5. Kansas (8-1)
We’re done talking about how Kansas won the championship last year because this is a completely different situation this year. The Jayhawks stumbled a bit in the Bahamas, needing a late shot to beat Wisconsin before falling apart against Tennessee. However, they’ve gotten back onto the horse and had the kind of week to show that their performance against the Volunteers wasn’t the norm we should expect.
On Monday, the Jayhawks were back home against Texas Southern, taking care of business with an 87-55 win. Among the highlights was a 22-point performance from Jalen Wilson, who really is their star this season in the early going. MJ Rice added 19 points off the bench. A few days later, Kansas got another dominant victory but this time against a better opponent, handling Seton Hall in a 91-65 win at home. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Kevin McCullar Jr.’s 17-point, 10-rebound performance.
The sour taste from that Tennessee game may linger but the Jayhawks have done solid work to put it in the rearview mirror. They just played their two most efficient offensive games of the season, with that interior offense finally seeming to shine in these two beatdown wins. Obviously, Kansas isn’t going to be cozy at home all season, getting their first true road test next week at Missouri. Can they hand the Tigers their first loss of the year?