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Preview: Kansas at Oklahoma

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Kansas starts Big 12 play Wednesday against Oklahoma with an unfamiliar feeling after the Jayhawks’ 68-game homecourt non-conference winning streak ended Saturday with a 61-57 loss to San Diego State. But more troubling for Kansas coach Bill Self was the fact the No. 20 Jayhawks shot 29.8 percent, the lowest total in Self’s 11 seasons. The Sooners opened conference play Saturday with a gritty 88-85 victory at Texas, a game Oklahoma trailed for most of the second half.

Oklahoma relies on an offense that leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally in scoring at 87.3 points, paced by Cameron Clark and Buddy Hield. Kansas features freshman standout Andrew Wiggins, 10th in the conference in scoring, leading an offense that despite Saturday’s miserable shooting performance ranks 21st in the nation in shooting. Oklahoma snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Jayhawks with last year’s 72-66 home victory.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

ABOUT KANSAS (9-4, 0-0 Big 12): Wiggins (15.8 points) and sophomore Perry Ellis (13.2) have scored 20 or more points four times this season. Wiggins has been as good as advertised, the heralded freshman reaching double figures 12 times and averaging 17.5 points in his past six contests. The Jayhawks have plenty of power off the bench as well as their reserves average 25 points.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA (12-2, 1-0 Big 12): The Sooners feature five starters scoring in double figures, led by Clark who ranks third in the conference at 17.7 points and shoots 47.4 percent from 3-point range. Ryan Spangler leads the team and ranks second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 9.2, averaging three offensive rebounds per game. Oklahoma averages 7.6 steals, second-best in the Big 12.

TIP-INS

1. Kansas leads the series 139-65 and has won its past 22 conference openers.

2. The Sooners have scored 40 or more points in 23 of 28 halves this season.

3. Kansas F Tarik Black, who played three seasons at Memphis before transferring, is two points shy of 1,000.

PREDICTION: Oklahoma 82, Kansas 80

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140108/preview-kansas-at-oklahoma