Jayhawks making late-season push; Kansas women's basketball aiming for NCAA Tournament

After a less-than-optimal start to conference play, the Lady 'Hawks are riding a five-game win streak and are now back on the bubble for March Madness.

Kansas freshman guard S'Mya Nichols (12) and senior guard Wyvette Mayberry (0) share a laugh
Kansas freshman guard S'Mya Nichols (12) and senior guard Wyvette Mayberry (0) share a laugh / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA

Just when it seemed the Kansas women's basketball season was lost, Brandon Schneider's group has somehow found a way to claw back to the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Three weeks ago, KU sat at an even .500 with a 10-10 record with several bad losses on its resume. However, a five-game win streak with victories over BYU, TCU, Houston, and Cincinnati has revived the Jayhawks, and the team is traveling to Waco today in search of an upset over No. 24 Baylor.

Super seniors Taiyanna Jackson and Zakiyah Franklin have been leading the charge amid the winning streak. Jackson broke the school's all-time total block record with a nine-rejection performance against Houston, while Franklin led the team with 24 points on 9-for-11 shooting on Saturday vs. BYU.

Kansas is now entangled in a three-way tie with Baylor and Iowa State for the fifth-place spot in the Big 12. All teams have played to an 8-6 record in conference play. A win for KU tonight and an Iowa State loss to Houston would gift the Jayhawks sole possession of fifth place.

The Lady 'Hawks were winners of the 2023 WNIT, but Schneider and Co. have their sights set on reaching the NCAA Tournament. In ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme's most recent mock bracket, Kansas is the third team out on the bubble, meaning they would have to move ahead three spots to jump into the last four in.

Considering where they were one month ago, it feels surreal for them to be in this position right now. While the regular season has been a letdown because the Jayhawks were selected third in the Big 12 preseason coaches poll, they are now showing why they received so much recognition before the campaign began.

Kansas women's basketball has a chance today to pick up one of the biggest wins of Schneider's tenure. They already defeated them last month in Lawrence when they were ranked fourth in the nation. But even if the Jayhawks lose to the Lady Bears today, they still have chances to redeem themselves against No. 10 Kansas State and No. 23 Oklahoma in Allen Fieldhouse.