Kansas-Baylor showdown headlines crucial Big 12 week | Wire Ap

A preview of the upcoming weekend around the Big 12 Conference:

WEEKEND GAME

The best team in the Big 12 this season meets the best in the league — and the best in the country, for that matter — from last season when No. 5 Kansas heads to No. 10 Baylor on Saturday night. The Jayhawks (23-4, 12-2) can essentially put the Bears (23-5, 11-4) in the hunt for the regular season title with a season sweep of the defending national champions.

Kansas has won four in a row after a narrow loss to Texas, while the Bears have won four of their last five since losing Lawrence with the lone blemish to No. 11 Texas Tech.

“You know, every test is an opportunity for us; we are better. We’ve grown through the year,” Jayhawks forward Jalen Wilson said. “We keep improving, so I think there are a lot of opportunities.”

LOOK AHEAD

Speaking of the Red Raiders (22-6, 11-4), they have a tough game against TCU on Saturday night as they try to keep their hopes alive for the No. 1 seed for the Big 12 tournament. Texas Tech has also won four consecutive games, including victories over Baylor and No. 20 Texas, and none of its last three games have been against a ranked opponent.

The Longhorns (20-8, 9-6) travel to West Virginia on Saturday as Iowa State tries to improve its NCAA tournament hopes at Kansas State, and Kansas State ‘Oklahoma will be heading to Oklahoma for the final edition of Bedlam.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Texas forward Andrew Jones was nothing if not consistent: He scored 20 points in a win over Oklahoma, 20 in a loss to Texas Tech, then exploded for … 21 in a win over TCU. The 24-year-old sixth-year senior was limited to four points by the Red Raiders on February 1, but has averaged 16 points in six games since that night. He also played 43 minutes while grabbing seven rebounds in that overtime win over the Sooners.

IN THE NUMBERS

Texas Tech swept former coach Chris Beard and the Longhorns for the second straight year, going 9-2 in their last 11 games and winning its fourth straight in Austin. … Kansas beat Kansas State for the seventh straight time at Allen Fieldhouse this week. … Jayhawks guard Ochai Agbaji had 23 points against the Wildcats to pass Wilt Chamberlain and rank 26th on the school’s career list with 1,444 points. … Oklahoma State’s Bryce Thompson scored 15 of his career-best 23 points in the second half of an 82-79 win over Kansas State. … The Wildcats’ Nijel Pack has scored at least 10 points in 17 straight games and 23 of his first 24 this season. … Texas has won seven straight against TCU. …Iowa State guard Izaiah Brockington scored a career-high 35 points and had a critical steal and layup with 22 seconds left in an 84-81 win over West Virginia this week.

ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE

No. 9 Baylor (22-5, 12-3) takes on No. 9 Kansas and Iowa State (23-4, 12-3) takes on Texas Tech on Saturday as the two teams meet for first Big 12 spot. … Texas Tech’s Vivian Gray averaged 29 points, five rebounds and three assists last week. She is the only Division I player to average at least 20 points, two assists, two steals and one block this season. … TCU’s Lauren Heard can break the Big 12 record for career games played with her 150th Saturday against Texas. … Baylor’s Jordan Lewis can break the NCAA record for games played at any school with his 158th against the Jayhawks. … Iowa State’s Ashley Joens became her school’s leading scorer last week. She is also the active point guard in the Big 12 with 2,206 points. … Kansas (19-6, 10-5) has won at least 10 league games for the first time since 2000. The Jayhawks have won seven of their last eight games overall.

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