No. 9 Kansas hit another bump on Monday when his losing streak extended to three games in a 75-69 away loss to No. 17 Baylor. The Jayhawks have now lost three straight for the fourth time under Hall of Fame coach Bill Self, shaking up a wide-open Big 12 that not so long ago appeared to be KUs.
Baylor was the preseason Big 12 favorite and finished as a 3.5-point favorite over KU, so the result hardly comes as a surprise. However, the Bears did impressive damage against a top-10 opponent, leading for more than 38 minutes and holding off run after run from a lively Jayhawks team that stayed to the end.
The Kansas defense kept Baylor on just 2 of 14 shots from the 3-point line in the second half and kept the Bears from scoring a field goal for more than seven minutes into crunch time. But Baylor, making just one of his last 10 shot attempts, made free throws when it needed them late and traveled together just enough defensive stops to pull off a massive win.
According to CBS Sports Bracketology pundit Jerry Palm, the win pushes Kansas from the No. 1 seedline to a prospective No. 2, with Arizona edging out the Jayhawks as the new prospective No. 1. The move comes with Kansas falling to Kansas State, TCU and Baylor within the last week.
Let’s hop into some takeaways.
1. Baylor’s guards can run with anyone
The sheer talent and depth of Baylor’s backcourt is enough to still consider the Bears — despite their inconsistencies this season — as one of the best teams in the sport. Stud newcomer in Keyonte George. All American candidate in Adam Flagler. Jack of all trades scorer at LJ Cryer. The weapons are endless. Against Kansas, Cryer led by 22 points while Flager had 17, but any of his guards can explode on any night, which is what makes this particular iteration of Baylor so deadly.
2. Kansas had a lackluster guard game
Two days after Kansas committed a season-high 17 turnovers in a 23-point home loss to TCU, Kansas once again struggled to take care of the ball against Baylor by committing 15 turnovers that Baylor converted to 19 points. Under Self, KU had either high-end guard play, high-end big man play, or a combination of both to succeed. However, due to a lack of size in the front court and without a big man playing significant minutes, Kansas underperformed point guard play.
3. Dick had massive losses in the game
It was marred by the loss, but Kansas star freshman Gradey Dick bounced back from the TCU loss – when he missed a season-high 10 shots – with one of his most complete shooting performances. Dick was a point short of a career high with 24 points and finished 8 of 13 shooting, including a monster 16-point show in the second half.