Going into the Big 12 season, we largely accepted the fact that Kansas was going to roll away with the conference and everyone else would try to play catch up, or at the very least try and look good to the selection committee and receive a bid into the upcoming NCAA tournament. Well, Kansas hasn’t only looked unimpressive in the Big 12 all season, but they may have hurt the conference overall with last night’s huge upset and should have destroyed their shot at one-seed in the dance this March.
The TCU Horned Frogs upset the Jayhawks last night, 62-55 at home, in a game where Kansas tried to look as bad as Northern Illinois did earlier this season. They had just six points in the first 16 minutes of the game before trailing 22-13 at half.
It’s abysmal; this is something that absolutely can’t happen against a team like TCU. Who hasn’t won a game in the Big 12 season until last night. That scores nine points less on average than Texas. That ranks dead last in the conference in rebounding and they went up against Jeff Withey, who ranks fourth overall in that statistic in the Big 12.
Sure, there’s been many major upsets this season, such as Cal Poly dropping UCLA or Division II Chaminade nearly blowing out Texas, but this just adds to a horrible resume for the Big 12 overall.
This loss should knock Kansas off of the one-seed line regardless of what they do. I don’t care if Kansas blew out Ohio State earlier this year. In this calendar year, in Big 12 play, they should have lost to Iowa State at home and only beat Texas and West Virginia by five points. That’s not running away with this conference, and now that the knife’s been stuck in them after avoiding it in January, this should prevent them from receiving one of top spots.
Kansas should be dropped from the top 25 altogether, but they’ll likely hang on as long as they beat Oklahoma this Saturday. Either way, it’s a big hit for the conference.
For teams like Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Baylor who are trying to find a way in the tournament, this a huge blow. If the top team is able to lose badly – and scoring just 13 points against the far-worst team in the conference is – to the worst team in the conference, the committee will not think highly of this conference. They barely have any big wins before January outside of Kansas, even Gonzaga powered through defeating four or five teams in the Big 12 including Oklahoma State this season alone.
Now the Jayhawks must rebound fast, or else a team like the Cyclones who still needs a marquee road win will need some help in March.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter.