BYU Basketball’s History Against Kansas

Feb 25, 2024, 9:31 PM | Updated: 9:35 pm

BYU Basketball, Kansas Jayhawks, History...

BYU basketball will face the Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday for the first time as Big 12 opponents. They have met five previous times. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Tuesday night will be the fourth time BYU basketball has played a game at historic Allen Fieldhouse, home of the Kansas Jayhawks.

Few college basketball brands boast the history that Kansas possesses.

“There is nowhere better for basketball, and there is nowhere better for a sporting event than Allen Fieldhouse. It is the best venue for sports. Period,” said ESPN’s Jay Bilas on College Gameday earlier this month. “This is the St. Andrews of college basketball. The history of the game runs through Lawrence, Kansas.”

BYU will get to experience that history for the first time since its last visit in 1971

Looking back at BYU basketball history against Kansas

When you look at BYU’s brief but unique history in Allen Fieldhouse, only one of the previous three games in the basketball cathedral was against Kansas.

BYU faced Kansas State in 1959 as part of the Sunflower Showdown at Allen Fieldhouse. Then, the following day, BYU played Kansas in Manhattan.

In 1971, BYU was part of a four-team Jayhawk Classic that featured 6th-ranked BYU led by Kresimir Cosic squaring off against Kansas on December 17, 1971. BYU lost that game 83-67.

The following night, on December 18, 1971, BYU faced another future conference foe, the Cincinnati Bearcats. BYU won that game 82-79.

Since that holiday trip in 1971, BYU hasn’t made a trip to college basketball’s crown jewel arena.

That changes this Tuesday when BYU and Kansas square off for the first time as Big 12 Conference opponents.

Since 1971, BYU and Kansas have met twice. Both times were in neutral floor settings. One meeting was in the NCAA Tournament. The other was four seasons ago at the 2019 Maui Invitational.

Kansas leads the all-time series against BYU 4-1.

BYU’s lone victory was in Provo in 1960.

1959: Kansas 96, BYU 64 (Manhattan, Kansas)

Three players for Kansas scored at least 18 points as they cruised to an easy win.

1960: BYU 80, Kansas 70

BYU center Dave Eastis scored 22 points to lift the Cougars over No. 10 Kansas at the Smith Fieldhouse.

1971: Kansas 83, BYU 67

BYU’s 1971 nonconference schedule looked a lot like a Big 12 schedule. The Cougars had games against Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, and Kansas. This was BYU’s last and only game against KU in Allen Fieldhouse. It was a surprising setback as BYU was No. 6 in the country, squaring off against a 2-3 Kansas team.

1993: Kansas 90, BYU 76 (NCAA Tournament Second Round)

It’s strange to think that since the Round of 32 meeting against Kansas at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, BYU has only reached that round of the NCAA Tournament twice. Meanwhile, Kansas, in that same stretch, has reached the second round 27 times.

Kansas star and former San Francisco Dons head coach Rex Walters led the Jayhawks with 28 points.

2019: Kansas 71, BYU 56 (Maui Invitational)

The early days of the Mark Pope era. In only the seventh game of Mark Pope’s tenure as head coach, BYU battled with Kansas for the first 20 minutes, trailing the Jayhawks 29-27. But the big men for Kansas, David McCormack, and Udoka Azubuike led the charge in the second half as they pulled away for a double-digit victory.

Remember, BYU was without Yoeli Childs in this game as part of his nine-game suspension from the NCAA. ESPN analyst Jay Bilas used his platform during the broadcast to scold the NCAA for punishing Childs over a paperwork error.

It would have been interesting to see these two teams square off at the end of the season before the pandemic took it away. Both teams were two of the hottest squads in the country by season’s end. Kansas was considered the favorite to win the national title, while BYU was a trendy Final Four pick until COVID-19 took it away.

2024: BYU at Kansas – First Big 12 meeting

Date: February 27, 2024

Location: Allen Fieldhouse

Tip-Off: 6 p.m. (MT)/7 p.m. (CT)

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Pregame begins at 5 p.m.)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball’s History Against Kansas