The Big 12 regular season championship streak is over, but the Kansas Jayhawks can win a different kind of Big 12 title this week in Kansas City. The Jayhawks have won two of the last three Big 12 Tournament titles 11 of 22 overall. They open up tournament play with the Texas Longhorns, a team they split with in the regular season.
Game Info and Notes:
- Thursday, March 14th, 2019, 8:30 PM CT
- Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
- ESPN2 or WatchESPN App
- Kansas is the No. 3 seed for the Big 12 Championship for the third time, with the others being in 1999 and 2004. Kansas won the 1999 Big 12 Championship behind Most Outstanding Player Jeff Boshee. In 2004, the Jayhawks lost to Texas in the Big 12 semifinal. This year ended a 10-year run as No. 1 seed for KU
- Kansas is defending Big 12 tournament champion and has won 15 conference postseason tourney titles and 11 in the Big 12 era which began in 1996-97. Kansas (11), Iowa State (4), Oklahoma (3) and Oklahoma State (2) are active league members with Big 12 tourney titles.
- Since the Big 12’s inception in 1996-97, Kansas 44-11 in the league tournament. KU is 20-3 in its first games, 1-0 in opening-round games, 19-3 in the quarterfinals, 13-6 in semifinals and 11-2 in finals.
- Three Jayhawks – Dedric Lawson, Devon Dotson and Marcus Garrett – earned Big 12 postseason awards announced March 10. Lawson was a unanimous selection for All-Big 12 First Team, the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and unanimous selection for the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. Dotson was All-Big 12 Third Team and a member of the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Garrett was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team
About the Longhorns
Texas’ up and down season has continued to be just that. Currently they’re in a down swing, as they’ve lost four of their last five games. The Jayhawks split the season series with Texas, as the home team won each meeting. Shaka Smart might need a strong showing from his team in order to make the NCAA Tournament and keep his job, as Texas already has 15 losses on the year.
Longhorns to Watch
Kerwin Roach II – Senior, Guard, 6’4″
The highflyer is having his best season to date. He leads the ‘Horns in scoring at 15.0 PPG. Roach hasn’t played February 16th due to a suspension, but he will be back for the Jayhawks because… of course. This season, Roach is averaging 14.5 PPG against the Kansas.
Jaxson Hayes – Freshman, Forward, 6’11″
Nothing against Hayes because he’s going to be a really good player in the league, but he might be the most unremarkable Freshman of the Year in recent memory when it comes to numbers. The freshman forward is averaging just 10.3 PPG and 5.1 RPG this season. KU held him in check in the meeting at Allen Fieldhouse, but Hayes went for 13 pts and 9 boards in the contest in Austin.
Kansas 74 – Texas 66
I’m going with the Jayhawks in this one. For no good reason at all, I have a good gut feeling about KU in this Big 12 Tournament, which is weird because I never feel great about the Jayhawks in this event.
I don’t think you’re going to see the most inspired Texas team in the world, as their NCAA Tournament hopes are slim and their head coach very well could be on his way out the door.
Dedric Lawson has ripped off four straight double-doubles and arguably should have been Big 12 Player of the Year. Look for him to have a big game for the Jayhawks.