So we are halfway through the conference season, and we find ourselves in a familiar position: leading in the conference standings. How confident are we that Kansas will stay in that position? Does Kansas start to give some of that ground back on Saturday?
PenHawk: I know I'm usually the gloomy one when it comes to these predictions, but I have a really bad feeling about this game. Kansas has won several on a row, and now finds themselves with a two game cushion immediately following a huge Big Monday win. This has trap game written all over it. Oklahoma State is a solid team that plays very well at home, and unless Kansas is really focused Saturday, this looks like a likely candidate for an upset. Oklahoma State 79, Kansas 73
dnoll5: Both teams are coming off emotional wins, so in that regard, I think this game is less of a trap for KU than most people think. Plus, Kansas has had an extra day of preparation, so I think Bill Self will have them ready. KU did a nice job shutting down Phil Forte III in the game in Lawrence, especially in the second half. He scored nine points from the free throw line, but four of them were from technicals and three were from a "bogus lean into the shooter while pretending he was taking a legitimate shot" play. If KU can limit his looks, I like their chances, even in what will probably be KU's most difficult road environment left on the schedule. Kansas 77, Oklahoma State 71.
KU Grad 08: I also have a bad feeling about this game, however two years ago our team went to Stillwater and won a grind-it-out slugfest. I think we can do the same in this one. As long as OSU doesn't get red hot from three (which is a possibility) I think we can pull it out. Also, I think it helps that both Iowa State and West Virginia are only two games behind us. Our team knows it needs to keep fighting to keep its lead. Kansas 64, Oklahoma Light 61.
Jim Hammen: I think this game is coming down to the final minute and the final possession. KU rarely shoots well in Stillwater, but the defense will ensure that it's a struggle on Okie St.'s side as well. Feels like one of those games where neither team leads by more than 7 or 8 the whole way, and KU survives a last-second shot by Phil Forte in the end and maintains its two-game Big 12 lead. Kansas 68, Oklahoma St. 66.
wkenefake: While this feels like a potential let down game after a big home win against Iowa State, I have a feeling KU will be up for this game. Even though Marcus Smart is gone of course, you could tell from the first matchup that there is still a lot of bad blood between these two teams. Because of this, I think everyone sophomore and older on the team won't let the freshmen take this game lightly. I believe Coach Self also with this longer stretch between games is really reminding the players every day what happened last year when KU went to play Oklahoma State in Stillwater. I expect a very chippy game with probably a few technicals and probably a lot of fouls in general. I think we can get Cliff going after a couple mediocre games from him and I predict a double-double for him with KU winning comfortably due to not overlooking this game. Kansas 77, Oklahoma State 65
J. Michael Winmore: The 2008 loss in Stillwater was one of just three during that National Championship season. The 2010 loss in Stillwater was the only conference loss. And I blame the loss down there last season for derailing the Hawks' chances at a deep title run, because it was the game in Stillwater that broke Embiid's back. The first meeting between these teams at Allen was a chippy foul fest. So this game might be uglier than the Cowboys bright orange uniforms. In the first meeting Phil Forte was lighting it up early. Then Self put Devonte Graham on him and Forte was effectively nonexistent the rest of the game. Look for Bill to utilize his dueling point guards, Mason and Graham, earlier in this match up. Gallagher-Iba will be rocking as usual. It will be tough, but I think Kansas gets it done. We'll go with a gross score line like we've seen all season long in college basketball. Kansas 57 - Oklahoma State 50.
Jvaughn11: I am not sure I would call this a trap game, but I do think we have to slog our way through this one. It was mentioned above that KU has "struggled" in Iba Arena and I think that will be the case in this game. I too expect a chippy/physical game. Chippiness prevented the last meeting from having any flow. It was difficult to watch and tomorrow could mirror that. Its pretty obvious that slowing down Phil Forte and Le'Bryan Nash is critical and if we can do that while remaining out of foul trouble we have a good shot at leaving with a win. I wouldn't be shocked if we lose but I'll be damned if I predict that. Advantage KU in that we have played in a number of close games. I think that helps us as this one will go down to the wire. KU 76 - OSU 71.
the6thJayhawk: I honestly don't think this will be a loss (or a so-called "trap game") for KU, but I do think the Jayhawks will struggle to find an offensive rhythm. OSU will get hot from three, and the game will be back and forth until half time. Perry Ellis will struggle down low, but between Mason, Oubre, and Greene, KU will stay in it. Cliff Alexander will be the ultimate difference maker, and it will likely come down to a few lucky shots and some made free throws (likely from Greene). KU will win out, but it won't be an easy or a pretty win for Bill Self at his alma mater. Kansas 71 - Oklahoma State 67.
cstonehoops: Much has already been said about the Jayhawks' struggles at Gallagher-Iba Arena, so I won't repeat that here. I expect this game to be drastically different than the first meeting in which Phil Forte was hobbled by a big screen and Kansas shot 46 free throws. The Jayhawks have enough perimeter defenders to chase Forte around all of OSU's screens, but they won't get to the line as often on the road. I think we're in for a low scoring affair that requires Kansas to make their free throws down the stretch. Kansas 61 - Oklahoma State 56.
fizzle406: don't know why everyone is gloomy about this one. KU had all week to prepare and is coming off a good couple of wins. I feel good about it and I think KU will respond well to the one time this year Gallagher-Iba will be at capacity. Kansas 76, The Oklahoma State University 63
misterbrain: It's all going to come down to how well the Cowboys execute on offense. OSU and Kansas are essentially dead even on defense in conference play this year, but Kansas has the second best offense while Oklahoma State has the 7th. If KU gets off to a fast start, OSU probably won't be able to make it all the way back, even if they do make it interesting. Unfortunately for the Pokes, I think KU gets off to a great start, consistently building a 10-12 point lead at the half. OSU starts the second half well to pull within a couple buckets, but KU puts them away late as Phil Forte III just can't hit enough 3s to keep them in it. Kansas 81, Oklahoma State 68