Colorado-Kansas Preview

Kansas and Colorado have routinely been at opposite ends of the

Big 12 standings in recent years, but the unheralded Buffaloes have

given the Jayhawks all they can handle the last two times the teams

have faced each other.

No. 1 Kansas will attempt to fend off Colorado again Saturday as

it tries to extend its nation-best home win streak to 57 games and

possibly clinch a share of a school record-tying sixth straight

conference title.

The Jayhawks (25-1, 11-0) can clinch a share of the

regular-season Big 12 crown with a win over the Buffaloes (12-13,

3-8), coupled with a Kansas State loss at Oklahoma. They also still

have a chance to join the 2001-02 team as the only Kansas clubs to

finish unbeaten in conference play.

Their run at a perfect Big 12 record nearly ended Feb. 3 in

Boulder when Colorado rallied from a 16-point deficit to force

overtime, but Kansas ultimately prevailed 72-66.

That game was eerily similar to last season’s 66-61 Jayhawks

victory in Lawrence. Colorado came from 16 down to pull within two

with 6:08 remaining, but Sherron Collins and Tyrel Reed hit pivotal

shots down the stretch for Kansas.

“The reason we won over there in Boulder in overtime was not

because we weren’t ready,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “It was

because we didn’t play well, and they were a big reason that we

didn’t. I thought we played tired. My goal for Saturday is for us

to play fresh and play with great energy.”

Self said his team also played tired Monday night at No. 24

Texas A&M, but the Jayhawks relied on their defense and won

59-54.

Marcus Morris, Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry had 12 points

apiece to lead Kansas, which failed to reach 60 points for only the

second time this season.

The Jayhawks are shooting 41.8 percent over their past three

games, but have extended their overall winning streak to 11 by

allowing an average of 60.3 points on 35.4 percent shooting.

“We’re finding a way to still win even though we’re not making

shots right now, which is good,” said Self, whose team leads the

nation in field-goal percentage defense at 36.4.

Colorado rediscovered its shooting touch Wednesday night and

snapped a season-high four-game slide. After firing at a 36.5

percent clip during their skid, the Buffaloes hit half their shots

in a 77-67 home victory over Oklahoma.

Cory Higgins led Colorado with 18 points, the 19th straight game

in double figures for the team’s leading scorer (18.1 ppg). Alec

Burks, who missed the previous matchup with the Jayhawks due to a

sprained left knee, added 17.

The conference’s top freshman scorer (16.8 ppg), Burks has

reached double figures in all but one game – when he suffered his

injury Jan. 30 at Iowa State.

Last season’s defeat in Lawrence is part of a 34-game conference

road losing streak for the Buffaloes that began Feb. 5, 2006. It’s

been even longer since Colorado beat the Jayhawks – 60-59 on Jan.

22, 2003. The Buffaloes haven’t won in Lawrence since Feb. 10,

1983.

Kansas leads the all-time series 118-39, has won 50 of 55

matchups at Allen Fieldhouse and 53 of 56 overall meetings since

1984-85.

The Buffaloes are 0-13 all-time against top-ranked opponents,

including six losses to Kansas.