No. 2 Kansas will travel to No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday for the highly-awaited rematch of last year’s overtime thriller. The two teams both enter coming off a loss, after Kansas fell on the road to No. 18 West Virginia Tuesday, and Kentucky to unranked Tennessee later that night. Kansan reporter Jordan Wolf provides a statistical comparison between the two teams to prepare you for the showdown.
All-Time Head-to-Head Record: 22-7, Kentucky
Kentucky has won 22 of 29 games between the two schools. The Wildcats won 16 of the first original 17 matchups (1950-1984), but after that mark, the two teams have each won six times.
Self-Era Record: 4-3, Kansas
Since Bill Self was hired at Kansas, the Jayhawks have won four of seven times. Two of these meetings include NCAA Tournament games, including the 2012 National Championship (won by Kentucky, 67-59).
Calipari-Era Record: 3-1, Kentucky
Conversely, the Wildcats have won three of four since John Calipari was hired.
Coaches’ Battle: 3-2, Calipari
In the two coaches’ five meetings, Calipari has bested Self three times to two. These five games include two national championship victories, the first of which for each coach (Self in 2008, Calipari in 2012).
Program Wins: 2, 222-2, 204
The game will pit the two most winningest programs of all time. Kentucky currently holds a slight edge.
Points Per Game: Kentucky 92.3, Kansas 84.6
Rebounds Per Game: Kentucky 40.9, Kansas 40.25
Assists Per Game: Kentucky 17.8, Kansas 17.5
Field Goal Percentage: Kansas 49.8 percent, Kentucky 49.6 percent
Three-Point Percentage: Kansas 41.8 percent, Kentucky 35.3 percent
Free Throw Percentage: Kentucky 69.1 percent, Kansas 63.2 percent
Malik Monk (UK) – 21.9 points per game
Frank Mason III (KU) – 19.9 points per game
De’Aaron Fox (UK) – 16.2 points per game
Landen Lucas (KU) – 8 rebounds per game
Bam Adebayo (UK) – 6.9 rebounds per game
Josh Jackson (KU) – 6.6 rebounds per game
De’Aaron Fox (UK) – 5.9 assists per game
Frank Mason III (KU) – 5.2 assists per game
Devonte’ Graham (KU) – 4.7 assists per game
Bam Adebayo (UK) – 62.4 field goal percentage
Frank Mason III (KU) – 51.2 field goal percentage
Malik Monk (UK) – 49.8 field goal percentage
Leading Three-Point Shooters:
Frank Mason III (KU) – 52.8 percent
Svi Mykhailiuk (KU) – 42.3 percent
Mychal Mulder (UK) – 40.4 percent
One of these teams will walk off the court reeling from back-to-back losses. It would be the first time in 1,144 days that Kansas has lost two consecutive games (2013 at Colorado, at Florida). Meanwhile, Kentucky dropped back-to-back games just 360 days ago last season, oddly enough to Kansas and Tennessee.
Kansas hasn’t won a game in Rupp Arena in 4,400 days (Jan. 9, 2005). The Wildcats’ last home loss came in December to UCLA, but they’ve only lost a total of five games at home in the last five seasons.
WHEN STARS COLLIDE
This game will feature two of the nation’s top scorers, Kansas’ senior guard Frank Mason III (19.9 points per game) and Kentucky’s Malik Monk (21.9 points per game). Both are featured as finalists for the Wooden Award, the top individual accolade in college basketball. Aside from scoring, Monk turns the ball over less than Mason (2.1 per game to 2.4), while Mason reigns supreme in assists (5.2 per game) and rebounds (4.4 per game). They both have showcased big-game potential, as each has multiple games this season with at least 30 points. Monk balled out against North Carolina and scored 47 points. Mason last had 30 points against UMKC. If this game is close late, expect these two to go back and forth.
Kentucky is notorious for trotting out a high number of young players, and this year’s team is no exception. The Wildcats have only three upperclassmen on their roster, one of which came as a junior transfer. Meanwhile, four of Kansas’ five starters are upperclassmen, in addition to another four upperclassmen on the bench.
— Edited by Ashley Hocking