Game 32: (8) Oklahoma State vs. (1) Kansas – Preview and Prediction

The No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks begin their run in March on Thursday afternoon as they open up Big 12 Championship play against Oklahoma State. OSU took down Iowa State on Wednesday night to advance. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Big 12 Championship will be played in front of no fans.

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020, 2:00 pm CDT
  • Sprint Center (In front of NO ONE!)— Kansas City, Mo.
  • ESPN2
  • Kansas is the No. 1 seed for the Big 12 Championship for the 16th time, including the 11th time in the last 12 years. KU was the No. 3 seed last year
  • KU is 31-7 as the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Championship and has won the title eight times as the tournament’s top seed.
  • Kansas has won 15 postseason conference tourney titles and 11 in the Big 12 era. KU (11), ISU (5), OU (3) and OSU (2) are active league members with Big 12 tournament titles.
  • Since the Big 12’s inception in 1996-97, Kansas is 46-12 in the league tournament. KU is 1-0 in opening round games, 20-3 in the quarterfinals, 14-6 in semifinals and 11-3 in finals.
  • KU won its NCAA-leading 62nd overall and Big 12-leading 19th conference regular-season title. The Jayhawks have won 15 of the last 16 league titles.
  • KU went 17-1 in Big 12 play and is the first team in Big 12 history to win 17 league games. KU also became the first team to go undefeated on the road in league play (9-0) under the current double round robin format (began in 2012-13).
  • Kansas’ 16-game winning streak is the third-longest nationally. It is also the tied for the fifth-longest in the Bill Self era (since 2003-04).
  • KU is No. 1 in the NET rankings as of March 9 games. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is also No. 1. Kansas is the only school with 12 Quadrant 1 wins. KU’s 20 Q1 and Q2 combined wins are also more than any other school.
  • Dotson and Azubuike are two of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, among the 15 on the Wooden Award National Ballot and members of the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List. Junior Marcus Garrett is one of 10 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalists

Red Raiders 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.

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

Well, due to the coronavirus, Kansas will not have the home court advantage we thought they would have, but that won’t stop me from picking the Jayhawks. Kansas has a great record in the Big 12 Championship and at the Sprint Center. KU has used excellent defense and dominant interior offense to blow Oklahoma State twice already this year, and I don’t expect anything different on Thursday afternoon. Give me Udoka Azubuike to have a huge day and to kick start his run in March. Jayhawks in a rout.

Kansas 77, Oklahoma State 61
KU -11.5

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK

Season Record: 28-3 (18-13 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.