February 1, 2007

Big 12 Battle

Bill Self and the sixth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (19-3; 6-1) rise to the occasion and play their best basketball when a big-name opponent comes calling. The Hawks looked simply outstanding against Florida, Oklahoma State and Boston College. Self's squad will need to put together a similar type performance when Texas A&M (18-3; 6-1) ventures to Allen Fieldhose for Saturday's primetime showdown.

"I think our guys have played pretty well against the teams that are thought to be the powers," said Self. "Hopefully that will be the case again Saturday because we'll be facing one of the best teams in the country. It is going to be a battle inside.

"There are going to be some bodies banging," he added. "It is going to be a physical game I predict, which they would like it to be, and we definitely won't shy away from that either."

There is no question that KU's at its very best when the lights shine bright. When the Jayhawks faced No. 1 Florida back on November 25, they looked simply sensational. During that contest, Self's squad played with a great deal of passion, energy and enthusiasm.

For the most part, Kansas could do no wrong against the Gators. They hit shots, played aggressive in the paint area, rebounded the basketball and committed just 12 turnovers. Additionally, they remained poised under pressure and, every time the Gators made a run, the Jayhawks were quick to respond.

Having struggled against Ball State the previous night, not many people expected Kansas to defeat the No. 1 ranked team in college basketball. However, the Hawks responded in a positive manner and put everything together on that particular night.

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