This was a must-win for Kansas. If Bill Self’s team wants to finish in second place in the Big 12, they couldn’t afford to lose to a conference one-win Wildcats team.
Kansas came out more aggressive than Kansas State. The Wildcats struggled to make any shots. Kansas didn’t take advantage of the Wildcats’ struggles, as they too couldn’t hit much from the field. At the under-12 timeout, Kansas led 10-4.
Kansas led at the half 27-16 in what was a terrible first half offensively. The two teams combined to go 1-for-18 from behind the arc. Jalen Wilson was the only player to hit one, and it came late in the half.
It’s amazing to think that Kansas could finish in the top two or three in the Big 12 without playing very well. And don’t try to tell me that Kansas is a victim of a tough conference. They were dismantled at Tennessee when the Volunteers were struggling. If anything, I think the Big 12 could be overrated.
And the second half went just as bad as the first. With just under 13 minutes to play, I wasn’t sure if either team would reach 50 points.
I have to find something positive to say about one of these teams, right? I would have to choose Dajuan Harris and Bryce Thompson’s play in the second half. Harris was terrific on defense when he got on the court in the second half. And Bryce Thompson was aggressive going to the basket himself and setting up others for easy baskets.
Kansas has won just two games in which their opponent scored 70 or more points. They gave up 72 points in wins over Creighton and Saint Joseph’s.
This game was an ugly one. Kansas didn’t play well offensively and won 59-41. They were fortunate to play an even worse offensive team. Yes, the Jayhawks have improved defensively recently, but they aren’t this good. They certainly were helped by the fact that they played Kansas State.