Kansas Jayhawks: No Guarantees in Lubbock [video]


There’s a good chance the Kansas Jayhawks win easily at Texas Tech tonight.

But don’t make other plans because you think it’s not worth watching.

Here’s a little reminder of what happened last year when Kansas traveled to Lubbock to take on an under-matched Red Raiders team.

That last-second layup from Andrew Wiggins was good for drama, but it should have never happened given the talent discrepancy between the two teams.

That’s what road games in today’s college basketball landscape will do to even the best teams in the country.

Look no further than last night’s game between No. 14 Iowa St. and No. 17 Oklahoma. The Cyclones knocked off KU at home earlier this season, but nearly gave up 100 points in a loss to the Sooners in Norman.

More from Kansas Jayhawks News

Even more evident of why this game could be closer than expected is the fact that Tech beat those same Cyclones, and the Kansas State Wildcats at home this season.

It’s always dangerous to play the “this team beat that team” game, but it’s no secret road games are always harder, and they have been even more so in the Big 12 Conference.

The same Texas Tech team that defeated Iowa St. at home, lost by 37 Saturday in Ames.

If you go by the numbers, there is really no reason to be worried as a Jayhawk fan.

The Red Raiders are 297th in the nation in scoring, while KU is only giving up 66 points per game in conference play. They also are ranked 300-plus in both assists and field goal percentage, and are only slightly better at rebounding, ranking 141st.

The Jayhawks on the other hand are a top-20 rebounding team, although they do tend to give up too many offensive rebounds.

Despite all of that, there isn’t a road game left for many teams in the country that can be taken for granted.

On ESPN’s Big Monday last night, Florida St. (13-12) gave Duke (21-3) all it could handle in a 73-70 Blue Devil victory.

If the Jayhawks want to win they must improve on their 66.4 PPG on the road, nearly 12 points less than their home average.

Kansas is a 12-point favorite, but place your bets at your own risk. They also were favored heading in Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma St.

Sure, Texas Tech is arguably the worst team in the Big 12, but outside of the Texas game, KU isn’t exactly lighting it up away from Allen Fieldhouse.

In five road conference games the Jayahwks have won by one, three, and 13, while losing twice. They haven’t exactly been road warriors.

All the numbers in the world point to a Jayhawk win, but you can believe head coach Tubby Smith has his team believing it can win.

On the other hand, Oklahoma St. just won at Baylor last night by double digits.

You try and figure out the Big 12.

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the rest of the conference season, because even games like this could turn out to be close.

Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Naming the All-Bill Self Teams

More from Through the Phog