Monday Notebook: How this team gets to 15 Straight
The Kansas Jayhawks are down four scholarship players. Marcus Garrett is set to return anytime, but Lagerald Vick is out for a minimum of “a couple weeks,” and Udoka Azubuike and Silvio De Sousa won’t be returning until at least next season. It’s all very annoying, to say the least.
In the long term, this team is unpredictable. The Big 12 and NCAA tournament are very hard predict, as it really just comes down to the luck of the draw. Kansas could lose in the first weekend or make it all the way back to the Final Four. In the short term though, the obvious question is about “The Streak” and whether or not it will continue. I think KU is going to finish 12-6 in Big 12 play. If that’s the case, it will really just depend on if someone else can finish at 13-5.
Kansas’ remaining schedule is @TCU, WVU, @Texas Tech, K-State, @OSU, @OU, and Baylor. Those are all winnable games, but with the way KU has been playing on the road, no game is a given. On today’s ITP I picked KU to beat TCU, 79-73. I stand by that prediction, though not confidently. Let’s say they do in fact win tonight and get to 8-4 in league play. It would surprise me if KU lost a home game this year, so let’s give them three more wins. That’s 11-4.
Here’s where things get interesting, and this is why beating TCU is critical: to get to 13-5, KU has to finish the season 3-1 on the road.
It’s doable, no doubt. Kansas has done this before. Bill Self, however, has never had a team quite this odd, or quite this nondescript. At least, not recently. Beating TCU tonight means to get to three road wins, all you have to do is beat a wildly mediocre Oklahoma team and a boring to bad Oklahoma State team. Again, these are winnable games. If Kansas loses to TCU this evening though, that means they’ll have to win out to get to 13-5. That seems unlikely.
Now look, K-State is good, but it’s not unreasonable to think they could finish at 12-6. The same goes for Baylor (who probably won’t even finish in the top four in the conference) and Iowa State. Texas Tech is also good but I think their best possible finish is 12-6. A four or five way tie for the Big 12 title isn’t out of the question.
Can Kansas win a 15th straight? Yes they can. Will it be difficult? Yes it will. Would I predict a 15th straight? Let’s see what happens against TCU.
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