It is that time again when we start thinking about and deciding who the next No. 1 will be in NCAA men’s basketball. The question we should really ask is: Does anyone really want to be No. 1? It seems like the past few weeks what team is on the top ends up losing the next game they play. Take Duke for example, they end up being taking the top spot and than lose at North Carolina State and just this week they regain the top spot and lose badly at Miami. The same goes for Louisville who loss to Syracuse and now have lost two straight.
Are you cursed if you become No. 1? Lately it seems like it for those who have been there. Now the question becomes who is the next team to be cursed and does the rankings really matter right now? We can have all the arguments and debates on what team should be there and lose their next game but the team that deserves it most is the Kansas Jayhawks. Now they don’t deserve the curse but the top ranking. No one expected this team to have the type of season they are having after having their best scores, Thomas Robinson leave for the NBA and Tyshawn Taylor graduate. Those are two big gaps to fill and somehow this team is winning.
Rankings really don’t matter to the Jayhawks but they don’t run from it. Travis Releford on the bus after Louisville lost responded to a player who asked, Why aren’t we going to be No. 1 by saying: “We’re right where we need to be.” That is a great attitude to have for this Senior leader. What Releford was really saying is, it matters so little right now it certainly isn’t worth spending any time worrying about.
The Jayhawks should be the new No. 1 because first of all they deserve it. They have passed so many expectations both in non-conference and Big 12 play. Winning on the road is so important and they have proved they cab by winning at Ohio State and Kansas State who are both ranked teams. Winning close games is an attribute for top teams and they have done that as well this season. A player has stepped up for the Jayhawks to make sure they wouldn’t lose those games. Recently at Kansas State, Naadir Tharpe went to the line to shoot two clutch free throws to help seal the win and he knock down both of them.
It is very important that the best team in the nation play with passion and emotion. They show this on and off the court. For example watch the talented freshmen Ben McLemore smile every time he steps on the court. Why does he smile, because he is excited that he is playing for Kansas and for one of the greatest coaches, Bill Self. Kevin Young is one of the greatest example of this passion. He is like the energizer bunny bringing energy, passion and a spark to the team when they need it.
They have been playing team ball and unselfish ball. They know where one another is on the court at all times. They crash the boards with authority, rebound, make the right passes, get turnovers and play aggressive defense. The Jayhawks have a great resume to be the next No. 1 and if they become it watch the curse to go away. When it comes down to it, does it really matter who is at the top now or when March pulls around? If extra points counted this team can also break it down with some great dance moves.