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Nuts & Bolts Preview: Kansas @ Oklahoma

Kansas vs. Oklahoma

Top spot in the Big 12 standings is on the line as Kansas (22-5, 11-1) heads to Oklahoma (25-2, 11-1) for ESPN Big Monday. KU findsitself in familiar territory as it heads into the final two weeks of the regular season. Kansas is four-time defending Big 12 regular-season champion and has won eight of the 12 league titles since the inception of the conference in 1996-97. Kansas takes a three-game winning streak to Norman after its 70-53 win against Nebraska Saturday. Oklahoma had its 13-game win streak snapped at Texas Saturday with a 73-68 loss. Following the Oklahoma contest, KU will host the Big 12 third-place team, Missouri, on Sunday.

Denver's Thoughts...

Well here we go...a game that has significant bearing on the Big 12 title and the million dollar question seems to be will Blake Griffin play.  If he doesn't it makes this a completely different game, by no means is it easy either way but it does seem a little less daunting if he's out.  Griffin accounts for roughly 28% of OU's offense and an impressive 37% of the teams rebounding, take that away and it certainly diminishes the shock that OU can impose.  However, Willie Warren, Austin Johnson, Taylor Griffin, Tony Crocker and Juan Pattillo are certainly no small task.  My vote is let's have at him, bring on Blake Griffin and even if the result is not what we'd like it will be a learning experience and one we can use as a great measuring stick down the stretch.  Nothing like going toe to toe with the future National Player of the Year (if he doesn't win it, he's being robbed as badly as Michael Beasley.)  It's going to be a fun night in Norman and a fun night at RCT and the OGT...I'll see you there.  Two predictions in this one from me one with Griffen and one without. 

Score Prediction w/Griffin:  Oklahoma 79  Kansas 70

Score Prediction w/out Griffin:  Kansas 74 Oklahoma 70 

Rock Chalk and see you for Big Monday!!!!

Team Stats

KU 77.0 48.5 72.8 38.1 41.6 12.0 26.9 16.3 14.9 7.0 4.5 19.2
OU 80.1 48.9 68.2 36.5 41.8 12.1 27.0 15.0 13.1 7.3 4.6 16.9
KU Opponents 64.3 38.0 70.7 32.5 34.0 11.2 19.9 12.5 14.0 7.1 3.1 20.0
OU Opponents 66.6 39.3 67.3 34.2 37.8 12.9 21.0 11.7 13.1 6.0 2.1 21.3


More Stats, notes and breakdown after the jump...


Ranks and Records

Rank and Records KU
RPI #9
Strength of Schedule #24
Overall 22-5
Conference 11-1
Home 16-1
Away 5-3
Top 25 1-2
RPI Top 50 6-4


About Kansas

In Kansas’ 12 conference wins, eight have been decided by double figures, all KU victories. The Jayhawks are 5-3 in season road games and 5-1 on the road in conference play. KU has won three straight and 11 of its last 12 outings.

The Jayhawks are averaging 77.0 points per game and giving up 64.3 for a +12.7 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.1 percent, rebound defense at 31.1 and rebound margin at +7.2. KU at 50.3 percent and Oklahoma at 50.5 percent are the only two league teams to shoot better than 50 percent in league play. Conversely, the Jayhawks lead the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense in league games at 37.5 percent.

About Oklahoma

Oklahoma entered the season ranked 12th nationally and has climbed up to No. 2 with a 25-2 (11-1) record. Both OU losses have been on the road – at Arkansas and at Texas Saturday. The Sooners are 15-0 at home and are tied for the nation’s third-longest home court winning streak at 19 games, behind Kansas’ 39 and Utah State’s 32. OU is tied with Cornell and Pittsburgh on the home court streak. Oklahoma leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.9 percent. The Sooners average 80.1 points per game and are giving up 66.6 for a +13.5 scoring margin. They are outrebounding foes by five boards a game at 39.1 to 34.1. OU is led by national player of the year candidate Blake Griffin who has dominated all season long with his Big 12-leading averages of 22 points and 13.8 rebounds per contest. Griffin has a nation-leading 22 double-doubles and leads the Big 12 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage at 63.2 percent.

Meet the Opposing Coach

Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel is in his third season at OU with a 64-29 record. Capel is 143-70 overall in his sixth season as a head coach, as he compiled a 79-41 (.658) record in his previous four years as coach at Virginia Commonwealth. In addition to OU’s success this season, Capel guided OU to a 23-12 record last season as the Sooners advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship.
Under Capel, the Rams won at least 18 games in each of Capel’s four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth with the 2003-04 squad registering a Capel-era-best 23-8 record. Capel was a four year starter at Duke from 1993-97. He is 0-3 as a head coach against Kansas.

The Series

Kansas leads the overall series with Oklahoma, 133-64. KU has won the last four meetings and five of the last six matchups with OU. In Norman, KU holds a 46-40 series edge, yet the Sooners lead 15-14 in games played in the Lloyd Noble Center. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 12-4 against Oklahoma - 10-2 in regular-season meetings and 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship. Expect a close contest as 10 of the last 13 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less. This series dates back to 1920. The most notable victory in the series for KU was the 1988 NCAA Championship game, an 83-79 Kansas victory. In that game, current KU assistant Danny Manning scored 31 points and pulled down 18 rebounds as KU entered the event a No. 6 seed. Manning went on to be named the collegiate player of the year and most outstanding player of the NCAA Tournament. Another KU
starter from the 1988 championship game is Chris Piper, a member of the Jayhawk Radio Network. Last season, Blake Griffin was injured in the first four minutes as Kansas defeated OU 85-55 in Lawrence. Current Jayhawks Sherron Collins (nine points), Cole Aldrich (six points, three rebounds), Tyrel Reed (two minutes) and Conner Teahan (one minute) played against OU.

A Kansas Win Would…

Improve Kansas to 23-5 on the season and be KU's 20th-straight season with at least 23 wins dating back to 1989-90…

Make KU 12-1 in Big 12 play, its best conference 13-game record since the 2001-02 team went 16-0…

Mark the ninth-straight season KU has won at least 12 conference games
dating back to 2000-01…

Give Kansas its fifth-straight win against Oklahoma…

Make the all-time series with Oklahoma 134-64, including 47-40 in games played in Norman, 15-15 in Lloyd Noble Center and 13-4 in the Big 12 era…

Improve Bill Self to 165-37 while at KU, 372-142 overall and 6-3 against Oklahoma, 6-1 while at KU…

Make Kansas 1,966-790 all-time.

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

My look at the past favorite players, coaches etc. from the opponents...add yours in the comments...

Stacey King - Made 1988 possible...thanks Stacey

Ryan Minor - Guy made things happen, he was a player too.

Eduardo Najera - Favorite Sooner ever, hardest worker you'll ever see.

Hollis Price - Competitor all the way...loved watching him play

Nate Erdman - Name sounded great on the PA and the guy could shoot.

Kelvin Sampson - Sure it ended badly but I never wanted to play this guy twice...if you got the best of him the first time you better get ready for a dogfight in round 2.

Remaining Games

1 *MISSOURI (CBS) ................ 1 p.m.
4 *at Texas Tech (ESPN2) .... 8:30 p.m.
7 *TEXAS (CBS) ...................... 3 p.m.
11-14 ~Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship