Big 12 Grudge Match

It's becoming almost a certainty that games between Kansas and Texas contain strong implications in the Big 12 standings and the national rankings.

The Big 12's highest-ranked teams both will be looking for a fourth straight win when the No. 4 Jayhawks and No. 12 Longhorns face off in Austin on Monday, their first meeting since tangling into overtime in last season's conference championship game.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Kansas –4.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 59% of bets for this game have been placed on Kansas –4.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

It will be the ninth straight time that both teams have been ranked when they've hooked up - with the Jayhawks winning five of the previous eight. Each program has finished in the top three of the Big 12 standings in four of the last five seasons, and Texas (19-4, 6-2) goes into this matchup 1 1/2 games behind league-leading Kansas (23-1, 8-1).

The Jayhawks barely held on to the top spot Saturday, getting held without a 3-pointer for the first time in 271 games but holding off a persistent Baylor team to win 100-90.

"We'll be a tired team (Sunday), but we have to be a fresh team on Monday," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said.

Kansas was 0-for-9 from 3-point range and trailed by as many as seven points in the first half, but used a season-high 64 points in the second half to score 100 for the first time since its season opener against Louisiana-Monroe. The Jayhawks hadn't scored 100 in a Big 12 game since a 103-68 win over Kansas State during the 2001-02 season.

"They pushed it at us," Kansas guard Russell Robinson said. "... But we pushed it right back at them and were able to get some easy buckets. We were able to get the momentum back and control the game after that."

Dallas native Darrell Arthur had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Robinson had 22 points and Sherron Collins added 17 points off the bench for the Jayhawks, who allowed 90 points for the first time since a 95-92 win over Missouri during the 2001-02 season.

Self had been especially concerned with Baylor's guard play, and the Bears' top three players at that position combined for 68 points.

"I'm not sure offensively we'll play any guards that will actually play better than what Baylor's played tonight," Self said.

Texas' D.J. Augustin and A.J. Abrams may wish to respond to that, however. Second and third in the Big 12 in scoring, respectively, Augustin and Abrams combined for 42 points in the Longhorns' 71-65 overtime win at Iowa State on Saturday.

Abrams had 25 points and shot 7-of-10 from 3-point range against the Cyclones, and Augustin made a key basket in the final minute of overtime to atone for his 5-of-22 shooting performance.

"There is none better," Texas coach Rick Barnes said of Augustin. "On nights when he's not shooting it, he affects the game in a lot of different ways, and he did here."

Texas won despite trailing by 13 with just over 16 minutes left and shooting 35.7 percent from the field. The Longhorns also erased double-digit deficits in wins over Oklahoma and Baylor in their previous two games.

They've won six of seven despite shooting 39.5 percent over that span. They are 18-1 in their last 19 Big 12 home games, and a victory would give them their ninth consecutive 20-win season.

Kansas has won three straight against the Longhorns, eliminating them from the Big 12 tournament each of the last two seasons. Last season, Collins scored 20 points in an 88-84 overtime win in the Big 12 championship game, which Self called "one of the best games I've ever been a part of."

But the Jayhawks have lost their last two games in Austin by an average of 20.0 points. Their last visit, on Feb. 25, 2006, resulted in their worst loss in five seasons under Self, an 80-55 defeat in which they were outrebounded 36-19.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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