8. Kansas (15-3)
As seems to be the case nearly every season, Kansas entered the year with heightened expectations. Bill Self built a fantastic roster that put their talent on full display already, with a few absolutely elite victories on the resume. Those accomplishments were numerous, but these Jayhawks are going to be judged by how they handle Big 12 play and it’s not exactly going as expected so far.
A few days after a nice win over Oklahoma, the Jayhawks took care of Oklahoma State as well, winning 90-66 on the road. All five Jayhawks starters played excellent ball, led by 21 points and 7 rebounds from Hunter Dickinson and a 18-point game from Kevin McCullar Jr. The script was wildly different over the weekend, as Kansas suffered an unexpected 91-85 loss at West Virginia, falling to a Mountaineers team that entered played at just 6-11. McCullar had 24 points but Kansas clearly didn’t do enough on the road yet again.
When conference play began, you could certainly identify UCF and West Virginia as two of the weaker teams this season in the Big 12, but now both have upset these Jayhawks. While Kansas’s offense has played valiantly, especially in league play, giving up 91 points to the Mountaineers is inexcusable. How will Kansas handle tougher road games in this league, especially with a trip to Ames next Saturday?