It is no secret that Kansas basketball has not exactly lived up to its hefty preseason expectations. While a 16-3 record and multiple top-10 victories is a resume most programs would be more than content with, there have been a considerable amount of games where the wheels look bound to fall off with this team.
Legendary Allen Fieldhouse provides unexplainable magic for the Jayhawks when they take the floor on their home court. But when they travel to the arenas of opposing squads, Kansas has not fared nearly as well. Since the beginning of conference play, they have dropped contests to UCF and previously 6-11 West Virginia.
Today, Bill Self and Co. encounter what is arguably the toughest test his group has faced all season when Iowa State hosts KU in Hilton Coliseum. ISU dominated the Jayhawks in every facet of the game when the two met last year. Hilton is widely known as one of the most hostile road environments in the Big 12, and you'll see a lot of fans like these in the crowd.
Considering how poorly KU has looked on the road in 2023-24, there is obviously reason for concern among the Jayhawk fanbase heading into the matinee game this afternoon. While I can't speak for everyone, the general feeling is not-so-great in terms of a Kansas victory.
For the first time all year, Kansas basketball enters a game as an underdog — a 5-point one at that. Perhaps the Jayhawks will enter this matchup more comfortably than in recent road games now that the team doesn't carry a top-three national ranking or a notion that it is "must-win."
Dropping to 4-3 in the gauntlet of a conference that is the Big 12 would not be great news for a team viewed as a favorite to win the league's regular season championship. For Coach Self to claim a title share for the 18th time in his 21 seasons as head coach, Kansas must make some serious changes to its approach very soon.