5. February 3: Houston at Kansas basketball
Similar to Kansas, Houston underwent a ton of roster turnover during the offseason. Despite losing their top three scorers to the NBA or the transfer portal, they reloaded their team with Baylor transfer LJ Cryer and Temple transfer Damian Dunn. They made the Final Four in 2021 and garnered a No. 1 seed in the tournament last year. Between the three other newcomers, Houston will have the biggest impact on the conference by a far margin.
Longtime head coach Kelvin Sampson should lead his group to another successful season. The Cougars typically make a living off their tremendous defensive ability, and that shouldn’t change in 2023-24. Their roster has the potential to be a top-10 defensive team in the nation again.
While a home loss is extremely rare for Bill Self’s Jayhawks — KU holds a record of 307-17 at Allen Fieldhouse during his tenure — this game will still be one of the toughest on the schedule, and Houston will likely be the most formidable opponent to step into Lawrence. If you were to attend one home game this year, the bout versus Houston would probably be your best choice for a thrilling matchup.