Kansas Jayhawks Have Kansas State Wildcats Right Where They Want Them

Jeff Withey Elijah Johnson Kansas Jayhawks

Kevin Jairaj-US Presswire

The No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks have dropped three games in a row for the first time since 2005.

The good news for Head Coach Bill Self and his Jayhawks are that they have a quick turnaround as they play their in-state rival the No. 13 ranked Kansas State Wildcats on Monday night.

The bad news is that the Jayhawks only have one night to prepare for the first place Wildcats and star Rodney McGruder. However, the Jayhawks may have the Wildcats right where they want them.

First of all, by the time the game is played, the Jayhawks will most assuredly be ranked outside the top 10 and the Wildcats will most likely be inside the top 10.

That means that the Jayhawks will have a bit of role reversal when the game starts. That’s right, the Jayhawks will be the underdog at home.

Sound odd? It is.

However, with multiple top 1o teams falling on the road this past week, the Jayhawks have the opportunity to return the favor that the TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma Sooners paid to the them this past week.

Second, the game is in Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks do not lose in that building. Period. And Bill Self has already told the rabid Jayhawk fans that his team needs their support. It will be there for the Jayhawks that is a guarantee.

Third, the Bill Self-Bruce Weber rivalry takes a weird twist with Self’s Jayhawks now looking up to Weber’s Wildcats in the Big 12 standings.

The history between the two is rooted in Self leaving the Illinois Fighting Illini for Kansas and Weber getting to the NCAA Championship game with Self’s players. Weber was released by Illinois last season and took over at Kansas State this year.

Now Weber has to handle the role of favorite just like his players do. How will he handle that?

Self will make sure the Jayhawks are prepared from a game plan standpoint, however, he has to hope that his team plays loose, make shots early and put the pressure on the Wildcats and Weber, who will be in a unusual role of favorite in Monday’s match up.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

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