🏀 GAME PREVIEW: at Texas Tech
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 1 Kansas (27-3, 16-1 Big 12) will look to claim the outright Big 12 Championship when it travels to Texas Tech (18-12, 9-8 Big 12) in the final contest of the regular season on Saturday, March 7. Tipoff from United Supermarkerts Arena is slated for 1 p.m. (CT) on ESPN. Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Kris Budden (reporter) will call the action.
- Kansas has clinched at least a share of its NCAA-leading 62nd overall and Big 12-leading 19th conference regular-season title.
- Kansas’ 15-game winning streak is the third-longest nationally. It is also the sixth-longest in the Bill Self era (since 2003-04).
- KU’s 14-game Big 12 winning streak is the longest by a Kansas team since the final conference game of the 2008-09 season and the first 13 league contests of the 2009-10 when the Jayhawks won 14-straight.
- Kansas ranks first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.7%, while Texas Tech is second at 45.5%.
- Kansas leads the overall series with Texas Tech, 35-6, and has won three of the last four and 19 of the last 21 meetings, yet the series is KU 3-2 in the last five matchups.
- KU is No. 1 in the NET rankings as of March 5 games. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is also No. 1. Kansas is one of only two schools (Baylor) with 11 Quadrant 1 wins. KU’s 19 Q1 and Q2 combined wins are more than any other school.
- Kansas ranks in the top-10 nationally in win percentage (fourth at 90.0), field goal percentage defense (fourth at 37.7%), scoring margin (sixth at +14.2), scoring defense (ninth at 60.7) and field goal percentage (ninth at 48.7%).
- Udoka Azubuike, one of five finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabaar Award, recorded his 1,000th-career point on Feb. 24 vs. Oklahoma State. He is the sixth Jayhawk to post 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 150 blocks in a career.
- Devon Dotson, one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, leads the Big 12 in scoring at 18.2 ppg. He is looking to become the fifth Jayhawk and the eighth underclassman to be the league’s top scorer.
- Dotson and Azubuike are two of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy and are also on watch lists for the Wooden Award and Oscar Robertson Trophy, all given to the Player of the Year. Junior Marcus Garrett is one of 10 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalists.
RIGHT AT HOME ON THE ROAD
With the Jayhawks in the midst of a nine-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 (46-25, 64.5%) 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 8-0 in Big 12 road play in 2020.
- The Jayhawks are 141-59 (70.6%) on the road in Big 12 play since 1996-97. The team with the next highest winning percentage is Texas, which is 89-111 (44.2%) 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.
KANSAS COLLECTS LEAGUE TITLE NO. 62
With its win over TCU on March 4, Kansas clinched at least a share of its 19th Big 12 regular-season title, including the 15th in its last 16 seasons. KU’s 62 all-time conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I history. Kentucky is second with 55 and Penn third at 38. The Jayhawks have claimed 15 outright or shared league titles since 2003-04, the next best team in a major conference is Kentucky, who has seven SEC titles over the last 17 seasons.
KANSAS CONFERENCE REGULAR-SEASON TITLES
62 (*Tied for the championship)
Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (13) – 1908-09-10-11-12*-14*-15-22*-23-24-25-26-27
Big Six (12) – 1931-32-33-34-36-37*-38-40*-41*-42*-43-46
Big Seven (5) – 1950*-52-53-54*-57
Big Eight (13) – 1960*-66-67-71-74-75-78-86-91*-92-93-95-96
Big 12 (19) – 1997-98-2002-03-05*-06*-07-08*-09-10-11-12-13*-14-15-16-17-18-20 (possible tie)
DOTSON SPRINTING TOWARD 1,000 POINTS
Jayhawk sophomore Devon Dotson is looking to join elite company as he approaches a milestone in his young KU career. Dotson is just 31 points from scoring his 1,000th point in a Kansas uniform and is on pace to be among the fastest Jayhawks to break the 1K scoring mark.
Dotson, who is 65 games into his collegiate career, is on pace to become just the 11th Jayhawk to score his 1,000th point within his first 70 outings and the first under Bill Self. Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest to 1,000 points, needing an incredible 34 games. If Dotson hits the milestone before the end of this season, he would be eighth Jayhawk to score 1,000 within his first two seasons at KU.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH
Located in Lubbock, Texas, with an enrollment of 38,803, Texas Tech is 18-12 overall and 9-8 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders are coming off a 71-68 overtime loss at No. 4 Baylor on March 2. Texas Tech is coached by Chris Beard who is 94-43 in his fourth season at TTU and 124-48 in his fifth season overall.
Texas Tech averages 72.3 points per game and has a plus-8.8 scoring margin. The Red Raiders pull down 33.4 boards per outing and have a plus-0.3 rebound margin. Texas Tech leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 35.7 percent and assists at 15.5 per game. The Red Raiders force 16.1 turnovers per contest and have a plus-2.2 turnover margin. Texas Tech is ranked second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 45.5, which is behind league leader Kansas (48.5 percent).
Freshman guard Jahmi’us Ramsey leads Texas Tech in scoring at 15.4 points per game which is fifth in the Big 12. He is second on the team with 58 3-point field goals made and is tied for the team lead with 35 steals. Ramsey averages 4.1 rebounds per contest.
vs. Texas Tech: KU leads 36-6
Current Streak: Win 1
Longest KU Win Streak: 16
Longest KU Losing Streak: 1, 6x
In Lawrence: KU leads 19-1
In Lubbock: KU leads 14-5
Neutral Sites: KU leads 3-0
Under Bill Self: KU leads 22-5
First Meeting: Dec. 7, 1959 (W, 85-71)
Last Meeting: Feb. 1, 2020 (W, 78-75)
Largest Margin of Victory: 58 (109-51, 3.3.2008)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 29 (62-91, 2.23.2019)
Kansas will enter the 2020 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, March 11-14, at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, as the No. 1 or 2 seed. KU will open play in the event’s quarterfinals on Thursday, March 12, at either 1:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN or ESPN2.
Kansas is 76-28 all-time in postseason conference tournaments, including a 46-12 record in the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks have won 15 league tourney titles with 11 of those in the Big 12 era and its last in 2018. Kansas is 20-3 in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals.