History is on the line on Saturday for the No. 21 Texas Longhorns (21-9, 10-7 Big 12) as they close out the 2021-22 regular season against the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks (24-6, 13-4 Big 12).
After knocking off the Jayhawks 79-76 in Austin thanks to a timely banked in Tre Mitchell three, Texas increased their win streak to three against KU. A win at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday and that win streak will move to four, a feat that has never been accomplished in Texas basketball history.
“You couldn’t ask for a better last game,” Texas head coach Chris Beard said during his weekly availability. “We’ll have to play our best game of the season but that’s no different than what’s coming up in March.”
Bill Self and the Jayhawks will finish the season after a surprising 10-point upset to TCU earlier this week on the road. Kansas responded by defeating the Horned Frogs two days later 72-68 to keep their hopes of winning the Big 12 alive. But the Longhorns gain an advantage with Kansas playing their fourth game in seven days, three of those this week. The bad news is that the Jayhawks have never lost on Senior Night at the Phog.
Meanwhile, Texas has cemented a fourth-place finish in the Big 12, but can gain momentum and derail Kansas at the Phog.
“We’ve talked about March from the time that we stepped foot here on campus,” senior guard Marcus Carr said this week. “Now it’s here, so it’s time for us to take advantage of it and we all want to leave our mark, leave our imprint.”
Texas shot 41.8 percent from the floor and a miserable 15 percent from deep in their win over Kansas back at the Drum earlier this season. Even more impressive is the Jayhawks shot the ball well in the loss, knocking down 58 percent of their field goals and 38.5 percent from three.
Timmy Allen’s 24 points and nine rebounds were crucial in the victory but you can’t look past Mitchell’s performance — 17 points (including the go-ahead three-pointer) and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw stripe aided the Horns in the win. The bad news is that Mitchell will not play in Saturday’s game, meaning senior forward Christian Bishop will have to step up.
One thing to watch for is how star Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji responds after the Texas guards locked up the senior to 11 points, nearly half of his season average. Courtney Ramey played one of his best defensive games against Agbaji and his effort against the shot-maker will be needed on Saturday.
Joe Lunardi's latest bracketology has the Longhorns as a No. 5 seed but another upset victory over Kansas, plus a strong run in the conference tournament could propel Texas to a higher seed.
How to Watch
Time: 3:00 p.m. Central
Radio: Texassports.com affiliates
Odds: The Jayhawks are 6.5-point favorites over the Longhorns, according to DraftKings.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.