Azubuike missed the bulk of his freshman season two years ago after tearing ligaments in his left wrist.
"Udoka Azubuike is out," coach Bill Self said in a statement issued just before tipoff against the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa. "He got his wrist hit yesterday at practice, and it's precautionary, but he's in quite a bit of discomfort and pain today, and he said he couldn't go, which is fine, because the X-rays were negative and the doctor obviously thinks he's going to be OK.
"We will get an MRI on him tomorrow. Based on what we dealt with two years ago -- what he dealt with -- I can understand the apprehension in his mind, even though we don't think they're remotely related and it's a different hand. But we're going to sit him today."
Self expanded on the injury after Saturday's game.
"It could be a one-game deal or it could be a season-ending deal. But there's no indication that it'll be the latter,'' Self said.
Azubuike, who is averaging 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds this season, missed four games in December with an ankle injury. No. 5 Kansas won three in a row without Azubuike before suffering an 80-76 loss at Arizona State on Dec. 22 and losing its No. 1 ranking.
Entering Saturday, the Jayhawks have averaged 115 points per 100 possessions with Azubuike on the floor this season and 102 points per 100 possessions with him off it, per hooplens.com. He has made 70.5 percent of his shots inside the 3-point line.
Kansas is also a significantly better defensive team -- 43 percent shooting allowed inside the arc with Azubuike, 48 percent allowed without him -- with the big man.
The team has made 46.3 percent of its 3-pointers with Azubuike on the floor this season. Without him? Just 31 percent.