They entered the season as the consensus top two teams in college basketball, ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in nearly every preseason ranking. That perception changed almost immediately, as Kentucky was drilled by Duke on the opening night of the season, and Kansas handled Michigan State in the other Champions Classic headliner.
The narratives were set: Kentucky was struggling while Kansas looked the part of title contender, spending several weeks at No. 1. Things flipped in late December, when Udoka Azubuike went down because of a season-ending injury for Kansas. The Jayhawks had an eight-game stretch in which they went just 5-3, while Kentucky has lost only two games since that season-opening beatdown -- both away from home, and by a combined three points.
As they enter Saturday's SEC/Big 12 Challenge showdown, each will be looking to prove their national championship credentials.