January 18, 2014 at 3:31 AM #53062
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
The battle for top spot in the Big 12 will go done in the Jayhawk state on Saturday when No. 18 Kansas hosts No. 8 Oklahoma State at legendary and loud Allen Fieldhouse.
Date/Time: 4 p.m. EST, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014
Venue: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
The Cowboys (15-2) continue to impress the college basketball word, and will look to stun the Jayhawks like they did last season, in a game where Markel Brown scored 28 points and then-freshman Marcus Smart had 25, when he Pokes upset then-No. 2 Kansas, 85-80 at Allen Fieldhouse.
This season Smart has been even more impressive, going for 20 or more points in each of the last three games and leads the Big 12 in scoring at an average of 17.9 points.
The sophomore has helped the Cowboys to win three straight since dropping their Big 12 opener at Kansas State on the road on Jan. 4, and led four Oklahoma State players in double figures with 20 points as the Pokes ran away from the visiting TCU Horned Frogs early on, winning 82-50 at home on Wednesday.
The Cowboys held another opponent in that one to less than 60 points for the fifth time this season.
Brown contributed 14 points while Le’Bryan Nash added 13 and each tallied eight rebounds, as guard Phil Forte, who leads the Big 12 in 3-point shooting at 47.9 percent, chipped in eight.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks (12-4) are unbeaten in conference play and are relying on freshman Andrew Wiggins, who poured in 17 points and 19 rebounds in a 77-70 win at Iowa State on Monday.
Wiggins however, although high on many NBA scouts lists, hasn’t even been the most impressive player on the Kansas roster this season, with Wayne Selden Jr. and Joel Embiid putting up extraordinary numbers too.
The Jayhawks are facing back-to-back top-10 opponents for the first time since the 2012 Final Four. And in the defense of last year’s loss to Oklahoma State, when they were missing most of their starting big three, including, the trio of Wiggins, Embiid and Selden Jr., they have all gotten better this season.
So much better, that the Jayhawks are one of the best shooting teams in the country at 50 percent from the floor and have four players averaging double figures.
Free Pick: Kansas- It’s going to be a tough environment for the Cowboys, against maybe the most talented and deep team in all of college basketball.
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