Kansas basketball playoff round-up is beginning to look fairly strong | Story of Tait

Kansas goalie Marcus Garrett’s teammates congratulate him as he’s taken to the sphere forward of the reveal on the senior night time on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Allen Fieldhouse.
by Nick Krug

Technically, the Kansas males’s basketball staff has yet another recreation to play in its common season – 7 p.m. Thursday towards UTEP – earlier than the March Demise Days arrive.

However within the moments after Saturday night time’s huge 71-58 win over No.2 Baylor at Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks have given some thought to their season thus far.

And Kansas coach Invoice Self wasn’t within the temper to carry again something about how his staff battled via adversity, battled a mid-season meltdown, and located how one can play your finest basketball on the finish of the season.

“I do not assume a single recreation is legitimate for the season,” Self stated. “However we completed 12-6 in a ridiculously powerful league and we have been down for 3 weeks. So if you happen to take these three weeks off, we have carried out fairly constantly. … There are a variety of groups throughout America that might like to be 12-6 in arguably the hardest convention in America.

Do not look now, however what was broadly seen as a tricky yr for the Jayhawks for a number of weeks was a reasonably memorable season with KU placing collectively a resume that ranks among the many finest in faculty basketball. .

No staff has scored extra wins over ranked groups (6) than the Jayhawks, who at the moment are 18-8 total and winners of six of their final seven video games, the one loss on this streak (since February 8) in 14th place. Texas in extra time.

No staff has performed extra Quadrant 1 video games than Kansas, who’re 6-8 in these video games and now No. 11 within the NET standings. KU was No.17 earlier than the win towards Baylor.

No 32 Maryland (5-9), No 65 Kentucky (3-11), No 88 Northwestern (3-11) and No 200 Kansas State (1-13) additionally performed 14 Q1 video games, whereas Illinois (8 -5), Minnesota (4-9), Penn State (2-11) and Nebraska (1-12) are second with 13 video games in Q1.

Add to that the truth that ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi now has KU on Line 3 and you’re clearly taking a look at a staff not off course. With the potential for just a few extra Q1 video games on maintain within the Large 12 match, the Jayhawks might see their NCAA match seed climb much more if they’ll proceed on their path to victory.

Maybe extra essential than all of that is the truth that only a few groups have been in a position to play this season’s schedule, begin to end, with none self-induced COVID-19 delays like Kansas did.

“The gamers dealt with the whole lot splendidly,” Self stated after Saturday’s win. “We hit the street in January. We went via this era the place we performed with out vitality and we have been missed. Someway they type of responded and obtained their legs again, and we have been fairly good ever since.

Somewhat properly may be saying it flippantly. The Kansas protection, which has carried this staff because the begin of February, has been sensational, limiting opponents to each low totals and low factors per possession.

The crown jewel got here on Saturday night time, when the Kansas protection held the unbeaten Baylor to simply 58 factors, 0.94 factors per possession and a few of his most excruciating capturing percentages of the season – 35 % within the ‘collectively, 23% from 3 factors and 38% on the free throw line.

It is value declaring that these numbers got here towards a Baylor facet who, even after tonight, rank fourth in KenPom.com’s adjusted offensive effectivity numbers. Shutting them down, COVID break or not, has been a major accomplishment. And he is the one which makes Self and his gamers imagine that if they’ll follow the previous protection mindset, they’ll finish the season with a collection of deep tournaments.

“I am pleased with our guys,” Self stated. “I believe we play higher than us. We have had a variety of groups that had higher playoff data, however they perhaps have not been on an increase not directly. I believe this staff is booming.

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