🏀 GAME PREVIEW: at Baylor
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The two leaders in the Big 12 square off Saturday in a key battle in the league race as No. 3 Kansas (23-3, 12-1) takes on No. 1 Baylor (24-1, 13-0). The Jayhawks and Bears will tip off at 11 a.m. (CT) on ESPN, with Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst) and Holly Rowe (reporter) set to call the action.
- Saturday’s contest will mark the fourth time in eight KU-BU meetings that both teams are ranked in the top-five of the national polls.
- Though Kansas is 0-2 against AP top-10 teams this season, the Jayhawks have won 20 of its last 24 regular-season games against AP top-10 teams and eight of their last nine true road games against top-10 foes.
- KU is 8-16 all-time against the AP’s No. 1 team, but is 6-5 against top-ranked foes since the 1989-90 season and 3-2 under Bill Self.
- The KU-BU contest will mark KU’s first true road game against No. 1 since March 8, 1958, when KU topped then-No. 1 K-State in Manhattan, 61-44.
- Since 2011, Kansas is 23-11 in games when both teams are ranked inside the AP top-10. KU’s 67.6 winning percentage in those contests is the best in the nation among teams who have played in 15 or more such games.
- Baylor is vying to become only the second team in the Bill Self era to sweep Kansas in a regular-season Big 12 series. In 115 regular-season Big 12 home-and-home series during the Self era, Kansas has 77 sweeps, 37 splits and has been swept once (Oklahoma State in 2018).
- Baylor is also vying to win two-straight against Kansas for the first time. KU leads the series 32-6, including 13-3 in meetings in Waco.
- Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense at 75.5 points per game, while Baylor leads the conference in scoring defense at 58.2. The Jayhawks also lead the league in scoring margin at +14.8, while Baylor is second at +13.0.
- Baylor is ranked No. 2 in the NET rankings as of Feb. 19 games, while Kansas is No. 4 out of 353 teams. Kansas and Baylor are the only two schools with 10 Quadrant 1 wins.
- 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).
Bill Self Weekly Press Conference
TAKING ON NO. 1
Saturday’s contest marks the first time Kansas will take on the country’s top-ranked team in over three seasons and just the fourth time since 2008. All-time, Kansas has faced the nation’s top squad on 24 occasions since the AP began releasing a poll during the 1949-50 season, with 14 of those contests coming in regular-season play. The match-up with the Bears will be just the second time Kansas will take on a No. 1 team in a true road game, with the previous a 61-44 win over Kansas State in Manhattan on March 8, 1958.
KU is 8-16 all-time against No. 1, but is 6-5 against top-ranked foes since the 1989-90 season. Bill Self’s KU squads are 3-2 when meeting No. 1, with the most recent contest a 77-75 win over Duke in the 2016 Champions Classic in New York.
The KU-Baylor contest will also be just the eighth time the Jayhawks will take on a No. 1 team while also ranked inside the top-5 of the AP poll. Kansas is 1-6 in the previous seven instances with the lone victory coming against North Carolina in the 2008 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio.
Located in Waco, Texas, with an enrollment of 18,033, No. 1/1 Baylor is 24-1 on the season and its 23-game winning streak is Big 12 record and the second-longest in NCAA DI after its 65-54 win at Oklahoma on Feb. 18. BU is 12-0 at home this season. The Bears are coached by Scott Drew who is 340-210 in his 17th season at BU and 360-221 in his 18th season overall.
Baylor averages 71.2 points per game and has a plus-13.0 scoring margin, which is second in the Big 12 behind Kansas’ plus-14.8. The Bears 58.2 points allowed per game leads the league and are fourth nationally. Baylor is second in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 35.5%.
Sophomore guard Jared Butler leads Baylor in scoring at 15.6 points per game, which is fifth in the Big 12. Butler has made a team-high 65 3-pointers and his 2.6 threes made per game are second in the conference. Redshirt-junior guard MaCio Teague is next in scoring at 14.4 points per game, which is ninth in the league. He is second on the team with 51 3-pointers made.
THE KANSAS-BAYLOR SERIES
The Kansas-Baylor series dates back to 1951 with the Jayhawks leading 32-6. Kansas has won 13 of the last 15 in the series and holds an 18-4 advantage in the last 22 meetings. Kansas is 13-3 against Baylor in Waco.
