Early Kansas Versus Oklahoma State PreviewBy Jonathan K.
Wednesday, February 20 @ 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2
In what is the biggest marquee game of the week, two of the Big 12’s best teams are going to clash for the right to be called the best team in the division. Not only will this showdown between Kansas and Oklahoma State have major Big 12 implications, it will also have a tremendous impact on the National Rankings.
Currently Kansas sits at number 9 in the Nation while Oklahoma City sits at 14. Both these teams position in the rankings will change depending on the out come of this game. Both teams sit at 9-3 in the Big 12. Overall Kansas is 21-4 compared to Oklahoma State’s 19-5 record. Adding a mark in the L column to Kansas would do a lot to make the case that Oklahoma State deserves to be positioned above Kansas on the AP Poll, while simultaneously cementing them as the team to beat in the Big 12.
Earlier in the season when these two teams met Oklahoma State handed Kansas a devastating loss by simply using their tremendous offense to plow through one of the best defenses in the nation. Oklahoma State scored 85 points, Kansas most allowed points this season. The loss also kicked off a losing streak in Kansas.
Since then the Jayhawks have found their stride and have been rampaging through the NCAA. They are currently on a six game winning streak and will be looking for a bit of redemption when they play Oklahoma St.
Kansas key to victory is fairly simple. Clearly their normal defensive schemes are not going to work on an offense like Oklahoma St who read the Jayhawks defense like a book in these teams’ last encounter. While the Jayhawks defense has worked well in the past, they are far from perfect as shown by their last losing streak. Kansas often allow too many open shots that a team like the Cowboys will capitalize on. Kansas is going to have to step it up in order to contain Oklahoma St’s offense.
Oklahoma will simply need to repeat the same game plan that got them past Kansas during their last encounter. The one-punch by their two guards Markel Brown and Marcus Smart was devastating to the Jawhawks. Brown scored 28 points in the first half and when the Jayhawks were forced to double up on him in the second, Marcus Smart took over the duties as leading scorer. If Kansas cannot stop this lethal combination this time out, we will see a similar outcome to the last game.
The betting lines for this game have yet to be released.