When the Jayhawks hit the court on Saturday in Lincoln they'll be facing the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the final time as Big 12 conference foes. At the same time the Jayhawks will be going up against a basketball team in Nebraska that has ben the most successful team all year in slowing the Jayhawk offense.
In the first meeting between these two teams in Allen Fieldhouse the Jayhawks edged out a narrow win by a final score of 63-60. Nebraska boasts a top ten team in terms of defensive efficiency and after two consecutive games where the Jayhawk offense was firing on all cylinders, this one might take a decidedly defensive look.
The interesting thing is that at the end of the day Bill Self prefers good defensive basketball. Kansas has the horses on the offensive end to be explosive, but on any given night a team can fall apart from the field. Defense doesn't take a night off and that's what coach Self wants Kansas to work toward.
"I think we're a pretty good defensive team. Statistically we're fine, we're probably in the top ten in the country in several statistical areas. We're not a clamp down group yet. It's not like when the opponent gets the ball they say ‘Oh gosh, here we go again,' but hopefully we can get to that point."
Saturday's game will be a matchup of two coaches who have that end goal of a clamp down defense in mind. Nebraska has already knocked off a hot Colorado team and a ranked Texas A&M at home. The Cornhusker faithful will be hungry for a win in the final conference matchup between these two and the Jayhawks will need to be as focused on the defensive end as Nebraska in order to get out of Lincoln with a win. Nebraska isn't a good offensive team, but they can force other teams to be just as bad. For Kansas it presnts an opportunity to match that defensive intensity and beat Nebraska at their own game in one final trip to Lincoln.