Game 28: Oklahoma State at No. 1 Kansas – Preview and Prediction

The No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks return home to Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night on the heels of a mammoth road victory at Baylor on Saturday. The win put the Jayhawks right back atop the standings in the quest for a Big 12 title. They now turn their attention to Oklahoma State, who after a rough start to Big 12 play, have won four of its last six.

  • Monday, February 24, 2020, 8:00 pm CDT
  • Allen Fieldhouse — Lawrence, Kansas
  • ESPN or the ESPN app
  • With its 64-61 win at No. 1 Baylor on Feb. 22, Kansas (24-3, 13-1) has moved into a tie for the Big 12 race with the Bears in the conference standings with four games remaining.
  • The Kansas-Oklahoma State contest will be the fourth of four ESPN Big Monday games for KU this season. Since 1996-97, Kansas is 72-18 on ESPN Big Monday (42-1 at home). KU has won 17 straight Big Monday contests and 35 consecutive at Allen Fieldhouse dating back to 2002.
  • Bill Self is 30-0 at home on Big Monday in his Kansas career.
  • KU has moved into No. 1 in the NET rankings as of Feb. 22 games. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is also No. 1. Kansas is the only school with 11 Quadrant 1 wins, currently at 11-3 against Q1 opponents this season.
  • Kansas ranks in the top-10 nationally in field goal percentage defense (fourth at 37.5%), scoring margin (sixth at +14.4), scoring defense (seventh at 60.7) and field goal percentage (ninth at 48.9%).
  • KU players lead the Big 12 in six stats: Azubuike (FG%, rebounding, doubledoubles), Dotson (scoring, FTs made), and Garrett (assist-to-turnover ratio).
  •  Senior Udoka Azubuike is one of 33 players in NCAA DI and the only player in the Big 12 averaging a double-double (13.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg).
  • Azubuike is two points from scoring the 1,000th in his career. He will be the sixth Jayhawk to post 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 150 blocks in a career.
  • Junior Marcus Garrett has 21 steals in his last six games. Garrett leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 2.7:1 mark this season. He is also averaging a league-leading 5.3 assists in Big 12 play

Cowboys to Watch

Cameron McGriff – 6’7″ senior power forward
McGriff is the athletic power forward that can do a bit of everything. His versatility enables him to step out and make threes, but he’s also the best rebounder on the roster. Marcus Garrett will likely draw this assignment with KU forced to play four guards the whole game.

Thomas Dzaigwa – 6’4″ senior guard
Designed in a lab with the specific purpose of burning KU with three-pointers, Dzaigwa is the stereotypical quick-firing, high-volume three-point shooter that we’ve seen burn the Jayhawks for decades now. He’s the best three-point shooter in the conference, and if he’s on, Bill Self will have to totally switch up his defense to get Agbaji or Garrett on him, which could lead to some plus-matchups for the Cowboys in other spots.

Prediction

I have the Jayhawks winning big on Big Monday. There could be a little concern for a letdown or a slow start after such a big win, but ultimately in the end there is too much Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson for the Cowboys to handle.

Think of it like the Texas game back earlier this month. Kansas was coming off a big win over Texas Tech and started slow, only leading the Longhorsn by two with 10 minutes left. Eventually, talent won out, and the bad teams in this conference are so remarkably inferior to KU (and Baylor), that it feels inevitable that they’ll pull away based on sheer talent alone. It may take a bit to pull into a big lead, but I think the Jayhawks take down the Cowboys by plenty and march one step closer to a Big 12 title.

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Kansas 83, Oklahoma State 66
KU -14.5

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Season Record: 24-3 (17-10 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.