The upcoming week is about as big as it gets for defending Big 12 champion Kansas.
With West Virginia–currently in first place in the conference–heading to Lawrence, KS., for a Tuesday matchup with the Jayhawks, followed by a trip to Norman, OK., to face the Sooners on Saturday, it’s likely Bill Self and his team will find out very quickly whether they can bring home a 12th straight title.
A win on Tuesday night for Kansas would create a 5-way tie for first place in the league race. Moving into first, though, would put KU right where they figured they would be at this point in the Big 12 race.
With an easy win over TCU on the road–Kansas’ first Big 12 road win this year–and Kansas State defeating No. 1 Oklahoma in Manhattan on Saturday, the conference remains the most difficult and and wide-open of any league in the country.
Perry Ellis led the Jayhawks with a fantastic performance against TCU, scoring 23 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Once again the senior forward quietly makes his case for first-team all Big 12. Ellis’ calm demeanor on the court allows him to fly under the radar until you look up and he has a double-double.
Junior guard Wayne Selden, Jr., was suffering from an illness, according to Self, and only managed three points in 22 minutes. After scoring a career-high 33 against Kentucky, Selden has scored just 1o points in his last two games.
Albeit sick and not playing at 100%, Selden’s slide and lack of production after exploding on the offensive end has been the story of his career as a Jayhawk. There is no doubt the talent is there, and his 6-foot-5 frame makes him an imposing guard, but his inconsistency keeps him from reaching his true potential and in turn lessens Kansas’ chances of reaching a Final Four.
In the first half, KU controlled tempo and completely took TCU out of the game with one of the best defensive performances of the season. The second half, however, saw the Jayhawks once again switch into a bit of a cruise-control effort level, allowing the Horned Frogs to get into a flow on the offensive end and close the gap.
Still, the lead never shrank below 15 points and the end result was never in doubt, but for Self, the lack of effort and shutting it down and closing up shop when the game is far from over is and continues to be a major concern.
Tuesday night, the Jayhawks will need to step on the throttle for a full 40 minutes against a team that only knows how to play at full throttle.
West Virginia’s press defense and chaotic style has hurt the Jayhawks in the past and resulted in KU losing three-straight games in Morgantown.
Bob Huggins is going to throw everything he has at the Jayhawks and create turnovers, much like they did at West Virginia when the Mountaineers beat then-No. 1 Kansas.
With so much on the line and another highly rated opponent coming to town, Allen Fieldhouse is likely to see another classic game this season. Tickets for less has seats available to Tuesday’s big game between Kansas and West Virginia. Head to Tickets For Less and choose from a variety of great seating options as well as parking passes. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to see KU take the floor, and with zero hidden service fees with every purchase, what you see is what you get. Get your seats today and Rock Chalk with KU in the cathedral of college basketball!