(3) Kansas (24-5) at Texas Tech (12-17)

Showers Currently: Lubbock, TX, US
Temp: 53° F
  • Game info: 9:30 pm EST Wed Mar 4, 2009
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All Kansas needs is one win in its final two games to clinch its fifth consecutive Big 12 regular-season title. Facing a slumping Texas Tech team could eliminate any suspense heading into the Jayhawks’ finale.

Kansas looks for its sixth straight victory Wednesday night in Lubbock as it takes on a Red Raiders squad trying to snap a six-game slide.

The ninth-ranked Jayhawks (24-5, 13-1) extended their nation-best home winning streak to 40 with Sunday’s 90-65 victory over then-No. 11 Missouri.

After scoring a career high-tying 26 in an 87-78 win over then-No. 3 Oklahoma on Feb. 23, junior Sherron Collins scored a team-high 25 and added six assists and five rebounds Sunday as the Jayhawks avenged a 62-60 loss at Missouri on Feb. 9 - Kansas’ last defeat.

“I think today (Sunday) was just one of those days that went well for us,” said Collins, named the Big 12 Player of the Week the last two weeks. “I think we had a tick in our ear after what happened in Columbia.”

Collins looks for his fifth straight 20-plus point game Wednesday against a Texas Tech team ranked last in the Big 12 in scoring defense (79.3).

In the teams’ last meeting, Collins scored 13 off the bench as the Jayhawks won 109-51 on March 3, 2008, in Lawrence. It was the largest margin of victory in Big 12 history.

Cole Aldrich had 11 points and 11 rebounds in that win. On Sunday, the sophomore center posted his fourth straight double-double - and 17th of the season - with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Aldrich went 8-of-13 from the field as the Jayhawks made 55.9 percent of their shots, including 57.1 percent (8-of-14) from 3-point range.

Aldrich leads the Big 12 in blocks per game (2.5) and is second in the conference to Oklahoma sophomore Blake Griffin in rebounding (10.8) and field goal percentage (61.4). He’ll face a Texas Tech team that has been outrebounded by an average of 13.5 during its losing streak.

Kansas has outrebounded its last four opponents by an average of 12.8.

Tyshawn Taylor scored 15 on Sunday after his career-high 26-point effort against Oklahoma on Feb. 23. He was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Monday.

“I’m falling in love with this team,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, whose squad hosts Texas on Saturday afternoon in its regular-season finale. “They try hard and they’re getting more and more aggressive all the time.”

Texas Tech (12-17, 2-12) has dropped six straight for the first time since losing seven in a row from Jan. 20-Feb. 18, 2001. The Red Raiders lost their third straight at home Saturday, 78-63 to Griffin and Oklahoma.

“He’s the best,” Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said of Griffin, who had 20 points and 18 rebounds. “I think he’s the total package.”

Sophomore John Roberson has arguably been the Red Raiders’ most consistent player this season. The sophomore guard, averaging a team-high 14.3 points and 6.5 assists, had 17 and seven versus the Sooners. He has the program’s single-season record with 188 assists.

Texas Tech has won the last two meetings with Kansas at United Spirit Arena, but has lost 17 of 20 all-time against the Jayhawks.

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