Kansas Jayhawks Look to Rock-Chalk Their Way to Houston

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Choke artists. If there were two words to describe the Kansas Jayhawks under coach Bill Self those two may be it. The Jayhawks have ruined many brackets through the years from their first round losses to Bucknell and Bradley to their did-that-really-just-happen second round exit to Northern Iowa last year.

That’s why, when Kansas only led by four at halftime against 16th-seeded Boston University, people everywhere held their breath. KU, with the exception of the 2008 national title, has been known to choke in tourney time and what’s scary for those Jayhawk fans is that the Regional matchups look like the perfect trap games.

Starting with their Friday night game against Atlantic-10 postseason champion Richmond, Kansas could get to Houston by playing two Regional games against double-digit seeds. No number one seed has anything close to that easy but that’s not to say that Richmond is totally incapable.

By Zachary Wadley

kansas basketball

The Spiders are riding a nine game winning streak into San Antonio and are winners of 13 of their last 15 games. Being hot at the right time is a key to success in March and Richmond definitely is hot but so are the Jayhawks. Kansas ended up beating Boston by 19 and then pulled away late against the Illini, Bill Self’s former employer, to get to San Antonio.

Kansas is in the midst of a 10-game winning streak. Which hot team should win?

Surprisingly, Richmond matches up well with Kansas’s height but their big men will need to play exceptionally well to stop the Morris brothers and Thomas Robinson. The three of them may prove to be too much for Richmond’s Justin Harper and Dan Geriot.

In the backcourt Kansas features two dead-eye shooters in Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar and Tyshawn Taylor has scored in double figures the past four games while dishing out five assists per game in that span. Kansas is the definition of a complete team.

Keep an eye on the Spiders’ point guard, Kevin Anderson. The junior averaged a shade under 17 points this season and shoots 42% from 3-point land. He was sensational against Vanderbilt in their opening round upset, pouring in 25 points while playing all 40 minutes. Harper has been solid averaging 17.5 points and 8 boards but his defense may be his most valuable contribution on Friday night. Between the Morris twins and Robinson they average 39 points and 22 rebounds and if Harper and Geriot can hold those three to 25 points then Richmond will win the game. It’s a longshot but definitely possible.

The Jayhawks are vulnerable and they are prone to cough one up in March but this season it seems their path to Houston is tailor-made. Were they to make the Final Four they would never play any team seeded higher than 9th and they could potentially face three mid-majors if they meet VCU in the Elite 8.

However, with their recent history in the tournament, one cannot count out Richmond. The Spiders will be playing in their first Sweet 16 since 1988 and, if they both win their semi-final games, could face crosstown rival, VCU with a chance for the Final Four on the line. If somebody would have said that the city of Richmond would have as many teams as the Big East in the Sweet 16 they would have been considered a fool.

Yet here they are- both will playing Friday night. The Spiders have their hands full with the number two team in the nation standing in their way but of the number one seeds Kansas is the most vulnerable. If Richmond can take away some of the Jayhawks post play they have a shot to win. If not, then it’s likely Bill Self and the Jayhawks will dance their way across the state of Texas to Houston.

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Comments

  1. choke artist? come on you sound like a complete idiot,
    ok we lost to butler, who went on to the final 4??
    and was in final last yr with duke? so we caught them first game, fact is butler is darn good and the seed they had was way way off, than last yr, we had a off game yes against a very good team, who had over 30 wins, an upset ya a total break down nooo, and for your information facts dont lie, the number 1 team in the country as far as most ncaa wins in past 10 yrs??? yep KU

  2. paulmbanks says

    you were saying…………??????

  3. Justin Mertes-Mistretta says

    Haha, this is too funny.

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