Since the inception of the Big 12, KU is 30-6 against Baylor — 28-4 in regular-season play and 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 24-6 all-time against Baylor, including a 24-5 mark while at Kansas. BU’s Scott Drew is 5-24 versus Kansas.
Expect a close game, as seven of the last nine meetings have been decided by eight points or less, with five of those by five points or fewer. Dating back to 2015, four of the last five meetings in Waco have been decided by six points or less with Kansas 4-1 in that stretch.
MORE TOP-10 TILT TIDBITS
With the top-10 match-up between No. 3 Kansas and No. 1 Baylor set to take center stage, it’s time to look at Kansas’ impressive track record against AP top-10 squads, especially over the last 10 years.
- Over the last 10 seasons (since 2011), Kansas has played in 34 games in which both squads were ranked in the AP top-10. Only one other team in NCAA DI (Duke – 40) has played in more top-10 tilts in that span.
- KU is 23-11 in those 34 top-10 match-ups over the last 10 years. Its 67.6% win percentage in those outings is the best in the NCAA among teams who have seen 15 or more of such games.
- The Jayhawks have won 20 of their last 24 regular-season games against AP top-10 teams.
- Incredibly, KU has won eight of its last nine true road games against AP top-10 teams. The Jayhawks are 10-6 under Bill Self versus top-10 squads on the road.
- Under Bill Self, KU is 40-22 against top-10 opponents overall. That includes an 18-7 mark against top-10 foes since 2013-14.
COLLEGE GAMEDAY REGULARS
For the 19th time, Kansas will be featured on ESPN CollegeDay during the regular season when the Jayhawks play at Baylor on Feb. 22. KU has been one of the two teams in the “GameDay” game 18 times in the regular season and boasts a record of 12-6 in those 18 regular-season contests. Kansas has also won seven of the last eight appearances.
The weekly-traveling telecast has originated from Allen Fieldhouse in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2020. KU was the GameDay road team in 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. College GameDay also originated from three postseason contests involving Kansas; at the 2006 Big 12 Championship semifinals in Dallas and the 2008 Final Four (semifinal and final) when Kansas won the title in San Antonio.
RIGHT AT HOME ON THE ROAD
With the Jayhawks in the midst of a seven-game road winning streak, let’s take a look at KU’s impressive performances against its league foes away from Lawrence:
- Kansas has turned in a winning record in seven of the nine Big 12 arenas not named Allen Fieldhouse since the league formed in 1996-97 (KU is 8-8 at OSU, 3-5 at WVU).
- Out of teams in the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, KU (44-25, 63.8%) is one of only seven squads to have a win percentage of 60% or better in league road games since 2012-13.
- KU has now posted a winning record on the road in Big 12 play in 20 of the league’s 24 seasons – 2000 (4-4), 2015 (4-5), 2019 (3-6). The Jayhawks are currently 5-0 in Big 12 road play in 2020.
- The Jayhawks are 139-59 (70.2%) on the road in Big 12 play since 1996-97. The team with the next highest winning percentage is Texas, which is 88-111 (44.1%) in conference road games since the league formed.
- KU went undefeated on the road in 2002, going 8-0 that year. The 2002 Jayhawks are the only Big 12 team to finish a conference slate without a road loss.
vs. Baylor: KU leads 32-6
Current Streak: Loss 1
Longest KU Win Streak: 11 (2014-18)
Longest KU Losing Streak: 1, 6x
Last 10 Games: 8-2
In Lawrence: KU leads 17-1
In Waco: KU leads 13-3
Neutral Sites: Tied 2-2
Under Bill Self: KU leads 24-5
First Meeting: Dec. 3, 1951 (W, 57-46)
Last Meeting: Jan. 11, 2020 (L, 55-67)
Largest Margin of Victory: 47 (94-47, Jan. 28, 1998)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 23 (58-81, March 9, 2013)
Kansas will try for its 17th-straight win on ESPN Big Monday when the Oklahoma State Cowboys come to Lawrence on Feb. 24. Tipoff from Allen Fieldhouse is slated for 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPN.
Kansas is 117-59 all-time against OSU, which includes a 65-50 win in this season’s first meeting on Jan. 27 in Stillwater. The Jayhawks are 63-12 versus Oklahoma State in games in Lawrence and hold a 48-10 mark in contests inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has won 21 of the last 23 games against OSU in Lawrence.