LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 29: Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates after the Jayhawks scored on the initial tip-off during the game against the Howard Bison on December 29, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
After two high profile non-conference slates, KU and K State tip off Big 12 conference play tonight in Lawrence.
The Big 12 mens basketball season kicks off tonight with a heated in-state rivalry between ranked 10-3 Kansas (No. 14/15) and 11-1 Kansas State (23/22) in the Sunflower Showdown.
Emerging from a grueling non-conference run (Duke, Villanova, Kentucky), the Jayhawks are led by All-American candidate Thomas Robinson, currently averaging a double-double with 17.7 points and 12.2 rebounds per game, the only player in the Big 12 to do so. Robinson posted career highs with 30 points and 21 rebounds against North Dakota.
K State has won six straight after losing in double overtime to West Virginia. Junior guard Rodney McGruder leads KSU in scoring with 12.5 points per game. He averages 5.2 rebounds per game. The Wildcats hope to change a series dominated by KU, as the Jayhawks have won 42 of the last 45 meetings and seven of the last eight.
Date / time: Wednesday, January 4, 7:00 p.m. CT
Location: Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
TV: Big 12 Network
Odds: Kansas (-8.5)
For more on the Kansas State Wildcats, visit Bring On The Cats. For Kansas Jayhawks news and info, check out Rock Chalk Talk. For a look at all the news in college hoops, visit SB Nation's college basketball page.