No. 9 Kansas hit another bump Monday when its losing streak was extended to three games with a 75-69 road loss to No. 17 Baylor. The Jayhawks have now lost three in a row for the fourth time under Hall of Fame coach Bill Self, shaking up an open Big 12 that not long ago seemed like KU’s for the taking.
Baylor was the preseason Big 12 favorite and finished as a 3.5-point favorite over KU, so the result can hardly be called a surprise. However, the Bears did their damage impressively over a top-10 opponent by leading for more than 38 minutes and holding off run after run from an energetic Jayhawks team that held on to the end.
The Kansas defense held Baylor to just 2 of 14 shots from the 3-point line in the second half and prevented the Bears from making a field goal for more than seven minutes at critical time. But Baylor, who made only one of his last 10 shooting attempts, made free throws when he needed them late and nailed enough defensive stops to pull off a big win.
The win pushes Kansas out of the No. 1 seed line and into a projected No. 2 seed, according to CBS Sports Bracketology expert Jerry Palm, with Arizona replacing the Jayhawks as the new No. .1 projected. The move comes as Kansas falls to Kansas State, TCU and Baylor, all in the past week.
Let’s move on to some conclusions.
1. Baylor guards can run anyone
Baylor’s sheer talent and perimeter depth is enough to consider the Bears, despite their inconsistencies this season, one of the best teams in the game. Stud freshman at Keyonte George. All-American candidate in Adam Flagler. Goal scorer who does it all in LJ Cryer. The weapons are endless. Against Kansas, it was Cryer who led the way with 22 points, while Flager had 17, but any of his guards can explode on any given night, which makes this particular iteration of Baylor so deadly.
2. Kansas had a lackluster guard game
Two days after committing a season-high 17 turnovers in a 23-point home loss to TCU, Kansas again struggled to care for the ball against Baylor committing 15 turnovers, which Baylor converted to 19 points. . Under Self, KU has had either a high-level guard game, a high-level big man game, or a combination of both to find success. However, lacking size in the frontcourt and without a big man playing significant minutes, the Kansas guards’ game has underperformed.
3. Dick had a massive game in the loss
He was overshadowed in the loss, but Kansas star freshman Gradey Dick rebounded from the TCU loss, when he missed a season-high 10 shots with one of his most complete shooting performances. Dick came within one point of matching a career-high in scoring with 24 points and finished on 8-of-13 shooting, including a monstrous 16-point performance in the second half.