Kansas coach Bill Self hopes his team is able to make something positive out of a negative experience.
The second-ranked Jayhawks look to rebound from their first loss of the season as they visit Colorado in a Big 12 matchup on Saturday.
Kansas (20-1, 5-1) lost 84-75 at No. 22 Kansas State on Wednesday, its first defeat on its rival’s homecourt since 1983. While the loss left No. 1 Memphis as the lone unbeaten Division I team, it put the Jayhawks in a position they have not been in all season.
“We weren’t going to run the table,” said Self, whose team also had its 13-game conference winning streak snapped. “As much as I wish we could, that wasn’t going to happen. So this could be a good thing for us in the long run. But certainly it stings.”
The Jayhawks have been known to get hot following a big loss. Last season, after Kansas lost at home to then-No. 10 Texas A&M on Feb. 3, it won 14 in a row before falling to UCLA in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament.
Bouncing back shouldn’t be too much trouble for Kansas as it tries for a 10th consecutive victory over Colorado (9-11, 1-5), which has lost 36 of its last 37 to the Jayhawks.
Wednesday, Kansas didn’t play that poorly, shooting 48.1 percent, but was outplayed by a determined Kansas State team with a raucous home crowd behind it.
The Jayhawks committed 16 turnovers—their most in league play—and were outrebounded by four. Guards Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson both fouled out, while leading scorer Darrell Arthur was in foul trouble most of the game to match a season low with 17 minutes played.
Chalmers finished with 19 points, Arthur had 12 and Brandon Rush added 15 for Kansas, which allowed more than 78 points for the first time this season.
“Saying that we were bad would take away from how well (Kansas State) performed,” Self said. “I don’t think we were good but I think they were a big reason why.”
Saturday, the Jayhawks look to avoid losing consecutive Big 12 road contests for the first time since losing three in a row from Feb. 14-Mar. 6, 2005.
Robinson had 14 points and Arthur 11 in Kansas’ 75-46 win at Colorado on Feb. 14 in the teams’ most recent meeting. Rush is averaging 14.5 points and Chalmers 13.5 in four career games each versus the Buffaloes.
Colorado will try to avoid a fifth consecutive loss after falling 57-41 at Iowa State on Tuesday. The Buffaloes, the Big 12’s lowest-scoring team at 62.6 points per contest, were held to a season low while being outscored 42-19 in the second half.
Senior guard Richard Roby had 13 points and five rebounds for Colorado. Roby leads the team with 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game and is averaging 15.0 points in six career contests versus Kansas.
Roby had 30 in Colorado’s 97-74 loss at Kansas on Jan. 27, 2007.