Kansas basketball: 3 X-factor players who can help lead the Jayhawks to a championship

These three players could be X-factors that help Kansas basketball make a deep run in March

Kansas freshman guard Elmarko Jackson (13) looks back after scoring against Missouri during the Border Showdown
Kansas freshman guard Elmarko Jackson (13) looks back after scoring against Missouri during the Border Showdown / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA
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Kansas basketball finished nonconference play with a 12-1 record and a No. 2 national ranking. The top preseason team hasn't disappointed through the first half of the season. Coming off a 19-point victory over in-state foe Wichita State, the Jayhawks are playing better than they have all year despite some close calls along the way.

Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar are National Player of the Year contenders and have largely guided KU's success. But as college basketball fanatics know, it is often the lesser-known role players that make a difference in postseason play, and those could be referred to as the "X-factors."

What is an X-factor, you might ask? There isn't a set-in-stone definition for the term, but we'll define it as a player who can be a game-changer or a big zero on the court. There are instances where they look like one of the best players on the team and others that make fans wonder what is going through their mind when they make a specific play. That fits the bill of several Kansas basketball players.

Instead of focusing on the big names, let's shift our attention to a trio of Jayhawks who could do the little things to lead Bill Self to his third NCAA national championship.