PREVIEW: No. 3 Kansas meets No. 7 Texas in Big 12 Championship

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) drives between Texas forward Timmy Allen, left, and forward...
Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) drives between Texas forward Timmy Allen, left, and forward Dylan Disu (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Austin, Texas, Saturday, March 4, 2023.((AP Photo/Eric Gay))
Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 1:56 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A battle of top-10 teams is set for Saturday night at the T-Mobile Center as No. 3 Kansas meets No. 7 Texas in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Game. Here’s everything you need to know about the matchup:

Tip-off time: 5 p.m. CT

Where to watch: ESPN

Gambling line: Kansas -2.5

Over/under: 142.5

No. 3 Kansas (27-6)

The Jayhawks won the conference’s regular season title, going 13-5 against Big 12 opponents to win the 17th regular season Big 12 crown in the program’s 20 seasons led by head coach Bill Self. However, KU is playing without their two-time national championship-winning head coach after Self went to the hospital and had a procedure earlier this week.

Kansas won both its quarterfinal and semifinal games by double figures, defeating West Virginia 78-61 and Iowa State 71-58 to get to Saturday night. The wins over the Mountaineers and Cyclones were the 16th and 17th Quad 1 victories of the season. That’s five more Quad 1 wins than Texas, who ranks second nationally in that department.

READ MORE: Wilson’s double-double helps Kansas advance to Big 12 Championship, defeat Iowa State 71-58

Kansas Projected Starters

  • Guard: Dajuan Harris Jr. (R-JR)
  • Guard: Gradey Dick (FR)
  • Guard: Joe Yesufu (JR)
  • Forward: Jalen Wilson (SR)
  • Forward: KJ Adams (SO)

Kansas played the final 20 minutes Friday night without the help of senior wing Kevin McCullar, who interim head coach Norm Roberts said is dealing with back spasms. McCullar came off the bench Thursday against West Virginia.

READ MORE: Missing key pieces, KU once again clicking in March

Texas (25-8)

The Longhorns came to Kansas City as the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament after going 12-6 during league play. In December the Longhorns lost head coach Chris Beard after he was arrested amid domestic violence accusations. The University would eventually fire Beard for conduct unbecoming of a University representative, and named Rodney Terry the interim head coach.

In the 25 games the Longhorns have been coached by Terry, they are 18-7, and on Friday he was named one of 10 finalists for the 2023 Werner Ladder Naismith College Coach of the Year, along with Self and K-State’s Jerome Tang.

The Longhorns advanced to the Big 12 Championship Game after a 61-47 win over Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals and a 66-60 win over TCU in the semifinals.

READ MORE: No. 7 Texas beats No. 22 TCU 66-60 in Big 12 semifinals

Texas projected starters:

  • Guard: Marcus Carr (SR)
  • Guard: Tyrese Hunter (SO)
  • Guard: Sir’Jabari Rice (SR)
  • Forward: Dylan Disu (SR)
  • Forward: Dillon Mitchell (FR)

Texas guard Sir’Jabari Rice was the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year after transferring to Texas from New Mexico State ahead of this season. However, he’s started both games in the Big 12 Tournament as the Longhorns have been without senior forward Timmy Allen with what the school has called a lower-leg injury.

Numbers to know:

  • 79: Kansas freshman guard Gradey Dick has made 79 3-pointers this season. His shot that gave KU a 62-50 advantage over Iowa State with 3:07 remaining in Friday night’s semifinal game tied him with Jeff Boschee for the most 3-pointers made by a Jayhawk freshman.
  • 12: Kansas has won 12 Big 12 Tournament titles of the 25 played by the league. Kansas is 12-3 in the championship round and has won the title nine times during the Bill Self era.
  • 24-0: Kansas is undefeated all-time when redshirt junior guard Dajuan Harris scores 10 points or more. This season, KU is 16-0 when he reaches that mark.