The #18 Kansas Jayhawks face the 25th ranked Kansas State Wildcats in a renewal of the Sunflower State Showdown, a match up between the co-defending Big 12 Champions.
THE GAME: Kansas Jayhawks (10-4, 1-0) Vs Kansas State Wildcats (12-3, 2-0)
THE PLACE: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
THE TIME: Wednesday, January 11th, :00 p.m. CST
THE NETWORK: ESPN
LIVE STREAM: ESPN.Go.com/watchespn
The Kansas Jayhawks play the Kansas State Wildcats on ESPN Saturday so if you are on the go or can’t be near your television, we have you covered. You can still catch the Jayhawks and Wildcats live online at ESPN.Go.com/watchespn. Tonight’s game is only available to customers of cable providers that offer WatchESPN. It is not on ESPN3.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1- LACK OF SCORING: The Wildcats only allow 58 points a game, and given up more than 63 points just 3 times, and only more than 71 points once. They only score 67.7 points a game, and Kansas struggles against good defensive teams (see San Diego State) who like to keep the game score low. This game will be much closer in pace to the Aztec outing for the Jayhawks, and less like the Oklahoma track meet. The pace of this game will favor the Wildcats, who have beaten more ranked teams (Gonzaga, Oklahoma State) than Kansas has (Duke). Kansas has struggled in low scoring games, and this heavily favors the Wildcats.
2- THOMAS GIPSON VS THE JAYHAWK BIG MEN: Thomas Gipson is one of the most improved players in the conference. The 6’7″ junior forward has slimmed down considerably but become more beastly inside. He can be a physical load down low but he will be tested because the Jayhawks have incredible depth inside. Kansas can throw waves of big men at him, including Joel Embiid, Tarik Black, Jamari Traylor, and even Landen Lucas. He has to outlast them all, and stay out of foul trouble.
3- DEFENSE AND BALL PROTECTION: The Kansas players still haven’t decided to play defense but they must pressure the Kansas State shooters in this one. The Wildcats are a terrible shooting team, hitting just 41.9% of their attempts, and only 30.4 from behind the arc, yet they are still winning ball games. If the Jayhawks can pressure the shooters, and save possessions by not turning the ball over, they will have a chance. If Kansas State gets hot from the field, and Kansas gives away too many possessions, the Wildcats will hand the Jayhawks their second straight loss in Allen Fieldhouse.