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(4) Kansas (22-5) at Texas A&M (13-13)
Wednesday, February 22nd, 9:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reed Arena (12,989) -- College Station, Texas. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Kansas 14-0, Texas A&M 11-5. Away Record: Kansas 6-2, Texas A&M 1-6. Neutral Record: Kansas 2-3, Texas A&M 1-2. Conference Record: Kansas 12-2, Texas A&M 4-10. Series Record: Kansas leads, 18-1.
GAME NOTES: In one of the more lopsided series in the Big 12 Conference, the fourth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks will try to continue their dominance over the Texas A&M Aggies when the two square off tonight at Reed Arena in College Station.
Kansas has won 18 of the previous 19 meetings with A&M, the most recent of which being a 64-54 decision in Lawrence on January 23. The Aggies' lone victory over the Jayhawks occurred in a battle of top-10 teams at Allen Fieldhouse back in 2007.
Kansas is an impressive 22-5 on the year, and the team's 12-2 league ledger has it in first place, a half game up on Missouri in the race for the Big 12 regular-season title. The Jayhawks are currently riding a four-game win streak, with their most recent triumph coming in an 83-50 shellacking of visiting Texas Tech on Saturday. KU has won its last two games outside of Lawrence and is 6-2 in true road bouts this season.
Texas A&M is an even 13-13 on the year, and the team has really struggled in conference play, sporting a 4-10 record to this point. The Aggies are coming off Saturday's 71-62 home loss to Missouri, and the setback was their fifth in the last six games overall. Still, A&M is 11-5 at home this season giving the team at least some confidence heading into tonight's affair.
With such an outstanding record, it's no surprise the Jayhawks rank among the league leaders in several statistical categories, including first in field goal percentage defense (.378), rebounding margin (+6.4), assists (16.0 per game) and blocked shots (5.7 per game). Kansas boasts the league's fifth-best scorer in Tyshawn Taylor (16.6 ppg), and its top rebounder in Thomas Robinson (11.8 rpg) and shot blocker in Jeff Withey (3.4 bpg). Robinson scored 16 points on 60 percent shooting from the field while also adding a career-high five assists in leading KU to its recent rout of Texas Tech. The Jayhawks, who had three other players reach double figures in the contest, made good on 56.3 percent of their total shots, and they drained a sizzling 60.0 percent (9- of-15) from three-point range. Defensively, they allowed the Red Raiders just 40.9 percent field goal efficiency while goading them into 20 turnovers. A 32-21 rebounding advantage certainly helped matters, as did a 20-8 edge in points from the foul line.
Texas A&M is one of the worst offensive teams in the Big 12 this season, netting a mere 61.4 ppg behind 43.8 percent field goal accuracy and a league- worst 64.6 percent showing at the charity stripe. The Aggies however, have performed well at times at the defensive end, and they come into this game as the conference's leader in three-point field goal percentage against (.292). Elston Turner ranks in the top-10 in the league in both scoring (14.3 ppg) and three-point field goals (57). In the recent loss to Missouri however, it was the tandem of Khris Middleton and Jordan Green that led the Aggies, netting 15 and 14 points, respectively. As a team, A&M shot a solid 49 percent from the floor, but the Tigers drained 56.1 percent of their total shots, which included eight treys. The Aggies secured a mere 16 rebounds in the game, and were outscored at the free-throw line by a 17-9 margin. Turner finished with just seven points behind a dismal 2-of-10 shooting effort.
Kansas is clearly the better team in this matchup, and despite being on the road, should cruise to another comfortable victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas 77, Texas A&M 59
02/22 10:58:29 ET
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