Beating the Kansas State Wildcats this weekend will not solve all of the Kansas Jayhawks‘ problems. However, a victory would show that Kansas is going to compete not only for a Big 12 title–like it has basically done every season–but a national championship as well.
Kansas has been up and down this season. It currently holds a 10-4 record. The Jayhawks do not have a bad loss, but they have still lost to Villanova, Colorado, Florida and San Diego State. All four of those teams are capable of winning the NCAA tournament this year.
Bill Self‘s team is still very good, but if they can’t beat some of the best teams in college hoops, then they are not one of the best teams. It is pretty simple.
Kansas probably had one too many quality opponents in its non-conference schedule. Who could blame it for scheduling so many tough teams, though? Andrew Wiggins and a very talented freshmen class was set to take the court. Wiggins and other freshmen have been good, but they haven’t necessarily been great. By that, I mean they haven’t been the most dominant players the sport has ever seen, which is what many people expected out of the No. 1 recruit.
Kansas State is ranked No. 25 in the AP and it has definitely earned that ranking. The Wildcats have beaten Ole Miss, Gonzaga, George Washington and Oklahoma State. The win against the Cowboys was the biggest of the season and showed the rest of the Big 12 that they will be competing for a conference title yet again.
Kansas is the better team on paper–by far–but that is basically the case every time this team steps foot on the court.
It can’t afford to lose against Kansas State for two reasons. First, it has to show the rest of the country that it is still going to compete for a national title. Second, the Jayhawks will play Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Baylor in back-to-back-to-back games. Self’s team will be going through the toughest stretch of their season, as it plays four ranked teams in a row.