Game 8: No. 20 Colorado at No. 2 Kansas – Preview and Prediction

The No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks return home to Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday evening, coming off a Maui Invitational Championship with wins over Chaminade, BYU and Dayton. The Jayhawks now welcome former Big 12 rival Colorado to Lawrence for a top-20 matchup.

  • Saturday, December 7, 2019, at 6:00 pm CDT
  • Allen Fieldhouse — Lawrence, Kansas
  • ESPN2 or ESPN App
  • KU is 3-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season and has a 24-game home court winning streak, which is third-longest active nationally behind Tennessee (30) and Gonzaga (27). VCU and Prairie View A&M are tied for fourth at 16.
  • Kansas has won 11-straight games against non-conference foes in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the 2017-18 season. KU is 125-5 (96.1 percent) versus non-league foes in Allen Fieldhouse in the Bill Self era.
  • No. 20/21 Colorado will be the second ranked team Kansas will play this season and the first in Allen Fieldhouse. KU has won its last seven games against ranked foes in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks are 44-6 (88.0 percent) versus ranked foes in Allen Fieldhouse in the Bill Self era
  • Kansas and Colorado were members of the same league from 1948 until 2011 as members of the Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 conferences.
  • In a series which dates back to 1931, Kansas is 123-40 all-time against Colorado, including 62-7 in Lawrence and 53-5 in Allen Fieldhouse.
  • Senior Udoka Azubuike leads the nation in field goal percentage at 79.7 percent. Azubuike also led the nation in 2017-18 at 77.0 percent.
  • Azubuike has a career 75.1 field goal percentage (335-for-446). The NCAA career record for field goal percentage (min. 400 attempts and four made per game) is 67.8 by Steve Johnson of Oregon State (1977-81).
  • Sophomore guard Devon Dotson leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.7 points per game. He is vying to be the second-straight Jayhawk and fifth overall to lead the Big 12 in scoring as Dedric Lawson averaged 19.4 ppg in 2018-19.

Colorado comes as one of the 16 undefeated teams in the country with key wins over Arizona State, UC-Irvine and Clemson, which was good enough to garner the No. 20 spot in the latest AP rankings. The Buffaloes look to do something they haven’t done in their last 29 tries and that’s win inside Allen Fieldhouse. In fact, Colorado hasn’t won in Lawrence since 1983, a span of 29 straight contests.

Buffaloes to Watch

Tyler Bey  – Junior, Forward, 6’7″
Bey has had a torrid start to the season, as he’s averaging 14.0 PPG and 11.9 RPG. The junior busted out last year, as he poured in 13.6 PPG and pulled down 9.9 RPG en route to First Team All-PAC 12 honors. Bey has added an outside element to his game this season, as he’s shooting 45.5 percent from three after shooting 22.7 percent a year ago.

McKinley Wright IV – Junior, Guard, 6’0”
We have ourselves another great matchup at the point guard spot with Wright IV and Devon Dotson of Kansas. Wright IV is a do-it-all guard who can score, rebound and assist. This season he’s averaging 12.4 PPG,  4.1 RPG and 3.7 APG. In Colorado’s win against Loyola Marymount on Wednesday, Wright scored 16 points, pulled down six boards and dished out five assists.

Prediction

Like with most teams, Kansas will be Colorado’s toughest opponent to date. They also get this misfortune of playing them in Allen Fieldhouse. CU hasn’t won in Lawrence in forever and on top of that, the Jayhawks rarely lose at home.

Because of that, and because I think KU is the better team, I’m going with Kansas. The Jayhawks looked like the team we all envisioned them being out in Maui last week. They’re scoring at an a high and efficient rate. The defense looked great. Colorado defends well, but I don’t know if they’ll be able to slow down the Jayhawks enough, especially in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas 84, Colorado 71
KU -9.5

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK (go to 63:00 mark of podcast)

Season Record: 6-1 (2-4 ATS)

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I'm from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I'm a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They'll always come No.1.