LAWRENCE KS - JANUARY 29: Marcus Morris #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks and teammates cheer from the bench during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats on January 29 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Sticking with our roundtable type success from yesterday Fetch and Warden kicked around a question. What do the next two games mean to Kansas? And what do fans want to see out of their teams in those games?
Between fetch putting the Jayhawks second in the conference and the discussion following the power rankings, I've been trying to figure out what I want to see over the next two games out of this team. Over the last week, I still fail to see how the Jayhawks aren't ranked first in the power rankings. Yes, they've only beaten the Oklahoma schools which is nothing to be too proud about but the team ranked first lost to both Colorado and Nebraska, two schools that should be NIT bound.
Right fetch? Anyway, the other side is obviously the two times Kansas has had an opportunity to establish themselves at the top of the conference, it hasn't gone well. Texas took them behind the woodshed for the last 30 minutes of the game in Lawrence and K-State did the same thing for 2nd half in Manhattan. With two games left to lock it down, what needs to happen to show everyone that Kansas deserves to be on the same level as Texas? Is it possible without another game on the schedule with Texas?
I can explain why I didn't put Kansas #1 quite simply: I apparently am more superstitious than I thought and the last time I put us #1 we went and got obliterated at K State.
But on to your Texas point, I find it weird that people automatically assume Texas is better than Kansas. Not only because for whatever reason people put way too much weight on head to head results, but because of the unfortunate events that transpired the night before the game. The kids were up until like 5 AM. It's remarkable they were even on the court that day, and for the first 15ish minutes of the game, when they had the same level of energy as Texas, well we all saw how that went.
Exactly. But that first 10 minutes of the game and the last 20 of UT's game against Colorado should cause everyone to hold off on making the sweeping judgements from just one game. But the K-State game also happened and Kansas did play like crap in that one, too. If the team comes out and does that against Missouri, I'm going to be officially worried about getting to the Sweet 16 and will consider anything beyond that just a huge success. If this team doesn't handle the pressure from this week (Saturday in particular), I'll lose a whole lot of faith in it ever happening.
Part of this is the schedule and that's just bad luck. But when has this team responded well to adversity when facing a quality opponent? They handled the Pac10 schools in close games but that's not carrying much water right now. Memphis early on looked promising but they'll be lucky to make the tournament. Personally, I need to see it this week against two solid opponents and in a rough environment. Am I way off?
Yeah that's a good point. I think Arizona is good and I think UCLA is at least pretty good, so I would count those as handling adversity well. Other than that though, Nebraska? But bottom line is they haven't had much of it and when they have it hasn't gone too well. Though I thought the 2008 team didn't really have it either after they lost their 2 out of 3, and that turned out OK.
Speaking of which, I'll repeat something I said a lot in 2008: If there was a way to make it so that every team played as well as they possibly good every game, I think we would win the national championship. The trick is just getting our guys to play that well.
And last year's team looked great going into the tournament. Handled KSU three separate times, including an overtime win in Manhattan. Won the Big12 tournament pretty convincingly. Hell, what happens now might not mean anything looking forward to March. Maybe just knowing that the ceiling is as high as it gets should be enough to give comfort going into the crapshoot that is a single elimination tournament.