Kansas had a surprisingly hard time winning its first game since
regaining the nation’s No. 1 ranking. It can only hope the next
contest is as easy as it might seem.
Coming off a pair of overtime road victories, the Jayhawks
return home looking to continue their dominance at Allen Fieldhouse
with a 15th consecutive victory over Nebraska in Saturday’s Big 12
A thrilling 81-79 overtime win at then-No. 11 Kansas State last
Saturday helped vault Kansas (21-1, 7-0) back to the top of the AP
poll – a spot it owned for the first eight weeks of the season
before losing at Tennessee on Jan. 10.
While the Jayhawks were expected to be tested by their
archrivals, they likely didn’t expect to need overtime Wednesday to
win 72-66 over a Colorado team that has two league victories.
Whether it was fatigue or a hangover from their hard-fought win
over Kansas State, the Jayhawks were held below 45 percent from the
field for just the sixth time all season and missed 20 free
“We didn’t play our best by any stretch, but if you go 18 of 38
from the line and your starting (perimeter players go) 8 of 26 from
the field and you somehow get a win, then some guys had to make
some plays,” coach Bill Self said. “We’ll look back on this as a
Cole Aldrich had 16 points with 14 rebounds, while fellow
preseason All-American Sherron Collins scored 16 and forward Marcus
Morris added 15 as the Jayhawks won their seventh in a row.
Though Kansas held the lowly Buffaloes to 37.5 percent shooting
and outscored them 12-6 in overtime, the Jayhawks might look at
that their latest effort as a wake-up call.
“We have got to be ready,” guard Tyrel Reed said. “We have to
stay focused and keep getting better.”
The Jayhawks should be able to do that against last-place
Nebraska (13-9, 1-6), which hasn’t beaten Kansas since Feb. 15,
2004. The Cornhuskers also have lost 10 in a row at Allen
Fieldhouse, dating to Feb. 10, 1999, and the Jayhawks are looking
to extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 55 games.
Nebraska has shot 36.5 percent and averaged 57.1 points during
its 14-game skid in the series.
Collins had 22 points and Morris added 19 as the Jayhawks shot
57.8 percent in an 84-72 win at Nebraska on Jan. 13.
The hero of the Kansas State game, overcoming back spasms to hit
a key basket late in overtime, Collins is averaging a team-leading
15.5 points this season and 20.3 in his last three games against
Nebraska’s Brandon Richardson scored 18 points and Jorge Brian
Diaz added 15 against Kansas last month. Diaz had a team-leading 13
in the Cornhuskers’ 76-57 home loss to No. 10 Kansas State on
Though Nebraska allows a Big 12-low 61.0 points per contest,
it’s last in the league in scoring at 66.4 per game.
The Cornhuskers are in the midst of a daunting stretch that
continues with a home game versus No. 20 Baylor on Wednesday, then
road contests against No. 9 Texas (Feb. 13) and Kansas State (Feb.
“I know the team believes we can win,” Diaz said. “We’ve just
got to keep looking forward.”
Nebraska has lost five straight road games against ranked
opponents since winning 65-59 at then-No. 22 Texas A&M on Feb.