Did someone flip the calendar ahead to March? Is tonight's game in Kansas City? This game tonight has the feel of a Big 12 Championship matchup, but we get to be in the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse. How will that work out for us? We asked the crew for their thoughts:
David: To me, this all comes down to how well Oklahoma shoots, and how well Kansas defends. There should be plenty of possessions, and although Oklahoma plays excellent defense, they don't turn teams over and Kansas should still get their opportunities to score. If Kansas can keep a hand in all the Sooner shooters’ faces, the AFH advantage should be enough. I don't know if there's evidence to back this up, but it seems like jump shooting teams have a harder time taking their show on the road. If this holds true, and Kansas continues playing the way they have recently, the Jayhawks should be able to outscore Oklahoma. Kansas 81, Oklahoma 78
mikeville: Gosh, I dunno. Bill Self has only lost nine times in Allen Fieldhouse. Total. EVER. Nine times. I suppose if anyone this year is gonna roll into Lawrence and do that, it would most likely be this OU squad. To me, it seems that the national narrative is something along the lines of "Oklahoma has a chance to knock off KU this year." I haven’t seen very many people calling for it, but I think that just the talk of it is going to be enough #Motivation. And we all know how effective #Motivation can be, don’t we, Commecialeer… Kansas 88, Oklahoma 80
Fizzle406: Call me crazy but I don’t see KU losing this one. The fieldhouse is going to be lit, the guys are going to be going nuts, it’s going to be crazy. Sure a veteran OU squad is going to handle the pressure as well as anyone but 16,000 insanely loud fans are going to be tough for anyone to handle. Kansas 91, Oklahoma 86
Winmore: 1-v-1. When the polls come out today KU and OU may split the top spots. Though it’s much earlier in the season, we haven’t seen a Big 12 contest with this much top five weight since Kansas and Mizzou played that one, last, immortal time in February of 2012. I can’t wait to watch a free flowing offensive game tonight. Both teams can bomb away. I give Kansas a slight advantage on the defensive end, which will probably be enough in front of their home crowd. Sooner fans need something to make themselves feel better after Clemson spanked them in football. Don’t look for that feel good story to come at the expense of the ‘Hawks. Kansas 89, Oklahoma 79.
KU Grad 08: Everytime I watch OU play, I get the impression that they take a lot of bad shots. They’ll make every one of those in Norman when we play, but I get the feeling it’ll be tougher sledding in Lawrence. Hield will get his, but I think some timely threes and a solid game from Perry are enough for KU to pull it out. Kansas 92, Oklahoma 90.
NineToesBlogging: Well here it is. Kansas had been on MSU’s heels ever since that early season loss. Kansas has been flawless since that game and will be rewarded with the number one ranking in the country. Their prize? 2nd ranked Oklahoma. These games are literally just a shot in the dark and hope something sticks. However, Kansas is at home, and like our friend mikeville has pointed out Bill Self has lost nine times at home, ever. I don't have the numbers in front of me but guessing that's pretty good. I am biased but I don't see Oklahoma coming into Allen Fieldhouse and beating a Bill Self coached group. Not this group. This Kansas squad has been arguably the best team Bill Self has ever had. Kansas and Bill Self simply do not lose at home. They don't care who you are. Kansas 90, Oklahoma 84
dnoll5: Big game at Allen Fieldhouse you say? Big Monday with all the eyes of the nation on Allen Fieldhouse, eh? Oklahoma probably knows what it’s getting itself into, but the atmosphere is going to be through the roof. With the momentum of an early arriving and psyched crowd, Kansas should get off to a fast start. Look for Oklahoma to make it interesting (remember last year?) and this one will be intriguing all the way to the end where KU’s depth and talent win out. This game could go up and down the court and I’m not sure there’s a team in the country that can keep up with KU in a track meet. Kansas 90, Oklahoma 80.
the6thJayhawk: I imagine this is going to be a relatively low-scoring and defensive game. Both teams are so good offensively and defensively, but I feel like both Self and Kruger will emphasize defensive strategies over offensive ones. Both teams will be super-hyped up, and might take a while to get into rhythm, especially Oklahoma, as they’re coming off a tight home win against ISU. I think we’ll come out against them much like we did against Baylor: taking and making a lot of good shots, probably 3s. We’ll cool off, though, 8 or 9 minutes into the first half, and -- as I said before -- the game will largely be a defensive one. Oklahoma will creep back into it, and we’ll go into halftime fairly even. The second half will be a time game, and I imagine it will come down to the last five or so minutes. The hallowed AFH atmosphere will carry us through, and Kansas will walk away with a squeaked out win against OU. Kansas 72, Oklahoma 67.
misterbrain: I don't know that I can predict how this game will start. Both teams have run wild at times this year, and both teams can clamp down on defense. We're likely to see big runs from each team. What I do know is that Kansas is a deeper team, and they have the home crowd behind them in this one, which should help to energize them down the stretch. I expect a close game, but good free throw shooting should help the Jayhawks put the game away. Kansas 82, Oklahoma 73