Kansas Basketball: Biggest Games Remaining on Jayhawks' Schedule

Andrew Doughty@adoughty88Correspondent IIJanuary 20, 2014

Kansas Basketball: Biggest Games Remaining on Jayhawks' Schedule

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    While defending your back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back (yes, that just happened) Big 12 titles in arguably the nation's deepest conference, the target is always squarely on your back, thus making all 14 remaining games big.

    However, a few feisty matchups and plethora of elite talent takes the cake as we look at the biggest games on the Jayhawks' schedule.

January 20: Baylor (Home)

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    The Jayhawks close a brutal six-game stretch in which they faced San Diego State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Iowa State and Oklahoma, with a visit from Isaiah Austin and the Baylor Bears.

    While Scott Drew's team has dropped two in a row, the former coming at the hands of the mighty Red Raiders, the starting five presents some defensive matchup issues for Kansas.

    Following an emotionally charged two-point win over Oklahoma State on Saturday, Bill Self must get his energized group ready for another Top 25 opponent in a game that could expose some deficiencies across all 94 feet.

January 29: Iowa State (Home)

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    A suddenly burgeoning rivalry, the Kansas-Iowa State rematch in Lawrence later this month is a must-watch Big 12 game that could rocket the Cyclones back into contention or unofficially wrap up a 10th straight title for the Jayhawks.

    While it's always a dynamic atmosphere at Hilton Coliseum, this mammoth matchup won't be littered with 14,000 ISU fans who are commissioned to ridicule every call against their beloved Cyclones.

    Look for Fred Hoiberg's squad to launch away from the perimeter again (4-of-25 in KU's 77-70 win last week) in hopes Georges Niang (0-of-9) can at least consistently draw iron.

March 1: Oklahoma State (Away)

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    Another suddenly testy rivalry, the Jayhawks and Cowboys generously treated Saturday's viewing audience to a full 40-minute affair.

    A paltry defensive effort for Kansas in the second half as it yielded 48 points coupled with 19 more turnovers allowed Marcus Smart and Phil Forte to "free throw" and "three point" their way back from a 17-point halftime deficit. In a game that featured a fussy Markel Brown, an emotional Frank Mason and bevy of momentum-swinging perimeter heaves, the Jayhawks officially took control of the Big 12, again.

    The March rematch will surely feature two tourney-bound teams seeking to improve their seeding and reputations in the heartland.