Kansas Men's Hoops Ends League Play at Kansas State
March 3, 2006
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Kansas (21-7, 12-3) is in a familiar situation as it enters its game against Kansas State (15-11, 6-9) Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN Plus. KU is playing once again for a conference title. Last year the Jayhawks tied Oklahoma for the Big 12 regular-season championship. A win today and KU will claim an unprecedented sixth Big 12 and 49th overall league title. Kansas is coming off a 75-54 win against Colorado on Senior Night on Wednesday. Kansas State claimed a road win at Nebraska, 66-64, on Wednesday.
Kansas has won 11 of its last 12 games and is 18-3 since Dec. 10. The Jayhawks are scoring 75.7 points per game and their +15 scoring margin ranks seventh nationally. Kansas leads the nation in field goal percentage defense at 36.6 percent and its 18.2 assists per game are fifth nationally. Brandon Rush leads the Big 12 freshman class in scoring at 13.7 points per game – 14th overall in the league. Rush leads KU in rebounding and his six per game are 13th in the conference. He is also sixth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 49.5 percent. Freshman Mario Chalmers leads the league in steals at 2.79 to go along with his 10.8 scoring average. Chalmers’ 3.82 assists per contest are eighth in the league and his 77.8 free throw percentage is fifth. Freshman Julian Wright – 8.6 ppg and 4.4 rpg – has entered the starting lineup since Jan. 25. Sophomore Sasha Kaun is another starter who is averaging 8.3 ppg and shooting 58.3 percent from the field. Sophomore C.J. Giles leads the team in blocked shots with 1.57 per game – sixth in the Big 12.
About Kansas State
In Kansas State’s 15 conference games, 11 have been decided four points or less. The Wildcats are 4-7 in those games, including a 66-64 win at Nebraska Wednesday. K-State averages 69 points per game and is giving up 63.4. Junior Cartier Martin ranks fourth in the Big 12 with an 18.3 scoring average. His team-high 6.6 rebounds per contest are 11th in the league. Martin leads the conference in free throw percentage at 84.4 percent and has made a team best 47 three-point field goals. Sophomore David Hoskins is next in scoring at 12.8 points per game followed by junior Lance Harris at 10.9 ppg. Kansas State is 13-3 at home this season, including a 4-3 mark in Big 12 play.
Kansas has won 31 of the last 32 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1990 season. The Wildcats ended the string with a 59-55 win in Lawrence on Jan. 14. Kansas holds a 170-89 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats, including a 69-43 mark in games played in Manhattan and a 17-0 record in Bramlage Coliseum. Kansas State’s last regular-season series sweep of KU was in 1983, which was the last time K-State defeated KU in Manhattan – a string of 22 games. Last season, Kansas defeated Kansas State three times — 74-65 in Manhattan, 72-65 in Lawrence on Senior Night and 80-67 in the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Kemper Arena in Kansas City. The Jayhawks won the first-ever meeting with K-State, 54-39, on Jan. 25, 1907, in Lawrence.
Kansas will be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship March 9-10 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. KU will play its first game Friday, March 10 in the quarterfinals of the event.