January 29, 2011 – By Scott
The No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks have been through a grueling time this past week. Last Friday, the team learned that that forward Thomas Robinson’s mother had died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Then on the following day, they suffered their first loss of the season to then ranked No. 10 Texas 74-63.
They bounced back on Tuesday and squeaked out a 82-78 win over Colorado, and on Thursday flew to Robinson’s mothers funeral. Now they will host their in-state rival Kansas State in hopes of getting a win and getting back to a normal schedule.
Kansas (19-1, 4-1) has owned the Wildcats as of late and are riding a six-game winning streak against Kansas State. In addition, they have won 33 of their last 35 against them, including a 72-64 win in last year’s Big 12 championship game.
The Wildcats have not been playing well lately and a visit to the No. 6 team in the nation could not come at a worse time. They are in danger of matching their loss total from a year ago if they are to lose Saturday and have lost four of their last six games. However, they are coming off a 69-61 win over Baylor.
They key for Kansas State will be finding a way to slow down Kansas’ offense. The Jayhawks are averaging 82.1 points per game and are first in the nation in field goal percentage shooting at 51.4 percent. They are led by Marcus Morris who is getting 17.0 points per game and over their last five games, Morris is shooting very well at 62.3 percent from the field and averaging 21.0 points.
Despite getting the win over Baylor, Kansas State will need to get their offense back on track after shooting just 36.5 percent. Jacob Pullen is their leading scorer at 17.9 points per game, but as a team they are only getting 61.3 points over their last three games.
Kansas will enter the game as huge 10 1/2 point favorites according to online sportsbooks. The OVER/UNDER is set at 144.