3. Kansas (13-1)
With wins over Connecticut, Tennessee, and Kentucky, it’s true that these Jayhawks boast one of the finest resumes in college basketball. Their lone loss came against Marquette back in Maui and they’ve been doing fantastic work throughout much of nonconference play. The marathon that is Big 12 play began this week with the Jayhawks looking to prove that they remain the top dog in a new-look league.
In actuality, the Jayhawks faced a significant challenge at home from TCU. A close game throughout, the Jayhawks won on a shot from Hunter Dickinson in the final seconds for an 83-81 victory, a close call. Dickinson was brilliant throughout with 30 points and 11 rebounds, though none were more important than those final two. K. J. Adams Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Jayhawks got their first win in conference play.
Before the season began, many were already high on a Kansas squad absolutely loaded with talent, especially when they brought in Dickinson, who transferred from Michigan. They’ve been great for much of the season, survived when they needed to, and look like one of those top contenders in the Big 12, even if they are going to get a punch in the mouth from their rivals. Next week is a weird one, starting with a road game at UCF before welcoming Oklahoma to Lawrence one last time in conference play.