Game 25: Oklahoma at No. 3 Kansas – Preview and Prediction

  • Saturday, February 15, 2020, 11:00 am
  • Allen Fieldhouse – Lawrence, KS
  • ESPN
  • 11 games into the 2020 Big 12 season, Kansas sits alone in second place at 10-1 in the league standings, one game behind Baylor (11-0). Oklahoma sits in a tie with West Virginia in fourth place at 6-5.
  • Kansas has won at least 10 conference games in 26 consecutive seasons, a streak which started in 1995. It is the longest active streak in the nation.
  • Kansas is 21-5 against Oklahoma in the Bill Self era, including a perfect 13-0 at home. The last time the Sooners won at Allen Fieldhouse was the final year of the Roy Williams era.
  • Kansas players lead the Big 12 in six stats: Udoka Azubuike (FG%, rebounding, double-doubles), Devon Dotson (scoring, FTs made), and Marcus Garrett (assist-to-turnover ratio).

Sooners to Watch

Kristian Doolittle – Senior, Wing, 6’7″
Doolittle is having an All-Big 12 type of season, as he is second on OU with 15 PPG and 9.0 RPG. He’s also shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from distance. He struggled against Kansas back in their first meeting, but he figures to have a much bigger impact in the rematch.

Brady Manek – Junior, Guard, 6’3”
Manek is having a spectacular conference lead, as he’s surged into the team lead in scoring at 15.9 points. This season he’s shooting 43 percent from three-point land. He had arguably his worst shooting day of the season when Kansas beat Oklahoma in Norman earlier this year. Containing him will be a key in getting a win on Saturday.

Prediction

This is a difficult game to predict. On one hand, Kansas is considerably better than Oklahoma, the Jayhawks handled the Sooners in Norman, and their defense is good enough to put the clamps on any offense. Considering they played mediocre on offense and won by 14 on the road, a 10-point win seems relatively safe.

On the other hand, Oklahoma has improved significantly since that first matchup. Doolittle, Manek, and Austin Reaves combined to miss 33 of their 43 shots in Norman, which will almost surely not happen again. Kansas, coming off an emotional, exhausting win late in the week, could come out slow, similar to the way they did against Texas after an exhausting in over Texas Tech earlier this month.

In the end, I’m going to roll with Oklahoma, but just barely. I think they’ll hit some threes and hang around a little bit. Kansas should win comfortably due to their defense getting stops when it matters, but I think OU is good enough offensively to cover a high spread in what should be a relatively high-scoring game.

Kansas 79, Oklahoma 68
OU +11.5

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.

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