Preview: BYU heads to the Allen Fieldhouse to battle Kansas

BYU is heading to one of college basketball's best venues. How should the Cougars hold up?

Trey Stewart and Tylor Perry dive for the ball as BYU faces Kansas State
Trey Stewart and Tylor Perry dive for the ball as BYU faces Kansas State / Peter Aiken/GettyImages

Here comes the big one. In Jurassic Park, Samuel L. Jackson notified his peers that the whole living dinosaur situation was about to get intense. With the impending matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks drawing near for BYU, let this be your formal warning to "hold onto your butts."

Following another road loss to Kansas State last weekend, BYU fell to a 2-6 road record. While a horrible sign of what may happen in Lawrence on Tuesday, that number is more indicative of how difficult winning on the road has been for nearly every Big XII team. Kansas lost to K-State, West Virginia, and UCF on the road this season, and they're still in the AP Top 10. But why should fans tune into this game against the Jayhawks? Does BYU have a shot in a road game at one of basketball's most iconic arenas?

The Kansas Jayhawks sit at 3rd in the Big XII standings with a 21-6 (9-5 Big XII) record. Bill Self's squad has shown weakness in a few games (like the 3 that I mentioned earlier this season), but has also shown that they belong among college basketball's elite. Key wins by this season's Jayhawks include impressive performances against Baylor, Houston, Tennessee, Kentucky and UConn (holding onto your butt yet?). While their recent 29-point loss to Texas Tech suggests they could be a complete no-show if you're lucky, don't count on another unexpected blowout.

Nicolas Timberlake
Kansas players cheer in their recent game against Texas / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

In fact, Bill Self just doesn't lose home games. With a 305-17 record in the Allen Fieldhouse, you may as well hang an "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" sign in the away locker room. Beating Kansas in their house is a rare accomplishment, and BYU's resume in Big XII road games doesn't encourage any Cougar fans planning to watch the matchup between these teams on Tuesday.

An interesting wrinkle in this game's tapestry will be the absence of Kansas guard, Kevin McCullar, who has been struggling with a nagging knee injury this season. McCullar has averaged 19 points per game and leads all Jayhawk scorers on the season, so his scoring will be a void that needs to be filled. Fortunately for Kansas, they have many stars on their squad, like standout center, Hunter Dickinson. Still, Kansas may be more vulnerable to an upset if Bill Self's supporting cast struggles to make up the difference. Per Sports Illustrated:

"McCullar's absence is significant for the Jayhawks. While Kansas has one of the top five starting lineups in the country, they are very thin. Outside of their starting five, they don't have a bench player that averages more than 4.2 points per game. Without McCullar in the lineup, [Hunter Dickinson] has taken on a larger scoring role. He has scored 20 points in each of the last two games for Kansas.

Even though McCullar won't play, BYU will have to play much better than they did against Kansas State to have a chance to beat Kansas in the Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has not lost at home this season."

SI Cougs Daily

You can watch this game on ESPN+ or listen on KSL NewsRadio at 6:00 MST.

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