All eyes in college basketball will be focused on Lawrence and Allen Fieldhouse, tonight as Kansas and Oklahoma meet in battle between the numbers one and two teams in the country.
Regardless of rankings, it’s a huge affair in the Jayhawks quest to win a stunning 12th consecutive Big 12 regular season conference championship. The Sooners are arguably their toughest road block and toughest competition.
“OU has a terrific team, Buddy (Hield) is averaging just south of 25 points per a game - he's on a roll,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “They are playing so well together and are well-coached and well-drilled. We had some great games with them last year and certainly I hope Monday night is one of those type of games, but we need to be ready and focused."
Both teams bring a wealth of experience to the table and despite Kansas’ 102-74 crushing of Baylor, Saturday, they know that Oklahoma’s an entirely different story. A year ago, the Sooners knocked off Kansas in Norman and nearly stole a win in Allen Fieldhouse, until a dramatic Kansas rally thwarted that attempt. The Jayhawks are sure to face their stiffest test this season.
“They score so easy,” Self said. “(Oklahoma coach) Lon (Kruger) is the best at giving guys freedom offensively. They play with a free mind. We talk about Wayne having 24 today, which is great, but Buddy is averaging more than 24, so that tells you what kind of year he’s having. They can stretch it from just about every spot. Their first shot defense is excellent. They’re maybe in the top five or 10 in the country in field goal percentage defense. We got an experienced team but we're not near as experienced as they probably are, as far as minutes played. I could be wrong, but Buddy (Hield) has started most every game since he’s been there, (Isaiah) Cousins has started three years now, (Jordan) Woodard’s started every game since he’s been there, (Ryan) Spangler’s started every game since he’s been there. They got a really experienced team.”