaging 13.6 points per game this season, but has struggled lately, scoring just 9 points in his past two games combined. A staple of Lon Kruger’s teams the last four seasons, Manek will be the 16th player since 1980 to start in 100 games for Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma’s eight games this season, three different Sooners have reached at least 29 points in a game. Manek produced 29 points against UTSA (Dec. 3), Austin Reaves scored 32 at TCU (Dec. 6) and then Gibson’s 29 last Saturday vs. West Virginia.
Saturday will be just the third time in program history that Oklahoma has played four straight regular-season games against ranked opponents (most recently in 2015). This stretch is the first time that the Sooners have ever faced four straight top-15 foes. Oklahoma is facing three straight top-10 teams for just the second time in program history. The only other occurrence took place in the 1957-58 season (No. 8 Oklahoma State, No. 1 Kansas State and No. 7 Kansas).Why Bet on Kansas? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis
Kansas (9-2) won easily at TCU on Tuesday, 93-64, to match their own Big 12 record by winning their 11th consecutive conference road game. It came only three days after a 25-point home loss to Texas that matched the most lopsided win by an opponent in the 65-year history of Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas shot 64% (18-of-28) from the field in the first half, including 60% (6-of-10) from beyond the arc. The Jayhawks outscored the Horned Frogs, 49-35, in the first half, the most points scored by KU in the first half this season. The game was over at that point.
Overall, KU shot a season-best 56.4% (35-of-62) from the field including 40% (8-of-20) from beyond the arc. The Jayhawks previous best shooting performance this season came against Gonzaga on November 26, when KU shot 53.2% (33-of-62) from the floor.
Kansas was led by a season-high 20 points from David McCormack, as the Jayhawks had the hot hand with five players in double-figures. The others were), Ochai Agbaji (19), Jalen Wilson (16), Tristan Enaruna (12) and Christian Braun (10).
McCormack connected on a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line on Tuesday, extended his consecutive free throw streak to 20 straight made free throws. McCormack’s last miss came against Creighton on December 8, 2020.
Star Marcus Garrett, the reigning National and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year didn’t play in the game, still dealing with symptoms after taking an elbow to the head while going for a rebound against Texas in the previous game. Freshman DaJuan Harris Jr. made his first start at point guard, scoring seven points with seven assists and only one turnover in 27 minutes. There’s a good chance Garrett plays Saturday.
Kansas improved to 9-2 or better for the seventh-straight season beginning in 2014-15. Kansas has five-straight wins following a loss, including 2-0 this season, and 98-13 following a loss in the Bill Self era.Expert Prediction
- Kansas 77, Oklahoma 68
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