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Preview: Kansas



Photo Attribution: US Presswire

Photo Attribution: US Presswire


Tip: 8:00 PM
Location: Stillwater, OK
Online Stream: here
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
Online radio: here
Announcers: Bob Wischusen, Stephen Bardo, Holly Rowe
Line: Pick


Cowboys – 19-5 (9-3)
Jayhawks – 21-4 (9-3)

Best win

Cowboys – Kansas (KenPom: #11)
Jayhawks – Ohio St. (KenPom: #13)

Worst loss

Cowboys – Virginia Tech (KenPom: #149)
Jayhawks – TCU (KenPom: #258)

KenPom rank

Cowboys – #16
Jayhawks – #11

Data nerds

[table id=98 /]

Adj. efficiency – Points per 100 possessions (adjusted for quality of opponent and site of game).
Adj. tempo – Possessions per game (adjusted for schedule and pace of other team).
Effective FG % – Takes into account extra value of 3s.

Three things to watch

1. Elite – Given the rankings (OSU at #14, Kansas at #9) you probably didn’t need any convincing that you were watching two of the best teams in college basketball but here you go. Of the 20 most elite defenses in the nation (according to, only the following also rank in the top 40 in offense:

Indiana – 1
Florida – 2
Pitt – 10
Syracuse – 14
Michigan St. – 18
Louisville – 22
Kansas – 25
The U – 33
Wisconsin – 34
Oklahoma St. – 36

And OSU has taken the roundabout way of getting there, ranking 90th after Bedlam in Norman. An effective FG% over 48% in six of their last nine (and four times at 52%+) has done wonders.

2. Big 12 POY? – It’s not written in stone or anything, but it sure feels like the Big 12 POY is going to the winner of this game, doesn’t it? It would be tough to hand it to McLemore if Smart’s team beat him twice and it would be tough to give it to Smart if KU wins the Big 12 — which they most likely will with a W.

3. Elijah Johnson is pertinent – Shutting down Elijah Johnson is the key to beating Kansas. Consider:

In their 21 wins his average offensive rating is 99.7
In their 4 losses his average offensive rating is 76.5

If you need a definition of offensive rating, here it is. Essentially, it’s just how good are you at producing points. Johnson has been horrendous in their losses which makes me want Ford to stick Smart on him (instead of McLemore, as some suggested). Let Markel deal with big Ben and let Withey do Withey things. Just don’t let Elijah set the place on fire[1. I’ll be here all year, thank you, tip your waitresses.].

Fun Props

Ben McLemore over/under 1.5 three-pointers
Marcus Smart over/under 10.5 combined rebounds/assists
Markel Brown over/under 15.5 points

Last time

Last time two top-15 teams did battle in GIA…this happened. Just listen to what it was like. Terrorizing. I expect nothing less tonight.


Porter: Jayhawks – 77-70
KenPom: Cowboys – 67-66

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