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Oklahoma vs. Kansas Preview & Game Thread (Pt. 2): Can the Sooners pull off the unthinkable?

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OU hasn’t won in Lawrence since 1993

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners will play in their most challenging game of the season after playing their best game of the season. Lon Kruger picked up his 600th career win against Kansas State in dominating fashion on Saturday, and his team has finally started to make some strides. However, the Sooners now travel to Lawrence, Kan., where Oklahoma hasn’t won since 1993. Can Oklahoma pull off the unthinkable?

Watching Information

The game tips at 8:00 PM CT at KU, and will be shown on ESPN. Catch it on Watch ESPN if you can’t get near a television, or come here and comment in the section below to find out what is happening!

History

Oklahoma has severely struggled against Kansas in the past. Oklahoma is 66-145 against the Jayhawks and 16-74 in Lawrence. KU has won the last three games and hasn’t lost to OU at home since 1993.

The last time OU played at KU, one of the most exciting regular season college basketball game occurred. Although the Sooners ended up falling short, the triple-overtime thriller was one for the ages. However, if Oklahoma could somehow pull off a miraculous win today, that may be more memorable than last year’s showdown.

This Season

It is not new information that Kansas and Oklahoma have had completely opposite seasons. Kansas is on the verge of clinching its 13th straight Big 12 title, while Oklahoma finally won its 10th game of the season. Here are some stats to know before the game:

  • Oklahoma is 165th in the country for 3-point shooting percentage, while Kansas is 7th in the country.
  • KU is 10th in the country for field goals made per game, and OU is 163rd.
  • Oklahoma is 41st in the country in blocks per game. Kansas is currently 45th.
  • The Jayhawks are 152nd in free throws made per game, while the Sooners are 83rd.

Defending the 3-pointer, limiting turnovers, owning the rebounding advantage and getting to the free throw line will be the keys to OU upsetting KU.

Key Players

Earlier this season when Kansas traveled to Norman, the Sooners went into the half with a nine-point lead over the Jayhawks. Kansas only had six players score, but Frank Mason III went for 28, with Josh Jackson helping with 16 points. These are a couple of players that the Sooners need to stop, but the Jayhawks have more playmakers that can swing the momentum of any game.

Oklahoma, on the other hand, had eight players contribute with scoring. Kameron McGusty and Rashard Odomes led the team with 13 points. McGusty, although only being a freshman, has stepped into the leadership role already, especially with Woodard not on the court. He has been one of the most consistent players this year, but there have been other contributing players (just with less consistency).

Prediction

Oklahoma had a great game against Kansas State, which will give them a boost of confidence going into this match-up. However, Allen Fieldhouse is a place where successful teams go to lose, let alone struggling teams. Don’t be surprised if OU gives KU a run for its money, as Kansas has had slow starts throughout the year. In the end, it will be Kansas celebrating once again.

Kansas 78, Oklahoma 65