This is not a typical year for Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks as there is a serious possibility that they will not win the Big 12.
Another Blowout Loss
This is the second blowout loss in the Big 12 for Kansas this season. This team has a lot of issues and road games is clearly one of them. The Jayhawks are 1-4 in their last 5 road games in the conference. They also lost their last non conference road game against Kentucky. It’s one thing to lose, it’s another to be down 25 at the half like they were at Texas Tech.
Another alarming thing about this game is that they were torched by Texas Tech’s guards. When Udoka Azubuike went down for the season, most of their problems were associated with not having him to control the paint. Upon further inspection, it seems like the Jayhawks are being torched on the perimeter. Against Texas Tech, Kansas allowed 16 threes which a recipe for disaster at home or away. When they lost at Kansas St, they gave up 10 threes on 41% from behind the arc. Same story in their game at Texas when they gave up another 10 threes in a close loss. This will obviously be a point of emphasis for Bill Self going into the stretch run of the season. Every year in the NCAA tournament, several big favorites get knocked out by a smaller schools that gets hot from behind the line. At the moment Kansas is allowing everyone to make threes at will.
Kansas can’t lose again in the Big 12
There are four games left for Kansas to save their Big 12 season. As of today, Kansas St has a two game lead in the conference and have already beaten Kansas straight up. You would have to go back to 2004 for the last time Kansas didn’t win the conference. In that time, they have shared the regular season conference title four times, the last one with Kansas St in 2013. Make no mistake, the game on Monday could possibly be the biggest game in Kansas St basketball history. A win doesn’t give them the regular season title but it will virtually eliminate Kansas from the discussion. In essence, March Madness starts now for the Kansas Jayhawks.
Big 12 still belongs to Kansas until someone takes it
The only thing the Jayhawks can do from here out is put their best foot forward and see where that takes them. The time for talking is over. The Texas Tech game was crucial to their season and they suffered the worst loss in the Bill Self era. There is no doubt that Kansas St smell blood but the reality is, until they beat Kansas on Monday, the Jayhawks are still the big dogs of the conference. The last two teams to share the Big 12 regular season title with Kansas are Texas and Kansas St. Those teams have no national championships between them and seven Final Four appearances combined. Kansas meanwhile has three NCAA titles and 15 Final Four appearances. The fact still remains that in order to be the champ, you have to beat the champ. The defending champs are still alive but barely.