Kansas-Baylor Preview


Kansas seemed to be on the fast track to another Big 12 regular-season title, but now Bill Self's squad is looking to bounce back after hitting a roadblock in the first stop on its two-game Texas trip.

Coming off their first Big 12 defeat, the eighth-ranked Jayhawks will try to beat Baylor for the second time in 16 days while sending the Bears to their longest home losing streak in nine years Tuesday night.

Kansas (16-5, 7-1) raced to the top of the Big 12 standings with seven straight win by an average of 12.2 points before red-hot No. 25 Texas ended that run with an 81-69 home win Saturday.

"We can come down here and play well and lose, that's our league and that's every time you play," Self said. "We didn't give ourselves the best chance and certainly Texas had a ton to do with that."

Wayne Selden Jr. finished with a team-high 21 points, but the Jayhawks shot just 38.5 percent from the field - their second-lowest mark of the season - as the Longhorns pulled to within a game of the conference leaders.

Kansas, which also dropped two spots in the rankings, entered the contest shooting a league-best 51.0 percent.

"It is a long season, we may have gotten caught up," said Selden, a freshman guard. "We have to take it one game at time."

Fellow freshman Andrew Wiggins looks to get back on track after finishing with just seven points on 2-of-12 shooting in Saturday's loss. The star guard had scored 24.3 per game on 58.3 percent shooting - including 7 of 14 from 3-point range - in his previous three.

Wiggins, averaging a team-high 16.0 points, scored 17 while going 10 for 12 from the free-throw line in a 78-68 home win over then-No. 24 Baylor on Jan. 20.

Teammate Perry Ellis, who had 11 points in Saturday's loss, led the way with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting in that meeting as the Jayhawks shot 57.5 percent - their second-best performance of the season.

Now Kansas will try to deal Baylor (14-7, 2-6) its first four-game home skid since it dropped six in a row in 2004-05.

The Bears, however, are hoping to beat ranked opponents in back-to-back games for the first time in school history. They snapped a five-game losing streak with a 76-70 win at then-No. 8 Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Brady Heslip had a season-high 20 points and hit 6 of 13 from 3-point range, while Cory Jefferson added 11 points and 13 rebounds as the Bears shot 51.9 percent and made 11 of 23 from beyond the arc.

"Now we're on a one-game winning streak," said Heslip, who scored 19 with six 3s in last month's loss at Kansas. "So, we're just thinking about the next game now.''

Jefferson, averaging a team-best 12.5 points, scored 25 on 11-of-13 shooting in an 81-58 victory over No. 4 Kansas in the most recent meeting in Waco on March 9.

This matchup features two of the Big 12's top rebounding teams. While the Bears lead the league with a plus-8.6 rebounding margin, the Jayhawks are tied for second at plus-6.8 with Joel Embiid (8.8 per game in his last 10) leading the way.

Baylor point guard Kenny Chery, who shot 1 of 8 against the Jayhawks two weeks ago, may be able to return after he missed Saturday's win with a foot injury.

Kansas has won 20 of 24 all-time meetings, though the teams have split the last four.