8. Kansas (16-4)
The Big 12 is certainly in a state of transition, but one thing that won’t change is this Kansas program. Bill Self’s squad has won a boatload of league titles across the last two decades and continues to assert themselves as one the nation’s elite programs. While the college basketball landscape continues to change, the Jayhawks keep racking up wins and impressive moments, but has the rest of the Big 12 caught up to them?
That wasn’t the case back on Monday, as the Jayhawks dispatched of new league member Cincinnati with a 74-69 win at home, though it certainly was closer than many expected. Johnny Furphy continued a breakout season with a 23-point, 11-rebound performance while Kevin McCullar Jr. added 20 points. Saturday was tougher and ended in defeat, as Kansas fell 79-75 at Iowa State. Hunter Dickinson had a fine performance with 20 points and 15 rebounds, but the Cyclones barely edged the Jayhawks.
This leaves Kansas still very competitive at 4-3 in Big 12 play, but it’s clear that they aren’t exactly dominating this league anymore. Kansas has won just one of their first four road games in league play and have yet to really play some of the toughest teams in the conference. Still, with the elite talent assembled in Lawrence, there’s certainly a road forward for a Kansas team that looks a little shakier than years past. We’ll see how they handle Oklahoma State and Houston at home next week.