By the time the Kansas Jayhawks make it to Big 12 play in mid-January, they'll have a pretty good idea whether they could win the Pacific-10 basketball championship if nothing else.
KU will take on Arizona in the Las Vegas Invitational over Thanksgiving weekend, welcome UCLA and Southern California to Lawrence in December and travel to Berkeley, Calif., to play California before the Christmas holidays.
Luckily for the Jayhawks, who will be playing without Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, all four Pac-10 foes appear to be in a rebuilding stage. KU will also face Memphis in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 7 and hit the road for the completion of a home-and-home with Michigan in Ann Arbor on Jan. 9.
The nonconference slate should prepare the Jayhawks for what shapes up as a favorable Big 12 slate. KU will host three of the top four South division teams — Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State — at Allen Fieldhouse, where the Jayhawks have won a nation's-best 59 in a row.
Road trips to Baylor, Kansas State and Missouri will present the greatest hurdles in KU's quest for a seventh straight Big 12 regular season title.