Jamie Squire/Getty Images
The Kansas Jayhawks will go for their first Big 12 tournament title since 2018 on Saturday night against a program that has never won the event.
The top-seeded Jayhawks face off with the third-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders, who are making their second-ever appearance in the Big 12 tournament final.
Kansas and Texas Tech sat atop the Big 12 with the Baylor Bears for most of the season.
Kansas reached the final with a pair of double-digit wins over the West Virginia Mountaineers and TCU Horned Frogs.
Texas Tech stayed alive by closing out a tight win over the Oklahoma Sooners, who took out Baylor in the quarterfinals.
The Jayhawks and Red Raiders split their regular-season meetings, but both teams have changed a bit since their last matchup that went to double overtime on January 25.
Big 12 Championship Game Info
Date: Saturday, March 12
Start Time: 6 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app
Kansas erased some concerns that it entered Kansas City with by earning two fairly easy victories to reach the final.
The Jayhawks beat West Virginia and TCU by a combined 37 points.
Bill Self’s side came into the Sprint Center with some questions after it lost to Baylor and TCU and then barely beat TCU at home. Kansas was taken to overtime in its home finale against the Texas Longhorns before it pulled away with a seven-point win.
Remy Martin’s production was the big development from Friday’s semifinal win. The Arizona State transfer chipped in 10 points in support of Ochai Agbaji’s team-leading 22 points.
Martin is averaging seven points per game, and he came into the Big 12 tournament as the team’s fifth-best scorer.
If Kansas gets more scoring out of him, it could hurt Texas Tech’s typically strong defense.
The Jayhawks put up 94 points on Texas Tech in their January 24 win at Allen Fieldhouse. They scored 75 points in regulation then won in double overtime.
Texas Tech consistently held teams under 70 points, even in losses, over the last month.
The Red Raiders allowed an opponent to score over 70 points once in a league victory. Baylor achieved that feat on February 16.
Texas Tech kept that trend by containing the upset-minded Oklahoma Sooners in Friday’s semifinal victory.
Mark Adams’ team let Oklahoma creep back within one point in the final minute, but its defense held firm to seal the victory.
Texas Tech limited Oklahoma to 55 points, and that came one day after it contained the Iowa State Cyclones offense to 41 points.
The Red Raiders need their strong defense to show up again to deal with Kansas’ well-rounded offense, led by Agbaji, in order to capture the program’s first-ever Big 12 tournament title.