ESPN's way-too-early bracketology places high expectations on Kansas basketball

Joe Lunardi has Kansas as the team to beat heading into next season
Kansas v West Virginia
Kansas v West Virginia / G Fiume/GettyImages

The Kansas basketball program has high expectations going into the upcoming season. HC Bill Self has made a handful of significant transfer portal additions in addition to returning All-American big man Hunter Dickinson. Kansas addressed its outside shooting and depth issues that were the downfall of last year's squad.

Just one month after the season came to a close, prognosticators have begun putting together rankings for the 2024-25 campaign. ESPN's Joe Lunardi recently released his way-too-early NCAA Tournament bracketology, and you can already guess who the No. 1 overall seed is. 

Kansas basketball leads way-too-early bracketology predictions for 2024-25 campaign

"Kansas, though, has eclipsed the Blue Devils in this bracket thanks to the post-pandemic mantra of "get old, stay old." Not only are the Jayhawks returning national POY candidate Hunter Dickinson for his COVID year, but Kansas also boasts fifth-year guard Dajuan Harris Jr. along with veteran portal additions Rylan Griffen (Alabama), AJ Storr (Wisconsin), Riley Kugel (Florida) and Zeke Mayo (South Dakota State). All have NCAA tournament experience and will certainly help the Jayhawks erase the injury-riddled conclusion to their 2023-24 campaign, when KU dropped five of its last seven contests"

Joe Lunardi, ESPN

After finishing 23-11 and enduring one of the worst seasons in recent program history, everyone knew changes needed to be made. If Kansas basketball supporters have learned anything in the past, it is that Coach Self knows how to bounce back. Now, the Jayhawks are entering next year with a target on their back.

Lunardi is certainly not alone in his sentiment. Most betting outlets have Kansas as the top championship favorite, and for good reason. Dickinson is finally surrounded by teammates who can hit 3-pointers at a high clip, and Wisconsin transfer AJ Storr should add another scoring threat when the ball isn't in Dickinson's hands.

Rylan Griffen is another player with postseason success and could be a crucial component to another Kansas basketball national title. The incoming junior averaged 12.4 points and shot 48.1% from beyond the arc for Alabama in the Crimson Tide's Final Four run this past season. Meanwhile, South Dakota State transfer Zeke Mayo led his team to an NCAA Tournament appearance after winning Summit League Player of the Year.

We know what you're thinking, Jayhawk fans. How can we forget when the Jayhawks went into last season rated No. 1 nationally and listed as the top team in bracketology rankings? While that might stand true, this is a much different team from last season, and hopefully Coach Self will bring the program back to its dominant ways.