The Kansas Jayhawks are one win away from their fourth national title in men’s basketball. Here is how they reached the precipice of college basketball immortality.
The Jayhawks lived up to preseason expectations by winning their 16th Big 12 championship over the past 18 seasons. They had a hiccup with back-to-back losses to Baylor and TCU on Feb. 26 and March 1, respectively. But Kansas hasn’t lost since, a streak of 10 wins in a row. They also won the conference’s tournament title for the 12th time.
Kansas seems to be getting stronger as they advance deeper into the NCAA Tournament. They opened the tourney with a 27-point win over Texas Southern before outlasting Creighton and Providence over the next two rounds. That win over the Friars in the Sweet 16 was Kansas’ 2,354th all-time in men’s basketball. That moved KU past Kentucky for the most wins in Division I history.
The Jayhawks then blew the doors off of Miami and Villanova in the Elite Eight and Final Four, respectively. They outscored the Hurricanes 36-10 over the final 16 minutes of their game and then led wire-to-wire over the Wildcats.
Kansas runs through Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji. He averages 18.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Agbaji does a large chunk of his scoring behind the 3-point line and is 41.1% from long range this season. Guard Christian Braun is the team’s second-leading scorer (14.1 ppg) and 3-point shooter (38.9) among Jayhawks who have played at least 10 minutes per game.
Forwards Jalen Wilson and David McCormack are also averaging double-digit points per game. They are also one and two, respectively, in rebounding for Kansas. McCormack is shooting 51.1% from the field and was arguably the team’s best player in its romp over Villanova on Saturday (25 points on 10-for-12 shooting with nine rebounds).