The Kansas Jayhawks are 20-5 (10-2 in the Big 12), ranked No. 7 in the nation, and are tied for first place in the conference with the 23-2 (10-2) Missouri Tigers. This is the 23rd straight season in which the Jayhawks have won at least 20 games and they are attempting to win their 13th straight conference championship.
They have a quick turnaround after Saturday night's game as they travel the one hour and 25 minutes west from Lawrence to Manhattan, Kan. to take on the 17-7 Kansas State Wildcats in Fred Bramlage Coliseum on ESPN's Big Monday. This is the Jayhawks' third Big Monday game of four they will play this season and it's the Wildcats' first and only.
The Wildcats are coming off of a loss on the road against Texas and play three straight ranked teams in the next week and a half starting with Kansas. They're led by junior guard Rodney McGruder, who is averaging 14.6 points per game, and sophomore guard Will Spradling, who averages 10.4. The Jayhawks are coming off a win over Oklahoma State and are led by junior forward Thomas Robinson, who is averaging 18.1 points per game, and senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, who is averaging 16.8.
The two teams played earlier this season when Kansas was ranked No. 15 and Kansas State was ranked at No. 22. In that game, the Jayhawks ended up walking away with an 18-point win, defeating the Wildcats by a score of 67-49. Kansas is 38th in college basketball in scoring while Kansas State is ranked 79th.
This is the 273rd time that the Jayhawks and the Wildcats have faced off against each other. Kansas has recently owned this series by winning 22 of the last 24 games in Manhattan and the Wildcats have only beaten the Jayhawks three times since 1994.
The Jayhawks are heading to the NCAA tournament and if the selection were made today, Kansas State may make it too. Unfortunately, there are still five games to play after the game against Kansas and two of them are against ranked opponents. If they want to play more than one game in March, they need to win the majority of the games they have left and they could get off to a good start tonight.
The game starts at 8 p.m. (ET) and will be aired nationally on ESPN.