Despite having their season cut short, Kansas basketball was definitely the best team in the country and they deserve the national championship.
Over the past week, the sports world has been turned upside down by the events taking place with the COVID-19 virus. Some of the biggest events in all of sports take place in March and April, and everything has been either postponed or canceled. That includes the 2020 NCAA Tournament where Kansas basketball was well on their way to becoming the overall top-seed.
The decision to cancel the 2020 NCAA tournament was not an easy decision, which speaks to the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is unchartered territory for the NCAA and fans around the country, as there has been an NCAA tournament every season since 1939.
So what’s next? It’s just…..over? Unfortunately, that seems to be the case, but the NCAA should still crown a National Champion: Kansas. There are six rankings systems that the committee uses when determining the seeding for the tournament. NET, ESPN strength of record, Sagarin, BPI, KenPom, and KPI.
When the Big 12 regular season ended and before other conference tournaments began, Kansas was ranked first in each of those six rankings systems, as well as unanimously ranked first in the AP Poll as well as the Coaches Poll. They were also the only team in Men’s D-1 basketball to have two players nominated as National Player of the Year semifinalists.
Kansas basketball lost three games this season: The first game of the year against Duke on a neutral floor where they turned the ball over 28 times and did not have current starter Isaiah Moss. Loss number two was in December against Villanova on a neutral floor (virtually a home game for the Wildcats) where Marcus Garrett injured his ankle in the first half. The final loss was at Allen Fieldhouse against Baylor where both Devon Dotson and Marcus Garrett were injured.
Kansas was undefeated this season in games where they had a fully healthy starting five, including their first-ever win on the road against a Number 1 team at Baylor.
Every year the NCAA tournament brings many surprises. In 2018, Virginia became the first-ever Number 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed. They followed it up the next year by winning the 2019 National Championship.
The Duke Blue Devils had the Number 1 recruiting class and three players selected in the top-10 of the 2019 NBA Draft and failed to reach the Final Four. Double-digit seeds have made the Final Four, and Kansas should be the first to know about lower seeds winning the title with the 1988 squad featuring Danny and the Miracles.
Despite the madness the tournament presents each year, Kansas basketball stood head and shoulders above every other team in college basketball by the end of the season, and they should be recognized as the 2020 National Champions.
Even if the NCAA doesn’t recognize the Jayhawks, the AP will release one final poll on Wednesday, hopefully with the Jayhawks as the unanimous number one team.