Kansas lost six of the top eight scorers, including two first-round NBA Draft picks, from last season's team that won the 2022 NCAA Tournament. That's a lot to replace and among the reasons the Jayhawks weren't one of the four schools that received at least one first-place vote in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Turns out, doubting Bill Self was a mistake.
Because here he is again, this Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach, with another legitimate national championship contender even though Jalen Wilson and Dajuan Harris are the only players on the roster who averaged more than 2.1 points per game for the Jayhawks last season. That duo combined for just 13 points Monday night, but Kansas still won 63-58 at TCU to improve to 7-1 since enduring a three-game losing streak last month. KU is now 11-4 in the Big 12 and alone atop the league standings with a half-game lead over Texas, meaning the Jayhawks are clearly positioned to win at least a share of what would be a 17th Big 12 regular-season title in Self's 20 years as Kansas' coach.
"We haven't accomplished jack, but we've put ourselves in a favorable position to maybe do something," Self said. "Everybody talked about [how] our sky's falling when we lost three in a row; in this league, that can happen easily. But we've recovered pretty good since then."
Monday's five-point win at TCU represented the Jayhawks' 14th Quadrant-1 victory, which gives them at least five more Q1 wins than every other team in the country (Note: Purdue, Texas and Baylor are second with nine Q1 wins each.) That's why Kansas is likely headed for another No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. If KU secures it, Self should get serious consideration for all national coach of the year awards given what he's doing despite everything he lost from last season.
Kansas remains No. 3 in Tuesday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings, where Houston is No. 1 for the fifth consecutive day. Alabama is one spot ahead of Kansas at No. 2. Purdue is one spot below Kansas at No. 4. But we really have reached the point where any of those four schools could reasonably be ranked No. 1 based on the bodies of work they've created with 19 days remaining until Selection Sunday.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Marcus Sasser finished with 20 points and one assist in Sunday's 72-64 win over Memphis. The Cougars' next game is Wednesday against Tulane.||--||33-4|
|Brandon Miller finished with 21 points and three rebounds in Saturday's 108-58 win over Georgia. The Crimson Tide's next game is Wednesday at South Carolina.||--||31-6|
|Gradey Dick finished with 19 points and six rebounds in Monday's 63-58 win at TCU. The Jayhawks' next game is Saturday against West Virginia.||--||28-8|
|Zach Edey finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds in Sunday's 82-55 win over Ohio State. The Boilermakers' next game is Saturday against Indiana.||--||29-6|
|Jaime Jaquez Jr. finished with 20 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 78-43 win over Cal. The Bruins' next game is Thursday at Utah.||--||31-6|
|Sir'Jabari Rice finished with 24 points and two assists in Saturday's 85-83 overtime win over Oklahoma. The Longhorns' next game is Tuesday against Iowa State.||--||29-9|
|Baylor was outscored 55-26 in the second half of Saturday's 87-71 loss at Kansas. The Bears' next game is Tuesday at Kansas State.||--||23-11|
|Kihei Clark finished with 15 points and four assists in Saturday's 57-55 win over Notre Dame. The Cavaliers' next game is Wednesday at Boston College.||--||25-8|
|Oumar Ballo finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds in Saturday's 78-68 win over Colorado. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against Arizona State.||--||28-7|
|Drew Timme finished with 34 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 97-88 win at Pepperdine. The Zags' next game is Thursday against San Diego.||--||31-6|
|Stevie Mitchell finished with 17 points and four rebounds in Wednesday's 69-68 win over Xavier. The Golden Eagles' next game is Tuesday at Creighton.||--||29-7|
|Jack Nunge finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 82-68 win over DePaul. The Musketeers' next game is Tuesday against Villanova.||--||27-10|
|Isaiah Wong finished with 27 points and three assists in Saturday's 96-87 win over Wake Forest. The Hurricanes' next game is Tuesday at Virginia Tech.||--||29-8|
|Markquis Nowell finished with 20 points and five assists in Saturday's 61-55 win over Iowa State. The Wildcats' next game is Tuesday against Baylor.||--||26-10|
|Jaren Holmes missed 14 of the 16 shots he attempted in Saturday's 61-55 loss at Kansas State. The Cyclones' next game is Tuesday at Texas.||--||19-14|
|Tennessee missed 10 of the 14 free throws it attempted in Saturday's 66-54 loss at Kentucky. The Vols' next game is Tuesday at Texas A&M.||--||25-11|
|Logan Johnson finished with 27 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 71-65 win over BYU. The Gaels' next game is Thursday against Pacific.||--||27-8|
|Trayce Jackson-Davis finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday's 71-68 win over Illinois. The Hoosiers' next game is Tuesday at Michigan State.||--||23-12|
San Diego St.
|Matt Bradley finished with 10 points and three assists in Wednesday's 45-43 win at Fresno State. The Aztecs' next game is Tuesday against Colorado State.||--||32-7|
|Boo Buie finished with 23 points and eight assists in Sunday's 80-60 win over Iowa. The Wildcats' next game is Thursday at Illinois.||--||22-12|
|Jordan Hawkins finished with 20 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 64-55 win over Seton Hall. The Huskies' next game is Wednesday against Providence.||--||31-8|
|Ryan Nembhard finished with 16 points and five assists in Saturday's 77-67 win at St. John's. The Bluejays' next game is Tuesday against Marquette.||--||24-13|
|Ed Croswell finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 85-72 win over Villanova. The Friars' next game is Wednesday at UConn.||--||21-12|
|Jarod Lucas was held to just eight points in Saturday's 75-66 loss at Utah State. The Wolf Pack's next game is Tuesday against San Jose State.||1||22-11|
|Damian Baugh and Mike Miles Jr. combined to go 8 of 30 from the field in Monday's 63-58 loss to Kansas. The Horned Frogs' next game is Saturday at Texas Tech.||1||22-13|
|Jarkel Joiner finished with 29 points and one assist in Sunday's 77-69 win over North Carolina. The Wolf Pack's next game is Wednesday against Wake Forest.||--||23-11|