Kansas Jayhawks: Does Texas Pose a Threat


If games were played on paper, the Kansas Jayhawks wouldn’t have to worry much about their match-up Saturday with Texas.

The Longhorns (17-11, 6-9) have lost three straight, lost at home to Kansas (22-6, 11-4) earlier in the season, and are dangerously close to having their NCAA Tournament bubble burst.

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However, if you break those three statements down, it’s a reminder of what ESPN’s Chris Berman says after a big upset: That’s why you play the game.

The three losses in a row, while signifying Texas is struggling, have nothing to do with the game tomorrow, nor does the second point of losing at home.

The third point, while on paper should mean the Jayhawks will easily win, actually could be a sign that Texas will come out guns a blazin’.

The Jayhawks should, and probably will win this game, but when a talented team is on the ropes, sometimes that desperation is just enough of a trigger for them to play well enough to win.

The fact they still rebound well (fourth in the nation), and yield only 60.5 points per game (40th), should keep them in most games.

However, a team rarely plays above average at Allen Fieldhouse, and usually below, which means those numbers won’t be as good.

If you break down their Big 12 Conference schedule, it points to this game playing out like it should on paper.

Since an impressive 27-point, home victory against West Virginia on Jan. 17, Texas has lost seven of 10. Those three wins were TCU and Texas Tech at home, and on the road at Kansas State.

Even though the Jayahwks lost in Manhattan, none of those three wins would be considered resume builders.

In fact, five of their six victories have come against TCU, Texas Tech, and K-State, which doesn’t exactly scream: We are going to win in Allen Fieldhouse.

So, we could break down all the match-ups, talk about the Longhorns’ talent, or the fact they are one of five Big 12 teams to win in Lawrence during the Bill Self era, but in reality, this team is just not that good.

Or at least it’s under-achieving.

Picked by some to end Kansas’ conference title streak this season, the Longhorns have once again, under head coach Rick Barnes, under-exceeded expectations.

That has been a theme since 2007, when a Kevin Durant Longhorn team lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

But this is now, and Texas will try to use another talented freshman in Myles Turner to turn their season round.

Don’t count on it to happen.

All the analytics, game film, statistics, and wise guys in Las Vegas will tell you this will be a Jayhawk victory, but it doesn’t take any of those to figure that out.

The Jayhawks are two home victories away from claiming at worst a share of their 11th straight Big 12 title, and the Longhorns are simply not good enough to walk in to Allen Fieldhouse and accomplish something that has only been done nine times in 12 years — win.

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