There is no bigger college basketball game out there than the one being played tonight at Allen Fieldhouse. No. 1-ranked Kansas (12-1) takes on No. 2 Oklahoma (12-0).
ESPN had some nice tidbits on the history of No. 1 vs. No. 2 today:
- The last time a No. 1 team played a No. 2 team was November 12, 2013. No. 2 Michigan State defeated No. 1 Kentucky at the Champions Classic.
More from ESPN: - Kansas and Oklahoma last met as the top two teams in the AP poll on March 10, 1990. That game was the semifinal of the Big Eight Tournament. No. 1 Oklahoma shot nearly 63 percent from the floor and made all 18 of its free throw attempts in an 18-point win over No. 2 Kansas.
More from ESPN: - Allen Fieldhouse last hosted a 1-2 matchup in February of 1990. No. 2 Missouri shot over 55 percent from the field and Anthony Peeler led the Tigers with 22 points as they defeated No. 1 Kansas, 77-71.
More on 1 vs 2: - Monday’s game will mark the seventh time that the No. 1 team has hosted the No. 2 team. The nation’s top-ranked squad has lost the past three of those meetings.
Perhaps most surprising tidbit on 1 vs 2 from ESPN: - No. 1 hasn’t defeated No. 2 at home since December 15, 1984 when Georgetown beat DePaul. Patrick Ewing had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the defending champion Hoyas, who used an 18-0 run to pull away in the second half.
Earlier today, Bill Self said OU and Mich. St. have been as consistently good as any teams in the country. Said Sooners can score from all spots.
In Self’s opinion, KU’s offense has helped a great deal in getting it to this point, but he doesn’t think the team is complete by any means. So much of looking good, Self said, is making shots, and that has covered some of KU’s weaknesses.
KU’s guard play has been good, obviously, with Mason/Graham/Selden starting. Other Big 12 teams have done it, too, with play-making guards, Self said. Kansas has benefited with Mason and Graham making plays for themselves and others. The KU coach said their presence also has helped Selden’s strong season, which Selden would tell you is absolutely true.
Self said KU’s guards are playing really well and OU’s guards are doing even better from a scoring standpoint.
Buddy Hield averages 24.7 points, Jordan Woodard is at 13.9 points and Isaiah Cousins is scoring 13.3 points. You won’t find a better backcourt matchup than the one tonight, with KU’s trio of Mason, Graham and Selden taking on Hield, Cousins and Woodard.
While lauding the greatness of the Big 12 today, Self said you could have a game of this magnitude also played the last weekend between two other schools. He said that’s a tribute to the Big 12’s quality.
Crazy as it sounds, Self said a lot of defending Buddy Hield, along with all the effort KU’s guards will put into it, is also hoping he misses.
You can’t put so much emphasis on him that you soften up in other areas, because Oklahoma’s too good. If KU’s game plan was to stop Hield by any means necessary, the rest of the Sooners would make KU pay, Self said.
This will mark the first time in Big 12 history that the league has the nation’s two top teams facing each other. (Since the Big 8 became the Big 12.)