Two of the Big 12′s best take center stage for ESPN’s Big Monday. The eighth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks and the 20-7 Oklahoma Sooners are looking for one more quality win to boast on their tournament resumés.
With nearly identical regular season records, KU has been the team getting it done in conference play while OU has dropped a few more than they probably should have.
Regardless, Big Monday is in for a treat.
Oklahoma was beat on the road by the Kansas State Wildcats earlier in the season, but Lon Kruger’s team has yet to lose to anyone twice this season. OU’s rematch with K-State this past Saturday went just as well as Oklahoma could hope for in a rout of the Wildcats in Norman.
Kansas, on the other hand, is riding a three game win streak after their overtime loss to the Wildcats exactly two weeks ago.
The Jayhawks have not been as potent on offense as the Sooners have this season, but they have shot the ball much better, ranking second in field goal percentage in the country.
OU will definitely need to find a way to stop Kansas’ scorers, which will be a difficult on KU’s home floor.
Kansas has only lost one home game this season (zero in conference play), but as mentioned, Oklahoma has yet to lose any team twice all year.
This a team that should know what to expect out of the Jayhawks, who needed to score 90 to overcome OU’s 83 points in their first meeting of the season.
Much of the focus for Oklahoma on defense will be how to stop Andrew Wiggins. OU held Wiggins to nine points on 2-9 shooting in the first meeting, but he’s been carrying much of KU’s offensive load as of late.
Wiggins, one of the NBA’s top draft prospects, has scored in double figures in all of Kansas’ February games, minus one game in a loss to the Texas Longhorns.
Oklahoma’s focus will definitely be geared toward stopping another big game out of Wayne Seldon, Jr., who put in 24 points against the Sooners.
The perimeter will be an area the team has to watch closely, as they do not want to be shot out of the gym.
A road win over Kansas would basically solidify OU’s place in the NCAA tournament, which has not been as much a guarantee with Oklahoma dropping games to the likes of Texas Tech at home and losses at West Virginia and Iowa State.
Oklahoma likely gets in at the 6-10 seed range, but a win over Kansas could really boost their stock with the selection committee so close to tournament time.
After their win over Kansas State, OU should be feeling decent about their road trip. Everyone was on point Saturday, and this is a team with a chance to shock the country on national television.
The game is set for an 8 p.m. CST tip-off on ESPN. It’s one you won’t want to miss.