Nebraska-Kansas Preview

Being among the four remaining unbeaten Division I teams should

give Kansas a strong case to be No. 1 in the AP poll. The Jayhawks,

however, aren’t buying into the hype just yet, and they’re aware of

the challenge posed by Nebraska.

The third-ranked Jayhawks look to extend the longest active home

winning streak in the country by continuing their dominance of the

Cornhuskers on Saturday.

Kansas (16-0, 1-0 Big 12) is off to its best start since winning

the first 20 games in 2007-08 en route to a national title. The

Jayhawks are outscoring opponents by an average of 23.4 points,

joining No. 2 Ohio State, fourth-ranked Syracuse and No. 6 San

Diego State as the remaining unbeaten teams.

“I don’t think that really means anything to them, as far as

‘one of four,’ ‘one of three,’ or trying to be the last one,” coach

Bill Self said. “I think the bottom line is they know we need to

get better.”

The Jayhawks and Buckeyes – hosting Penn State on Saturday –

might be vying for No. 1 in next week’s poll, as top-ranked Duke

fell at Florida State on Wednesday.

Kansas has won 33 of the last 36 meetings with Nebraska (13-3,

1-1), including 15 in a row by an average of nearly 20 points. The

Jayhawks have an 11-game winning streak against the Cornhuskers at

Allen Fieldhouse, where they have won a team-record 68

straight.

Kansas avoided a scare versus Nebraska in the last meeting there

Feb. 6 before pulling out a 75-64 win.

“In our league, anybody can have anybody on any night,” Self

said. “Last year Nebraska went 2-14 in the league, we went 15-1,

and they’re up by four with 13 minutes left in our building. That’s

just the way conference play goes.”

This matchup could pose an even stiffer test with the

Cornhuskers off to their best start since going 14-3 in 1994-95.

They’ve used stifling defensive play, leading the nation by

limiting opponents to 34.5 percent shooting while allowing a

conference-low 55.0 points per game.

“They’ve always guarded,” Self said. “The biggest thing is when

other teams don’t score then you’re always in the game. Especially

away from home.”

Marcus Morris could provide the difference for Kansas after

scoring a career-high 33 points with 13 rebounds in an 84-79 win at

Iowa State on Wednesday. The junior forward had 20 points and 10

boards in the most recent meeting with Nebraska.

Morris leads the Jayhawks with an average of 16.8 points and his

6.8 rebounds per game rank second behind his twin brother Markieff

Morris’ 8.8.

Markieff Morris is also coming off a strong performance against

the Cyclones, getting 17 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

The Cornhuskers have lost 10 in a row to ranked opponents after

falling 77-69 at No. 15 Missouri on Wednesday, ending their 11-game

winning streak.

“You ain’t going to beat anyone in this league letting the ball

in the lane 47 times,” coach Doc Sadler said. “We’re lucky to be as

close as we were.”

Some improvement from Jorge Brian Diaz, the team leader with an

average of 10.4 points, could help. The sophomore center totaled 14

points and shot 5 for 18 over the last two games.

He’s made 16 of 27 shots and scored 35 points in two meetings

with Kansas.