🏀 No. 5 Kansas Hosts No. 4 UConn Friday in BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The last two NCAA Champions will square off when 2022 champ and No. 5 Kansas (6-1) hosts 2023 champ and No. 4 Connecticut (7-0) on Friday, Dec. 1 in the men’s basketball BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle. Tip from Allen Fieldhouse is set for 8 p.m., CST and the game will be televised on ESPN.

Kansas is 6-1 after its 71-63 win against Eastern Illinois on Tuesday. The Jayhawks are 6-1 or better for the 12th-consecutive season. UConn improved to 7-0 after its 84-64 home win against New Hampshire on Monday.

In a series that dates back to 1995, Kansas and UConn are meeting for the fourth time in a battle of two tradition-rich programs. Kansas has won all three previous meetings with the most recent matchup coming in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, a KU 73-61 win in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kansas enters Friday’s matchup averaging 81.3 points per game with a plus-16.6 scoring margin. The Jayhawks pull down 40.0 rebounds per outing with a plus-7.1 rebound margin. Kansas leads the nation in assists per game at 24.1 and is second in field goal percentage (54.0%). KU also averages 7.1 steals and 4.9 blocked shots per contest.

Named an Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week Nov. 21 and to the Maui Invitational All-Tournament Team, senior center Hunter Dickinson leads Kansas in scoring at 21.7 ppg and leads the nation in rebounds per game at 12.7 rpg. He is one of only two players in the Big 12 to average a double-double. Named the Big 12 Player and Newcomer of the Week Nov. 20, Dickinson is 8-for-13 (61.5%) from three-point range.

Named the Big 12 Player of the Week and an Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week Nov. 28, graduate-senior Kevin McCullar Jr. leads the nation in triple doubles with two. He is second on the KU team in scoring at 18.1 points per contest. McCullar is tied with Dickinson and freshman Johnny Furphy with a team-high eight threes made. Junior KJ Adams Jr. is second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 73.5%, which is fourth nationally. Adams averages 10.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest.

Redshirt-senior Dajuan Harris Jr. leads the Big 12 with 7.4 assists per game, which is fifth nationally. Harris averages 6.0 points per contest. Freshman Elmarko Jackson (5.7 ppg, 3.6 assists per game) rounds out the KU starters. Other KU regulars include Furphy (5.9 ppg), graduate-senior Parker Braun (3.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, eight blocked shots), graduate-senior Nicolas Timberlake (4.1 ppg) and freshman Jamari McDowell (3.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg).

This is the fifth BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle and Kansas holds a 3-1 record in the series. The Jayhawks posted wins against Creighton in 2020, at Saint John’s in 2021 and versus Seton Hall in 2022. KU lost to Villanova in the 2019 BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle.

Up Next

Kansas will play its third-straight home contest when it hosts Kansas City on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Tip from Allen Fieldhouse will be at 7 p.m., CST and the game will be televised on Big 12 NOW via ESPN+.

Kansas holds an 8-0 all-time series advantage against Kansas City. The two teams last met on Dec. 14, 2019, at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, a KU 98-57 win. This series dates back to 1992.