Lawrence, KS – With its school-record eighth straight Big 12 ranked Kansas Jayhawks close out season when they play host to the Texas Longhorns in conference action at the Allen Fieldhouse.
Bill Self's Jayhawks have won seven straight games, including Monday's 70-58 win at Oklahoma State which clinched the team's 55th conference title overall. The 55 league crowns are the most in NCAA Division I. The Jayhawks have won 28 straight home finales.
Rick Barnes' Longhorns are seeking their 20th win of the season. Texas has amassed 19 wins on the year, 15 of which have come in Austin. UT has struggled on the road at a meager 4-6, but the team does come into the season-finale off a pair of wins, knocking off Texas Tech (71-67 OT) and most recently, Oklahoma (72-64).
Kansas leads the all-time series by a 19-7 count and has won five of the last six meetings. The Jayhawks are seeking the regular-season sweep after recording a 69-66 in Austin on Jan. 21.
The Longhorns aren't the most explosive offensive team in the conference (73.7 ppg), but the team does boast of the league's top scorer in guard J'Covan Brown. The 6-1 junior is shooting a modest .417 from the floor overall, but is netting an impressive 19.6 ppg. Brown also leads the team in three-pointers (74), steals (40) and ranks second in assists (3.9 apg). Brown receives perimeter support from fellow guards Sheldon McClellan (11.6 ppg) and Myck Kabongo (10.1 ppg).
The Longhorns averted disaster, rallying for a 72-64 victory over Oklahoma last time out and preserving their chances at an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. The freshman McClellan had a huge game, netting a career-high 24 points. Brown was certainly instrumental in the win as well, posting 22 points, pulling down six rebounds and doling out five assists in the win.
The Jayhawks have thrived with solid play at both ends of the floor this season, enjoying a +13.8 scoring margin (second in the Big 12). In addition, Kansas leads the conference in rebounding margin (+6.3), field-goal percentage defense (.382) and blocked shots (5.7 bpg). Junior forward Thomas Robinson is the driving force behind Kansas' success. Robinson is a favorite to be named National Player of the Year, shooting .531 from the floor, while averaging a double-double with team-highs of 17.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Robinson gets it done up front, while Tyshawn Taylor is the perfect backcourt complement, with the ability to both fill up the basket (17.1 ppg) and get others involved in the offense (4.9 apg). Center Jeff Withey (9.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and guards Elijah Johnson (8.9 ppg) and Travis Releford (8.7 ppg) round out the starting five.
It was once again the dynamic duo leading Kansas to victory this week, as Taylor and Robinson got the job done in Stillwater. Taylor knocked down 10- of-15 shots from the floor to finish with a game-high 27 points. Robinson recorded his Big 12-leading 21st double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds.