Kansas basketball continues to top post-season polls and with no March Madness, that may be enough for a national title.
Since March Madness was taken from us this season, we’ll never know for sure who would have won the NCAA Tournament. That’s just a fact. Still, we had an entire college basketball regular season, and it was dominated by one team: Kansas basketball.
At the end of the regular season, the Jayhawks led nearly every poll and ranking system that mattered, including KenPom, NET, Sagarin, BPI, and the AP Poll. That’s about as close to a consensus as you can get in the world of college basketball rankings.
After the rest of the season was canceled, the AP Poll and Coaches Poll released their final rankings, with the Jayhawks taking the top spot with near-unanimous selections in both. In an impromptu coaches poll, Evan Daniels of 247 Sports contacted 115 college basketball coaches who voted Kansas basketball as the champion.
Kansas basketball didn’t win the NCAA Tournament in 2020, but they did have the best team in the country, right? Wouldn’t that make the national champions of the season that did happen?
You can go back and forth all day long on how the No. 1 overall seed rarely wins, but that’s true for every seed. The fact that Kansas was the clear-cut choice for the No. 1 overall further proves just how dominant of a season they had, and that they should be recognized for it.
Should Kansas hang a full-size national championship banner with the others? Probably not. The reaction from other schools would be hilarious, but it doesn’t seem appropriate given the way that we determine champions in this age of college basketball is by a tournament, not the regular season.
However, this team does deserve to be recognized since they weren’t given the chance to win the tournament. I’d propose hanging a banner with the Final Four area, denoting that the Jayhawks were the No. 1 team in the AP Poll.
The 2020 team gets their recognition and will be immortalized in Allen Fieldhouse, while also reserving the North wall for teams that win national championships in the format of their given time period.
At the end of the day, it’s really too bad this Kansas basketball team didn’t get a shot to win it all the traditional way. They had what it takes, but we’ll just never know for sure. They’re owed at least some recognition though. They dominated in a season with no post-season, and that’s worth something.