NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Houston

Kansas kicked off February with a thumping of Houston in Allen Fieldhouse, but the top-ranked Cougars returned the favor Saturday with a similar 76-46 smackdown in the rematch for the Jayhawks' most lopsided defeat of the season. The Cougars clinched the Big 12 regular-season title outright just before the game began by virtue of Kansas State's win over Iowa State, but in dismantling the league's bully they left no doubt about their status as outright -- and emphatic -- champs.

Houston extended its home winning streak to 22 games, the longest active streak in college basketball. The Cougars led wire to wire and held KU to its lowest scoring output of the season and fewest points scored in a Big 12 game since 2000.

The game for Kansas was over before it ever really began. Houston jumped out to a 19-4 lead in the opening eight minutes of action and never allowed the game to get to single digits after the 12:05 mark. Houston at one point led by 32 points with KU's bench unit on the floor before calling off the dogs.

Kansas has struggled all season away from Allen Fieldhouse -- it was 3-6 entering the day as the away team -- so stealing one on the road at No. 1 Houston? Odds were against it. (Kansas was an 8-point underdog.) But Kansas losing by a historic margin and getting ran off the floor? That still registered as something of a stunner for the preseason-No. 1 Jayhawks.

"Houston's got to be one of the favorites [to win the NCAA championship," said KU coach Bill Self after the game. "Kelvin's [Sampson] got a team that can win it all. ... They were turned up and ready to go."

Houston had four scorers reach double figures in the win, led by star guard Jamal Shead, while KU stars Kevin McCullar Jr. and Hunter Dickinson played just 15 and 23 minutes, respectively, before leaving the game with injuries.

"Hunter dislocated his shoulder. He'll have an MRI to see what the diagnosis is," said Self, adding that McCullar, who has been battling through injury, left the game early with an aggravation and did not return. Self said both Dickinson and McCullar's status moving forward will be "questionable."