Men’s preview: No. 14 Texas vs. No. 17 Kansas
No. 14 Texas vs. No 17 Kansas, 8 p.m., Erwin Center (limited capacity, approximately 2,400)
About the series: Kanas leads 35-10. The Longhorns snapped a three-game skid in the series with a dominating 84-59 win at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 2. The Horns were 12 for 26 from 3-point range and shot 49.2% overall in the school’s most impressive win ever in Lawrence.
About the Longhorns: Texas is supposed to have six regular-season games remaining. However, only one of those is at home. Thus, Tuesday is the home finale and senior night. The school will honor walk-ons Drayton Whiteside and Blake Nevins along with key support staff members. ... Technically, UT has four senior scholarship players in Coleman, Sims, Royce Hamm Jr. and Jase Febres. Smart said all four will be honored even though all four can return next season because of the NCAA’s eligibility rule change due to the pandemic. All athletes were given one extra year. It’s too early to say whether any will return, though. “Those guys will all be honored,” Smart said. “I think with the dynamics of college sports, particularly college basketball, all that stuff is probably more fluid than it’s ever been. But that’s where we are as of today.”
About the Jayhawks: Did Self’s club take Texas lightly the first time around? Kansas got smashed after the new year in the biggest home loss in the Self era. “It was really a big lesson for us,” Braun said. “If we come out flat, that’s what can happen. We’ve learned a lot since then. We’re just excited to have another opportunity to play them.” ... Kansas didn’t immediately turn it around, either. There was a three-game skid in mid-January, a loss to Tennessee and then a 91-78 loss at West Virginia. Since that time, the Jayhawks have won five straight thanks to better play from McCormack and better defense. The 6-10 big man is averaging 14.6 points in the last five games. ... Self said he views the final few games as important for both NCAA Tournament seeding and possibly a chance to finish second in the Big 12.