Going into Selection Sunday, Auburn had already been identified by Kansas fans as a potential 5 seed this team wanted no part of. The Tigers make it rain from downtown and force a ton of turnovers, making them a combination of traits the Jayhawks struggled with all year. Unfortunately, this game played out exactly as fans feared.
Auburn came out firing, and hit six of ten from behind the line in just the first ten minutes of the game. In that same span, Kansas turned it over four times without forcing any of their own. The result was KU getting buried, down 34-15 with nine minutes still remaining in the first half. Dedric Lawson was a scoreless 0-3 at that point, and Kansas simply had no answer for a team that seemed ideally constructed to make them look bad.
At the half it was basically worst case scenario. Auburn led 51-25 and had shot 9-17 from deep while forcing eight turnovers. Kansas was just 1-10 from behind the arc. Lawson had four points, all from the free throw line, after going 0-5. Marcus Garrett actually led the team in scoring with seven. Even if this weren't a matchup nightmare for the Jayhawks, this year's team simply isn't built for large comebacks.
The second half wasn't much different, and there was never really any feeling that Kansas might be able to mount a comeback. In fact, had they been so inclined, Auburn could have hit triple digits. Instead they opted to cruise a bit down the stretch, ending with a resounding 89-75 victory.
There isn't a whole lot to point out in terms of positives. Lawson still had his customary double double, ending with 25 points and 10 boards after scoring some garbage time buckets. Devon Dotson ended an impressive freshman campaign with 13 points, three assists and two steals.
The Jayhawks ended the season with ten losses for just the second time in Bill Self's tenure. The main question this offseason is just a matter of who will be back next year. Since Vick never returned to the team, every player currently on the roster could theoretically return. Lawson and Udoka Azubuike could potentially test the professional waters, but it would be unlikely for any of their teammates to do so.
That's a wrap for 2018-19 Jayhawks. It was a frustrating season, but it's comforting to know that a 4 seed and 26-10 season ending in the round of 32 is what's considered a rough down year in Lawrence.