They have been as consistent as any team in college basketball. Maybe as consistent as any team since the John Wooden UCLA team’s of the 60′s and 70s.
And maybe in a year in which consistency is a fleeting item, with even the top-tier teams going through “What was that”" moments such as Louisville on a three-game losing streak in the Big East and Duke getting blown out at Miami, consistency is the magic formula which canl create a championship season
And just maybe that team might be Kansas. You could do worse than pick the Jayhawks as a Final Four team in any given season.
Try 37, 27, 33, 35, and 32 wins the last five seasons. Try a 33-game winning streak at Allen Field house. Try a 17-game winning streak overall, which is the best in the nation right now.
Try 9 straight Big 12 titles. Try a 16-1 record, including Saturday’s 67-64 win over Oklahoma which was highlighted by 7-0 center Jeff Withey’s 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 3 steals.
You want a sure thing bet? You could do worse than pencil in the Jayhawks, who lost to Kentucky in the NCAA championship game last season, for an April appearance in Atlanta.
Kansas coach Bill Self had three starters returning from last year’s team and knew he needed to do some rebuilding. It began in the summer when the Jayhawks took a European tour to get the 7 players Self had on his roster, who had never played in a regular or post season game at Kansas, used to the Jayhawks season.
Playing in Europe, Asia or anywhere else outside of the US has become a trend among college programs. “It can work both ways for you,” said Bryant University coach Tim O’Shea, who took his team to Europe last summer. “Either can bring you closer to together if you have the right group or it can become divisive if the chemistry is not right. I’ve had it both ways here and at Ohio. (where O’Shea coached for 7 seasons before coming to Bryant.”
It worked early for Bryant, which started off with a sizzling 6-0 mark in the Northeast Conference before a pair of losses against Sacred Heart and LIU ended the run.
For Kansas, the European trip also must have helped as the Jayhawks parlayed a 4-game 2-2 swing into Europe into an efficient machine comfortable in its own uniforms by the start of the season.
That comfort level continues to increase as the Jayhawks, which was described in the Blue Ribbon Yearbook as a team with “no major strengths and no major weaknesses.”
In a season in which even the good teams have shown some of their weaknesses, that may be good enough.
Nice comeback by Harvard against Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon. Down by 10 points with under 2 minutes left, the Crimson stormed back for an 82-77 overtime victory which brought back reminders of last season’s magical Ivy League championship run in which the Crimson had a “refuse to lose” mentality….Boston University has finally climbed back over the .500 mark at 11-10 after Saturday’s win over UMBC. The Terriers are in a transition year as they move from America East to the Patriot League so it was good to see BU Coach Joe Jones’ get his team back on the plus side…Boston College continues to have spurts in which the Eagles look totally outmatched. Saturday’s 65-51 loss to Virginia was a case in point. Somehow Coach Steve Donahue’s team must find a way to put together a 40 minute game.Wierdest sight of the weekend was in Milwaukee on Saturday where the Big East game between Marquette had a few delays because of a wandering bat….Storming the court is the rage these days in Philadelphia. Villanova fans did it twice after the Wildcats wins over Louisville and Syracuse last week. And LaSalle fans did it after the Explorers upset Butler.© Copyright 2013 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: A Jersey Guy