Kansas Jayhawks Slip Out of the AP Top 25
Every week, the Associated Press polls approximately 65 sports writers/broadcasters from around the country, to compile a list of the top 25 Division 1 teams in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and football. The list is based of team success and strength of schedule.
These rankings are then displayed next to teams names in standings, articles, and on television broadcasts. The Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team has been in the top 25 every single week for the past 12 years. Jayhawks star guard, Bryce Thompson, was 6 years old the last time the Jayhawks were not in the top 25.
During this stretch, the Jayhawks have won 5 conference championships, and reached 2 Final Fours, however they were never able to win a national championship, much to the chagrin of many bracketeers. So what led them to finally dropping out of the top 25?
Well, a variety of factors. After starting the season 8-1, and boasting a #3 rank nationwide, the Jayhawks were looking spectacular. Then began a rapid decline. Aforementioned Bryce Thompson broke a vertebrae in his back, a very scary injury, and that, compiled with poor veteran play, has led them to drop to a 12-7 overall record, 6 of those losses in the last 10 games.
Despite dropping out of the top 25, Jayhawks players are feeling confident, as they still have around 12 games left to play during the regular season. Good play for the rest of the season, coupled with a good conference tournament performance, could lead to a decently high seed in the tournament (4 or 5), which is all the Jayhawks need to have the chance to make something big happen this season. So the Jayhawks are disappointing, who took their place?
2 Answers: Gonzaga and Baylor. The Bulldogs have hovered around #1 for the past 4 or so years, but are now solidly in first place, with an 18-0 record. Baylor, the second overall team is 17-0 on the season, and are coming off a win against #6 ranked Texas last week. Baylor and Gonzaga will most likely go into the tournament in March as favorites, but as anyone who has watched March Madness in the past knows, favorites are very often upset.
Known for their upsets, Loyola Chicago is back in the top 25 for the first time since 1985. Forever infamous for making the final four in 2018 as an 11th seed, many are excited for what the future holds for Loyola.
What we have learned through many years of NCAA tournaments is that the regular season does not matter too much, and neither do the AP rankings. Everything comes down to being clutch in big moments, and consistency in the tournaments. However, seeing a behemoth like Kansas concede its spot in the top 25 shows that we might be due for some new teams to dominate men’s basketball.
Avi Paulson is a student at the College Preparatory School. He lives in the Bay Area, and is an avid viewer of baseball. He plays various sports, and is a writer for At the Buzzer.
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