🏀 GAME PREVIEW: vs. Kansas State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The 292nd edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown is set for Tuesday, Jan. 21 when the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks (14-3, 4-1) host the Kansas State Wildcats (8-9, 1-4) at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas will look to claim its 14th-straight win over its rival in Lawrence in the game set for 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2. Jon Sciambi (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) will call the action.
- Through five games in Big 12 play, Kansas (14-3) sits alone in second place at 4-1 in league standings, one game behind Baylor (5-0). West Virginia, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas Tech are 3-2 in Big 12 play, one game behind KU.
- Kansas leads the overall series with Kansas State, 197-94, including 90-35 record in games played in Lawrence (49-18 in Allen Fieldhouse). KU has won the last 13 meetings with KSU in Lawrence starting in 2007.
- KU is ranked No. 4 in the NET rankings through games of Jan. 19. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is No. 1 nationally. Kansas is the only school with seven Quadrant 1 wins. KU is 7-3 against Q1. Seton Hall has six Q1 wins, while Baylor, West Virginia and Wisconsin have five Q1 victories.
- The Jayhawks have also played the most difficult slate of defensive teams in the nation, ranking No. 1 in opposing defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com. Despite this, KU ranks sixth in the NCAA in field goal percentage (49.7%) and seventh in scoring margin (+15.8).
- KU is 7-1 at home this season, including 6-1 in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks last lost two-consecutive games in Allen Fieldhouse during the 1988-89 season. KU is 13-0 following an Allen Fieldhouse loss under Bill Self.
- Kansas is No. 3 in the latest national polls released Jan. 20. Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 212 Associated Press polls, the longest streak in the nation. The Jayhawks have also been inside the top-10 in 97 of the last 111 AP polls.
- Kansas’ three losses in 2019-20 have been to ranked teams with two by the then-No. 4 teams – No. 4 Duke on Nov. 5 and No. 4 Baylor on Jan. 11.
- Through 17 games, five different Jayhawks – Devon Dotson, Isaiah Moss, Udoka Azubuike, Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack – have posted 20 or more points in a game this season. Dotson, Azubuike, Moss and Agbaji have all hit the 20-point plateau in multiple games.
- Kansas has held 10 opponents to under 60 points through its first 17 games, including seven of its last eight. KU is tied for ninth nationally for the in holding opponents to under 60 points.
Bill Self previewed the Dillons Sunflower Showdown at his weekly Press Conference.
THE KANSAS-KANSAS STATE SERIES
Kansas leads the overall series with Kansas State, 197-94, and has won nine of the last 10 matchups. Since Feb. 12, 1994, Kansas has won 58 of the last 64 meetings with K-State. This series started in 1907 and Kansas is 90-35 against Kansas State in games played in Lawrence, including a 49-18 record in Allen Fieldhouse. Beginning in Feb. 7, 2007, Kansas has won the last 13 meetings in Allen Fieldhouse.
Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, KU is 50-6 against KSU (40-6 in regular-season battles and 10-0 in the Big 12 Championship). Kansas head coach Bill Self is 33-6 all-time against K-State, all while at KU. Kansas State’s Bruce Weber is 3-15 against Kansas. Expect a close game as eight of the last 13 matchups have been single-digit outcomes.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS
Located in Manhattan, Kan., with an enrollment of 22,221, Kansas State (8-9, 1-4) ended a four-game losing streak with an 84-68 win against No. 12/13 West Virginia Jan. 18. The Wildcats are coached by Bruce Weber who is 158-97 in his eighth season at KSU and 471-253 in his 22nd season overall.
Kansas State averages 65.6 points per game and has a plus-3.5 scoring margin. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in steals at 8.8 per contest and pull down 33.2 rebounds per contest. K-State makes 7.2 3-point field goals per game and attempts 21.6 from beyond the arc per outing. Kansas State also averages 11.8 assists, 2.8 blocked shots and force 16.9 turnovers per game.
Senior forward Xavier Sneed leads Kansas State in scoring at 14.6 points per game which is ninth in the Big 12. Sneed also leads the team in rebounds with a 4.8 per game average and with 32 3-point field goals made this season. Cartier Diarra is second on the team in scoring at 13.3 points per outing, which is 12th in the conference.
KU’S SLATE RANKS TOUGHEST IN NCAA
The NCAA Evaluation Tool (“NET”) has shown that not only have the Jayhawks endured one of the strongest schedules in the nation, but have tallied some of the more impressive wins among the 353 teams in Division I. Through games as of Jan. 19, Kansas’ strength of schedule ranks No. 1 in the latest NET breakdown, with the Jayhawks playing opponents that have an average NET ranking of 73, a figure that also ranks first in the NCAA.
The Jayhawks have collected some impressive wins during the early-season schedule, claiming seven wins against teams in “Quadrant 1” (Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75). Through games as of Jan. 19, KU is the only team in the nation with seven Quad 1 wins.
MOSS NAMED BIG 12 NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
Kansas senior Isaiah Moss was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week in a vote by a media panel, the conference office announced Jan. 20. This is the first time in his career Moss has earned a Big 12 weekly honor.
A graduate transfer from Iowa, Moss started his first game as a Jayhawk, 97th for his career, in the 66-52 win at Oklahoma (1/14). In the contest, Moss tied a career-high making six 3-pointers in scoring 20 points, his second 20-point effort of the season. The Chicago guard’s six 3-pointers tied a career-high and his 11 attempts set his personal best. For the Week, Moss averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in KU’s two road victories at OU and Texas.
Moss is Kansas’ first Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honoree for 2019-20. The honor is the third weekly for a Jayhawk this season as Devon Dotson has been named Big 12 Player of the Week twice (Dec. 2 and Dec. 16).
vs. Kansas State: KU leads 197-94
Current Streak: Win 1
Longest KU Win Streak: 31 (1994-2005)
Longest KU Losing Streak: 5 (3x)
Last 10 Games: 9-1
In Lawrence: KU leads 90-35
In Manhattan: KU leads 78-48
Neutral Sites: KU leads 29-11
Under Bill Self: KU leads 32-6
First Meeting: Jan. 25, 1907 (W, 54-39)
Last Meeting: Feb. 25, 2019 (W, 64-49)
Largest Margin of Victory: 45
Largest Margin of Defeat: 29
The Jayhawks will step out of league play on Saturday, Jan. 25 when they take part in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge to face the Tennessee Volunteers. Tipoff from Allen Fieldhouse is slated for 3 p.m. (CT) on ESPN. KU is 3-1 all-time against Tennessee and 4-2 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The day will also feature ESPN College GameDay’s return to Lawrence. The one-hour show will begin at 10 a.m. (CT). Saturday marks the 20th time the Jayhawks will be featured on GameDay, with 16 regular-season appearances and three at neutral locations. The Jayhawks are 11-5 in their previous regular-season appearances.