Kansas bounced back from its first loss of the season by beating Colorado earlier this month.
The third-ranked Jayhawks look to rebound from their most recent defeat by doing the same when they host the Buffaloes in a Big 12 matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Kansas (23-2, 8-2) lost 72-69 at No. 11 Texas on Monday for just its second defeat in 33 regular-season contests dating to 2006-07. The Jayhawks still hold a one-half game lead over the Longhorns and No. 18 Kansas State in the conference.
As the school plans to bring back more than 200 former players, coaches and staff to celebrate 110 years of Jayhawk basketball Saturday, Kansas again hopes to bounce back from a loss by beating last-place Colorado (10-13, 2-7).
After falling 84-75 at then-No. 22 Kansas State on Jan. 30, the Jayhawks won 72-59 at Colorado three days later. Kansas will now try for its 11th straight victory over the Buffaloes overall and 25th in a row against them at Allen Fieldhouse, where the Jayhawks have won 21 consecutive games.
Though Colorado is 0-4 on the road in the Big 12 and hasn’t won in Lawrence since a 75-74 victory on Feb. 10, 1983, Kansas coach Bill Self doesn’t expect his team to take the Buffaloes for granted.
“They’ve made gradual improvement the whole time,” Self said. “Even though we won by 13 out there (Boulder), our players won’t think that was easy because they made us play the entire 40 minutes.”
Darnell Jackson had 18 points and Brandon Rush added 15 for Kansas in the last meeting with Colorado. The Jayhawks outscored the Buffaloes 42-29 in the second half of a game that was tied at halftime.
Kansas also hopes Saturday’s contest won’t be as grueling as Monday’s matchup with Texas.
The Jayhawks fell short in a physical, low-scoring game where they led by six at halftime. Kansas, however, shot 43.5 percent for the game and was outrebounded 23-12 in the second half, where the teams were tied or traded the lead four times during one stretch.
“We have plenty of things that we need to work on, but I’m not ready to say that the sky is falling because we lost to a Top 11 team on the road by a possession,” Self said. “I do think that if we had done some things differently, our chances for a different outcome would have been much better.”
Darrel Arthur had 22 points and six rebounds, while Jackson and Mario Chalmers each added 13 points Monday for Kansas, which scored its second-fewest points of the season behind a 59-55 win over then-No. 22 Southern California on Dec. 2.
Colorado, meanwhile, beat Oklahoma 72-58 at home last Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak.
Richard Roby and Marcus Hall each had 19 points for the Buffaloes, who shot 60.0 percent and went 7-for-11 from 3-point range while playing just their second game since falling to Kansas.
“We know we can play with any team; we have played with every team thus far,” Hall said. “We just got to keep learning how to keep fighting and play a 40-minute game.”
Roby, the team’s leading scorer at 17.1 points per contest, had 22 versus the Jayhawks earlier this month and is averaging 21.0 points in his last three games.