Kansas freshman leads Jayhawks to 23rd consecutive win in conference openers

Kansas had already lost four times, had fallen to No. 18 in the Associated Press poll and was three days removed from a rare home loss Wednesday night when it opened Big 12 Conference play at Oklahoma.

If the Jayhawks were ever going to drop a conference opener, it seemed it might be this season.

But the Jayhawks extended their winning streak in conference openers to 23 straight outlasting an Oklahoma team with five starters averaging double figures 90-83 thanks to a stellar outing from freshman Wayne Selden.

Selden scored in double figures in only four previous games this season and never more than 15 points. He finished his first meeting with the Sooners as the leading scorer in the game with 24 points. He also made a key play late in the game diving for a loose ball that retained possession for the Jayhawks and helped maintain a slim lead.

Oklahoma presented a solid challenge for the Jayhawks in the conference opener, especially considering the fragile mental state of Bill Self's team after losing at home to San Diego State on Sunday. But the Jayhawks will be challenged to a much greater degree in the next four games, all against ranked conference opponents.

Considering the way the season has gone for the young Jayhawks, it wouldn't be a surprise if they lost a game or even two over the next two weeks. But this is Kansas, a program that is trying to win its 10th consecutive Big 12 regular season title. It also wouldn't be a surprise to see the Jayhawks begin to put things together.

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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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