Kansas suffered one of the most shocking upsets in college basketball this season when it visited TCU earlier this month.
That loss came during a rough stretch for the ninth-ranked Jayhawks, but they've performed much better lately and will try to collect a fourth straight win in Saturday's rematch.
Although it had its 33-game home win streak end in its previous game, Kansas wasn't supposed to have too many problems in its trip to TCU on Feb. 6. The Jayhawks, though, shot 29.5 percent and went 3 of 22 from 3-point range as the Horned Frogs won 62-55 for their first-ever Big 12 victory.
"That was just one of those games. Yeah, we competed and played extremely hard, probably the hardest we've played all year, but they had a lot to do with it," said Horned Frogs coach Trent Johnson, whose team had lost its first eight conference games by an average of 16.0 points. "They missed a lot of (shots). It was probably one of those nights."
A loss at Oklahoma followed, but Kansas (22-4, 10-3) has responded with a win streak that's included two victories over ranked opponents.
"The biggest thing is we have played with great passion and energy," said coach Bill Self, who will seek his 499th career victory. "We went through a period of time where we played pretty stale."
Naadir Tharpe's short jumper with 16.5 seconds left in double overtime gave the Jayhawks a 68-67 win at No. 14 Oklahoma State on Wednesday night and pushed them into a tie for the conference lead with Kansas State.
"Our whole focus is just to win the Big 12," said guard Travis Releford, who had a team-leading 18 points. "Teams beat us. We knew we weren't going to run the table and go undefeated."
Kansas can take another step toward a ninth straight Big 12 regular-season title by avoiding another upset to last-place TCU (10-16, 1-12). The Horned Frogs, though, don't appear poised to pull off that feat again as they've dropped their past four games by an average of 20.8 points.
TCU erased a 12-point deficit Tuesday but couldn't take the lead in a 68-59 loss to Texas.
The Horned Frogs topped 40.0 percent shooting (45.7) for the first time in Big 12 play, and Garlon Green's team-best 15 points marked his first double-digit performance since he scored 20 in the win over then-No. 5 Kansas.
"Obviously, we've known all year that our margin of error is extremely slim," Johnson said. "We have to play close to perfect. It's really hard right now."
TCU might get a little help if it can get Jarvis Ray back from an injured left foot. The junior guard, who started the first nine games, hasn't played since Dec. 18 but Johnson was hoping he could practice this week.
Although they've finished with lackluster records in recent seasons, the Horned Frogs have won three of five against ranked teams. All of those wins, though, came at home.
TCU has dropped 19 straight road games against Top 25 opponents since an 83-76 victory at No. 24 Hawaii on Jan. 19, 1998.
The Horned Frogs lost 93-74 in their only previous visit to Lawrence, Kan., on Dec. 9, 2004, and trail 4-1 in the series.
- Sports & Recreation
- Horned Frogs
- The Jayhawks