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Kansas eyes turnaround, defensive improvement in blue blood battle at Kentucky

Kentucky and Kansas is a matchup of the two winningest teams in the history of college basketball – KU leads UK 2,373 wins to 2,367.

As if his 30.3 points-per-game average was not enough for his team during No. 9 ' current three-game losing skid, now KU junior Jalen Wilson is keeping an eye out for trends.

Specifically, Wilson has looked closely at why the Jayhawks have struggled so mightily out of the gate in those three losses and what they can do to change that.

“After losing three games in a row, we're all just like, ‘What do we need to do to win,'” Wilson said Thursday while previewing the Jayhawks' upcoming battle at unranked at 7 p.m. Saturday in Lexington on ESPN.

The answers to that question are many, but many of them start and end on the defensive end. Although he, too, would like to see his team play better defense in the weeks ahead, Kansas coach Bill Self made it clear throughout the week that he was not ready to hit the panic button just yet.

For one, the three teams that Kansas has lost to in its last three outings are all ranked in the Top 20. For two, the play and evolution of last year's national championship team on the defensive end of the floor is still fresh in Self's mind.

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On This Day In UK Basketball History

On March 2, 1970, Dan Issel scored 42 points against Auburn.

 

On March 2, 1991, before a crowd of 24,310, the then-largest crowd in Rupp arena history, the Wildcats closed out the 1990-91 season with a 22-6 overall record. Although UK was ineligible for the SEC title because of probation, the Wildcats secured the best record in the league (14-4) with a 114-93 win over Auburn to end its two-year probation. A ceremony and parade followed.

 

On March 2, 1996, with a 101-63 victory over Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena on Senior Day, UK became the first team in 40 years to finish with a perfect record in the SEC, a 16-0 sweep. It was the Wildcats’ 25th win in a row, tying the school record for consecutive wins in a season. Two games later, they set the new record at 27 games.

 

On March 2, 2012, Darius Miller, in his final performance at Rupp Arena, led Kentucky in scoring with 17 points on Senior Night in a 30-point win over Georgia.

 

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