How Bill Self out-maneuvered Baylor with a game plan built around Udoka Azubuike
26 February, 2020, 21:28
Senior Udoka Azubuike tallied his 12th double-double of the season and 19th of his career via a team-and-game-high 23 points, a new career-high 19 rebounds and three blocked shots in 36 minutes, also a career-high. The Sooners' Taylor Robertson broke the single-season school record with her 116th 3-pointer against the Wildcats.
The KU-BU contest will mark KU's first true road game against No. 1 since March 8, 1958, when KU topped then-No.
Indeed, the biggest showdown in the Big 12 this season might just be the biggest showdown in all of college hoops. Baylor hadn't been behind by more than two points in any of its previous 12 home games.
Bill Self stood in front of a mural plastered on the wall just outside the Kansas locker room in Allen Fieldhouse depicting the Jayhawks' many championship rings, and he mused about the importance of his team's trip to Baylor on Saturday. Baylor's streak of 23 wins is second nationally behind San Diego State (26).
On Tuesday, Darren Rovell of the Action Network tweeted out that 29% of the bets placed via the DraftKings Sportsbook were on Kansas to win it all. They had a 10-point lead with 6 1/2 minutes left but had to hold off Baylor's late charge.
The Kansas-Baylor series dates back to 1951 with the Jayhawks leading 32-6.
Given what transpired in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, though, it would be hard to pick against Kansas right now.
"(The) pressure is on us for us to go down there and perform well", Kansas coach Bill Self told reporters. The goal was to win a Big 12 championship.
Fans were roaring after Teague, who missed the previous two games with a wrist injury, returned to the lineup by swishing a 3-pointer on the game's first shot and Gillespie made it 5-0.
While both teams haven't lost since that cold January day, they are also markedly different.
Again, the vast majority of teams Baylor will run into between now and whenever its season ends won't present this type of problem. Only once in his 17 years as the Kansas coach had someone swept Self, and that someone was strangely Mike Boynton and a mediocre Oklahoma State team two years ago.
KU is 8-16 all-time against No. 1, but is 6-5 against top-ranked foes since the 1989-90 season. The Bears (24-2, 13-1 Big 12) were No. 1 in the AP Poll for five consecutive weeks, which matched the nation's longest streak since 2015 (Kentucky) and was the longest by a team from the state of Texas since Houston was No. 1 for eight weeks of the 1968 season.
It also marked the Jayhawks' first win over an AP No. 1 team since November 15, 2016, when KU topped No. 1 Duke, 77-75, in the Champions Classic.
Kansas looks for its 12th straight conference win against Oklahoma State.
SUPER SENIORS: Oklahoma State has benefited heavily from its seniors. Kansas has won 21 of the last 23 games against OSU in Lawrence.
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