It all started with some words about Andrew Wiggins from Marcus Smart during Big 12 Media Day and suddenly the showdown between Oklahoma State and Kansas on January 18 became one of the most anticipated Big 12 basketball games in recent memory. Back in October Smart, the Oklahoma State star, claimed Wiggins, a freshman at Kansas, had yet to prove anything at the collegiate level and the possibility of a new college basketball rivalry was born.
Jayhawks fans are certainly treating this game like a big rivalry as KU basketball tickets for this game are the most expensive of the season at Allen Fieldhouse. The average price is $495, a 36% increase of the 2013-14 regular season average for Kansas home games. The get-in price of $255 is more expensive than some average prices for Kansas games this season.
The showdown between two of college basketball's biggest stars is the draw for this game. Wiggins is the leading scorer for the Jayhawks with 15.8 points per game and is also averaging 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in his freshman season. Smart, a sophomore for the Cowboys, is averaging 17.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Rivalries seem to hold bigger importance than quality opponents when it comes to Kansas home games in January. The Jayhawks will also host Kansas State on the 11th, featuring an above season average ticket price for the Sunflower Showdown. Other home games in January are against Baylor and Iowa State, currently ranked No. 7 and No. 9, respectively in the AP Poll, but both of those games have an average price below the regular season average.
It might be the most expensive Kansas game of the season, but if the result of the game can anywhere near the hype, it should be well worth the price of admission.