Oklahoma State and Kansas. What a rivalry this has become in the last few years, especially with the peak of Marcus Smart and KU fans' extreme loathing. Here are some things to look out for as the No. 24 Pokes try to make it through the Phog.
In the 164 previous neetings, No. 9 Kansas leads the all time series 109-55, with 58 of those wins at home in Lawrence. Travis Ford, however he's done it (I'm starting to suspect voodoo), has kept things tight between the two teams. In the last five meetings, the Cowboys have outscored the Jayhawks 372-370, yet KU has won three of the contests. Sports math is fun, huh? But fear not, through more cajun magic from Travis, at least one-third of Ford's wins over Top 10 foes have been against Kansas.
KU's Season So Far
The Jayhawks enter the matchup with a 13-2 (2-0 Big 12) record, with the two losses coming from the NBA's University of Kentucky and the other a 77-52 (!) loss to Temple. In conference play, KU escaped Baylor 56-55 and blew the doors off Texas Tech 86-54. Tuesday's game will be the first meeting with OSU this season, and the Jayhawks will come to Stillwater for Round II on Feb. 7.
About the Jayhawks
KU is led by junior forward Perry Ellis, who averages 12.5 points and 6.3 boards per game. Narrowly behind him is sophomore guard Frank Mason III with 12.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, followed by Wayne Seldon Jr. (9.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG), Cliff Alexander (8.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (7.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG).
As a team, the Jayhawks average 71.2 PPG. Conversely, OSU averages 71.7. KU sports a .436 FG percentage (OSU .456) and a .395 3-point FG percentage (OSU .348). The Fighting Bill Selfs force approximately 11.6 turnovers, but make about 12.5 turnovers themselves. The Cowboys have recorded 133 steals so far this season, and if they control the pace like they did against Texas, could see more success in that area.
This one is tough. The Cowboys seem to be starting to come together, but there are still quite a few hiccups. And then there's a Bill Self coached team, albeit one that may not be as strong as teams past. Oh, and the game is in the Phog. However, I'm going to take the Cowboys to upset 75-74 in overtime.