Monday, January 4, 2016
It’s official. Kansas University is the new No. 1-ranked team in the nation in the latest AP poll — just in time for Monday night’s clash with new No. 2 Oklahoma, at Allen Fieldhouse (8 p.m. tip, ESPN).
Ranked No. 2 last week, KU (12-1) moved up a spot after previous No. 1 Michigan State (14-1) lost at Iowa without star guard Denzel Valentine, who helped the Spartans defeat the Jayhawks on a neutral floor in November.
This is the first time coach Bill Self’s Jayhawks have earned the No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25 since Feb. 14, 2011. No current KU players were on the roster at that time.
In Self’s 12-plus seasons at Kansas, his teams are 5-2 against ranked opponents as the No. 1 team in the AP poll.
Allen Fieldhouse last saw a 1-versus-2 matchup on Feb. 13, 1990, and No. 2 Missouri beat top-ranked Kansas, 77-71.
Monday’s KU-OU showdown marks the first time in Big 12 history the league has the nation’s two top teams facing each other.
Oklahoma moved to No. 1 in the new USA Today Coaches Poll, in which Kansas ranks No. 2.