Kansas basketball: Three keys to winning the Big 12 Tournament

Kansas basketball (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Kansas basketball (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /
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Kansas basketball
Kansas basketball (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

The Jayhawks can’t look ahead to the NCAA Tournament

As of now, Kansas basketball is the consensus best team in basketball. They’re No. 1 on essentially every major analytics site and poll including the AP Top 25, KenPom, Sagarin, BPI, and others. Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology has the Jayhawks as the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, and they’re essentially a lock for a 1 seed.

That being said, Kansas can’t look ahead to the NCAA Tournament quite yet, because in reality, there’s nothing to play for in the Big 12 Tournament. Sure, you can say they can play for pride, or for momentum, but the point is that by winning the tournament they’d be no better off than they are now.

To win the conference tournament, Kansas has to focus on the here and now, and take to heart what Devon Dotson said after the Jayhawks beat Texas Tech last week:

"“No matter the standings, at the end of the day we’re playing basketball and we’re going to try to win every game.” via KUsports"

This team is full of competitors, and we saw that time and time again in the regular season. One of the Jayhawks’ best characteristics is their ability to recover from a run made by the opposing team. Not every team can come back after their opponent goes up by eight or nine points, or takes a lead into the locker room at halftime, but Kansas is tough.

If the Jayhawks focus on just winning the Big 12 Tournament without thinking about how they’ve already secured their place in the big dance, they could find themselves on a 19 game win streak headed into the NCAA Tournament.