LAWRENCE, Kan. – In a battle of nationally-ranked teams, No. 15/18 Kansas (11-5, 5-4 Big 12) will travel to No. 18/17 Tennessee (11-3, 5-4 SEC) Saturday, Jan. 30, in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Tip from Thompson-Boling Arena is at 5 p.m. (Central) and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Kansas is coming off a 59-51 win against TCU on Jan. 28. Tennessee is 9-2 at home this season after its 56-53 win against Mississippi State on Jan. 26 in its last outing.
Kansas is 5-2 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, including 1-0 against Tennessee. Since 2007, KU is 9-4 in conference challenges which includes battles against opponents from the SEC, Pac-12 and Big East.
- Tennessee will be the eighth ranked team Kansas will play in 2020-21. The Jayhawks are 4-3 against ranked foes this season and 106-55 in head coach Bill Self’s 18 seasons at KU.
- Kansas leads the Big 12 in blocked shots at 4.50 per game and ranks in the upper half of 11 conference statistical categories.
- Kansas enters the Tennessee contest No. 4 in NET strength of schedule, which is first in the Big 12. The Jayhawks have led NCAA Division I in NET SOS each of the last two seasons and five times under head coach Bill Self (2005, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020).
- Junior Ochai Agbaji is second in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made per game at 2.7 and is second in 3-point field goal percentage at 43.2%. Agbaji has made 28 threes in his last nine games.
- Including its sweep of TCU this season, under Bill Self, Kansas has experienced only one regular-season conference sweep by a Big 12 opponent. In 121 regular-season Big 12 home-and-home series during the Self era, Kansas has 82 sweeps, 38 splits and has been swept once (by Oklahoma State in 2018).
- With the consecutive weeks being ranked at 230, which is an NCAA record, the Kansas-TCU contest will be the 418th-straight game KU will play as a ranked team, a streak which started Feb. 2, 2009.
- Kansas posted a 3.44 grade point average in the fall 2020, which is the highest semester GPA in the Bill Self era that began in 2003-04. The 3.44 GPA surpassed the 3.31 the team set in spring 2020.
- This season, Kansas men’s basketball will be wearing a patch that reads “UNITED WE STAND” signifying its stance on the recent social injustice in the United States. The patch has gold lettering with the black background being in the shape of the state of Kansas.
- It’s Suits and Sneakers Week, a Coaches vs. Cancer initiative that supports the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission. The KU staff will be wearing sneakers and Coaches vs. Cancer masks for the Tennessee contest on Jan. 30.
Kansas returns to Big 12 play when Kansas State comes to Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. (CT) on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ for the Dillons Sunflower Showdown. Kansas leads the overall series with Kansas State, 199-94, and the Jayhawks have won 11 of the last 12 matchups. KU has won 60 of the last 66 meetings with K-State.