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Three things to watch in Oklahoma's game against Kansas

Jan. 12—22 consecutive trips to Allen Fieldhouse have offered nothing but frustration for Oklahoma since joining the Big 12.

Regardless of what happens on Saturday, the Sooners at least know that this will no longer be a yearly discussion point. But if No. 9 Oklahoma can pull off what it's failed to do so many times before, it would certainly be a big moment for the program.

Through three conference games and 12 non-conference games the Sooners have already proven they have the talent to compete with any of the teams in the conference. What they're still looking for is a marquee win over a top-10 team.

The No. 3 Jayhawks just suffered their second loss of the season on Tuesday to UCF. Still, they've been ranked in the top five of every AP poll since the start of the season and won 16 of the last 18 Big 12 regular season titles.

Here are three things to watch in the Sooners' road game against Kansas:

1. Back on the road — The Sooners have struggled in their last two games on the road and now have to be prepared to play in the toughest venue in the conference.

Kansas has won nine straight on its home floor and is 307-17 all-time under head coach Bill Self.

In a top-10 matchup between two of the conferences' top teams, the Fieldhouse will be doing everything it can to try to rattle a young Oklahoma team.

2. Hunter Dickinson — A transfer from Michigan, Dickinson has been the X-factor for the Jayhawks this season.

Through 15 games, he's leading the conference with 11.9 rebounds per game and is second in the conference with 18.9 points per game. Dickinson got in foul trouble on Tuesday against the Knights and only contributed 12 points and four rebounds in the loss.

However, even with Dickinson out of the game, the Jayhawks are a dangerous team. His teammate, Kevin McCullar Jr., leads the conference in points with 19.8 per game and leads the country in triple-doubles with two. The senior guard is shooting 38% from behind the arc this season and is active on the offensive glass.

3. Close, but so far — The Jayhawks are 120-54 all-time under Self in games decided by five points or fewer.

Each of the Sooners' last three losses in Lawrence have come by four points or fewer. So far this season they're 3-1 in games that were decided by 10 points or fewer including a two-point win over USC.

Tarik Masri is the sports editor for The Transcript covering OU athletics and area sports. You can reach him by emailing tarik@normantranscript.com