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Burning Question: Does Kansas Break Their Preseason #1 Curse This Year?

The Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball team was ranked by the Associated Press to be Preseason #1. A loaded transfer class, quality returning players, and of course, Bill Self give ample reasoning for the AP voters to put them in this spot, and some Kansas fans are celebrating being ranked so highly at the beginning of the season. Would you not be happy if your team was preseason #1? The team to beat in college hoops? The team that many are picking to win it all? Well...there's a good portion of Kansas fans that aren't, or rather, are wary of this preseason ranking and what it means. Let's dive into a short summary.


Kansas has long since been one of the best men's college basketball programs in history, what we call a "blue blood." Multiple national championships, the longest running postseason streak in college basketball, the most wins historically in college basketball (bite me, NCAA), and the most consecutive regular season conference titles out of any other school (again, BITE ME NCAA) give plenty of reason for the moniker. The title of blue blood brings in the recruits, transfers, and fans too, which only makes the juggernaut that much more formidable. This year is no exception, as Kansas is loaded up on talent both new and returning. Transfers Hunter Dickinson, Parker Braun, and Nick Timberlake all look like they will make an immediate impact already. Elmarko Jackson, Johnny Furphy, and Jamari McDowell all highlight the freshman talent on this team as well. Finally, Dajuan Harris, KJ Adams, and Kevin McCullar are the key returners for this team. Again, loaded and ready for bear. The preseason #1 moniker comes with big expectations, and those expectations can be met with this crew...but will they be?


The curse of Kansas men's basketball being preseason #1 runs deep. The Jayhawks were preseason #1, aside from this year, in 2004, 2009, and 2018. In 2004-2005, the 3rd seeded Jayhawks lost to 14th seeded Bucknell in the first round of the NCAA tournament 63-64. In 2009-2010, 1st seed Kansas fell in the 2nd round to 9th seeded Northern Iowa 67-69. Finally, in 2018-2019, the loss with perhaps the least amount of sting happened when 4th seeded Kansas dropped in the second round to 5th seeded Auburn 75-89. All preseason #1 seasons, all 1st and 2nd round exits. However, this team looks to prove that curse to be myth, and can do so with the talent, skill, and leadership they possess. Bill Self was there for all of those losses and I'm sure remembers them fondly, he will have his guys proceed cautiously with the hype and noise in order to focus on the objective, which is to win it all. The road won't be easy, you play in the toughest conference in college basketball and will be tested in non-conference play with the likes of Kentucky, Missouri, and others. Kansas has been missing the two big men look, a staple of the Bill Self coaching style, though, and can utilize that as well as the defensive prowess this team has. If this team can develop their shooting just a bit more and stay healthy with the depth issues that exist, they will be incredibly dangerous, I say this is as good of a year as you may get if you want to break that vicious cycle of preseason #1 disappointments.


However, what do you think? Does Kansas break their streak of poor performances from preseason #1 teams? Do they have the talent and depth to go far in the tournament? Will they meet expectations, or just be another statistic in a line of Kansas basketball squads that underwhelmed? Let me know in the comments below and on social media!


Burn Notice: 9/10 *NBA Jam voice* HE'S ON FIRE

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