Oklahoma basketball: Sooners looking to curb three-decade losing streak at Allen Fieldhouse


Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire --such is life in war zone known as Big 12 basketball this season -- that's the predicament the Oklahoma basketball men face on Saturday when they go up against No. 3 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence in the second of back-to-back road games this week.

Allen Fieldhouse, one of the grand old arenas in college basketball, has been a house of horrors for Oklahoma basketball. The Sooners all-time record playing on the road at Kansas is an underwhelming 81-16.

OU's last win at Allen Fieldhouse was 31 years ago, in 1993. No one on the current Sooner roster was born yet. Bill Clinton was in his first year as president and the movie "Groundhog Day" was No. 1 at the boxoffice.

Terry Evans was a senior on that 1993 Sooner team, Jeff Webster a junior, and recently deceased Ryan Minor was in his first Oklahoma season. The Sooners were 14-points underdogs to 6th-ranked Kansas in the 1993 game but came away with an 80-76 upset victory behind a 26-point performance by Evans, who sank 6 of 10 three-pointers, and 13 points from Webster. Evans was the Big Eight career leader in made three-pointers and the Oklahoma career leader in that category until Buddy Hield eclipsed him.

Oklahoma has come very close over the years to defeating the Jayhawks on their home floor, including two- and four-point losses in two of the last three visits to Allen Fieldhouse. Perhaps one of the best games in the recent history of the series was in 2016. Kansas survived three overtimes and a 46-point performance by Buddy Hield in winning 109-106. That Sooner team got the last laugh over the Big 12 champion Jayhawks, however, advancing all the way to the Final Four.

The Sooners (13-2, 1-1)) are ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press poll but are coming off an 80-71 loss at TCU earlier in the week. The Jayhawks didn't fare much better this week, falling 65-60 against unranked Big 12 newcomer UCF. That sets up a top-10 matchup between two teams that want to avoid consecutive losses in the same week.

The last time both Oklahoma and Kansas were ranked when playing each other was in the second game in the 2016 series. The No. 6 Jayhawks won that game 76-72 over No. 3 OU in Norman.

Saturday's game will not be televised on commercial or cable TV but will be available for streaming on ESPN+ or Fubo TV. Mark Neely will do the play-by-play on ESPN+ with Tim Welsh providing analysis.

Statistical comparison

Oklahoma Kansas

Scoring offense 81.0 78.5

Scoring defense 64.3 66.3

FG percentage 49.5 50.7

3-point percentage 35.3 36.7

Rebounding margin 7.7 6.2

Turnover margin 0.27 -0.80

Key players


Javian McCollum: 14,9 ppg, 45.3 FG percentage, 39.8 3-pt percentage, 2.8 rpg, 4.0 apg

Otega Oweh: 14.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg

John Hugely IV: 9.5 ppg, 59.5 FG percentage, 4.7 rpg

Jalon Moore: 9.3 ppg, 54.8 FG percentage, 5.3 rpg

Sam Godwin: 8.2 ppg, , 70.0 FG percentage, 5.8 rpg


Kevin McCullar Jr.: 19.8 ppg, 48.5 FG percentage, 38.1 3-pt percentage, 6.5 rpg

Hunter Dickinson: 18.9 ppg, 60.7 FG percentage, 11.9 rpg

KJ Adams: 12.4 ppg, 63.7 FG percentage, 4.8 rpg

Dejuan Harris: 6.9 ppg, 40.7 FG percentage, 44.1 3-pt percentage, 7.0 apg


As much as I, like all Sooner fans, would like to see Oklahoma win at Kansas on Saturday in what will most likely be its final visit to Allen Fieldhouse, it will be an environment the likes of which most of the Sooner roster have never encountered. I think the hurdle is too high. The only way for OU to pull off the upset is to get off to a great start and play together for a full 40 minutes. Kansas wins, but by single digits.