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Dickinson, McCullar Out as the Jayhawks Compete in the Big 12 Tournament

The Jayhawks have had a tough season so far, from the Arterio Morris situation to transfers and recruits unenrolling to having scholarship penalties that essentially didn't have to be there. A preseason #1 pick, expectations were high, however, expectations were, understandably, not met with everything going on. It's a bit tough to meet that standard when you have little chemistry, no bench, and have to be a part of the toughest conference in college basketball. The bad luck has piled on even further with this past week when it was announced by Bill Self that the two most productive, star players of this team, Kevin McCullar and Hunter Dickinson, would be out for the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City this week. McCullar is dealing with a nagging knee injury while Dickinson is dealing with a dislocated shoulder he suffered in Saturday's drubbing in Houston.

Big 12 Tournament Outlook

Let's not sugarcoat it: These injuries are detrimental to this team if it wants to go far in the Big 12 Tournament. Both injured players are First-Team All-Big 12 and All-American caliber players. Kevin McCullar averages 18.3 points/game off a 45.4% FG percentage, as well as 6 rebounds/game and 4.1 assists. Hunter Dickinson averages 18.0 points/game off a 55.0% FG percentage, 10.8 rebounds/game, and 2.2 assists. It feels like there should be more worry about these two injuries, however, many Jayhawk faithful aren't that upset. The Big 12 seems to be locked up by the juggernaut that is Houston basketball, who in their first year with the conference, have won the conference regular season title by 2 games. It's their tournament to lose, but not only that, Self said in the same radio interview that Dickinson and McCullar would both be back and that the Jayhawks "would be the healthiest they've been all season" come tourney time.

What the Kansas Fan Climate Looks Like

Jayhawk fans I'm sure would love to win the Big 12 Tournament, however, it is not their biggest priority. The National Championship tournament is, and with some making comparisons to this year's Kansas City Chiefs team, Jayhawk fans are either surprisingly optimistic or are just letting it ride out. The blowout versus Houston and these injuries are rock bottom this season, and the only way to go is up, so to speak, or out depending on who you ask. Waiting for the storybook run or waiting for the inevitable doom. That is where we are at with Kansas men's basketball. This year has been tough, and while there are still believers that this team can make a run, many are also comfortable with Kansas exiting early and are waiting for football season to start. It's perhaps the calmest I've ever seen Jayhawk fans before tournament time, it's almost jarring how nonchalant everyone is. Whatever the case, Selection Sunday is less than a week away, and March Madness is still one of the most exciting times in sports. Kansas City will still be abuzz whether the local squads are in or out of the tournament. Be on the lookout for the Burn KC Bracket Challenge and Selection Sunday Special here in the next few days!

Burn Notice: 7/10 Simmering, but surprisingly calm

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