For Big 12 Supremacy, OU Must Conquer The Phog

Monday, January 4th 2016, 4:10 pm
By: News 9

The 12-0 Sooners are off to their best start in seven years but that perfect record stands a tough test at Kansas tonight. Get your popcorn ready, Big 12 basketball is upon us.

Oklahoma and Kansas are the consensus top-ranked teams in the nation with the Sooners on top of the Coaches Poll and Jayhawks leading the AP voting. Conversely, each is ranked second in the opposite poll.

Tonight’s contest marks the first time the AP No. 1 plays the AP No. 2 in Big 12/Big Eight Conference play since 1990 (No. 1 OU 95, No. 2 KU 77 in Big Eight Tourney semifinals).

Outside the intrigue of a top-ranked matchup, this game holds huge Big 12 Conference implications. A win in Lawrence would be instrumental if Oklahoma is to unseat Kansas as Big 12 champs. The Jayhawks have won 11 consecutive conference titles.

OU senior Buddy Hield is fourth in the nation in scoring at 24.7 points per game and has topped the 20-point mark in six-straight games. Fellow senior Ryan Spangler is averaging a double-double with 11.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

Collectively the Sooners shoot 45.3 percent from deep, third best in the country and second best in the Big 12 behind – Kansas.

The Jayhawks lead the nation in three-point percentage at 46.0 percent and are fifth in overall field goal percentage at a blistering 51.6 percent.

Kansas is led by a trio of scorers: Wayne Selden Jr. (15.5 ppg), Perry Ellis (15.2 ppg) and Frank Mason III (13.1 ppg). Bill Self hasn’t lost a conference home game since Feb. 2nd, 2013 when Marcus Smart and Oklahoma State won in Allen Fieldhouse.

The game will be televised on ESPN's 'Big Monday' at 8:00 p.m. CT.