🏀 No. 5 Kansas to Host No. 12 Kentucky Saturday in Big 12/SEC Challenge
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The top-two winningest programs in college basketball history will meet for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons when No. 5/5 Kansas (17-2, 5-1 Big 12) plays host to No. 12/13 Kentucky (16-4, 6-2 SEC) as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, Jan. 29. ESPN will televise the game at 5 p.m. (Central) with Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Holly Rowe calling the action.
Kansas is second in all-time wins at 2,340, while Kentucky is first at 2,343.
ESPN College GameDay will originate from Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, with the show running from 10-11 a.m. (Central). This will be the 10th time Allen Fieldhouse has hosted College GameDay. On Friday, Wendy’s will be hosting Fryday Fanfest at the Phog from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Allen Fieldhouse east lawn, complete with free food from the Wendy’s food truck, a live DJ, games, giveaways and appearances by KU band, spirit and mascots. Fanfest at the Phog will continue on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kansas is 5-3 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, including 2-1 against Kentucky. Since 2007, KU is 9-5 in conference challenges which includes battles against opponents from the SEC, Pac-12 and Big East.
At 6-1, Kansas sits atop the Big 12 standings after its 94-91 double-overtime win against Texas Tech on ESPN Big Monday, Jan. 24. Kentucky defeated Mississippi State, 82-74, in overtime in its last contest on Jan. 25.
Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (81.5 ppg), which is 12th nationally and three-point field goal percentage (36.6%). KU is second in the league in field goal percentage (49.3%), which is 10th nationally.
Senior Ochai Agbaji has been the Big 12 Player of the Week three times this season, including each of the last two weeks. Agbaji leads the Big 12 in scoring at 21.3 points per game, which is ninth nationally. Agbaji has scored 20 or more points in 12 games this season.
Named the Big 12 Player of the Week each of the past two weeks (Jan. 17 and Jan. 24), senior guard Ochai Agbaji is coming off a career-high 37 points against Texas Tech (1/24). He leads the Big 12 and is ninth nationally in scoring at 21.3 points per game. He also leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (47.0%, sixth nationally) and in three-point field goals made per game (3.3, 18th nationally).
Kansas shows balance on the boards as it is the only school in the Big 12 to have three players ranked in the top 10 in rebounding with redshirt-sophomore Jalen Wilson fifth at 6.8 rpg, senior David McCormack sixth at 6.7 and junior Christian Braun ninth at 5.9 rpg.
It’s also Suits and Sneakers Week, a NABC and Coaches vs. Cancer initiative that supports the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission. Kansas staff will be wearing special quarter zips and sneakers recognizing the event.
Kansas jumps back into Big 12 play at Iowa State on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. Kansas leads the overall series with Iowa State, 185-66, including a 71-40 edge in games played in Ames, Iowa (27-22 in Hilton Coliseum). Kansas has won the last five meetings with Iowa State, including a 62-61 nail biter on Jan. 15 in Allen Fieldhouse.