Kansas has been ranked in 231 consecutive Associated Press Top 25 polls, a streak that dates to February 2009. It’s a remarkable run, obviously. But come Monday, it’s a streak that could — and probably should — end after the Jayhawks lost again Saturday, this time by double-digits at West Virginia.
Final score: West Virginia 91, Kansas 79.
So the Jayhawks are now 12-7 overall and 6-5 in the Big 12. More importantly, according to the updated NET rankings, they’ve fallen to 6-7 in the first two quadrants thanks to the fact that they haven’t beaten a likely NCAA Tournament team in nearly a month. Kansas is just 2-6 in its past eight games with the only wins in that stretch coming over TCU and Kansas State, a pair of teams that are a combined 4-15 in the Big 12.
Are things as bad as they seem?
It’s important to understand that the Jayhawks are still in no real jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament like fellow blue bloods Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Michigan State. All seven of KU’s losses fall inside the first quadrant. Six of them came away from home. Two of them are to No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor, a pair of teams that are a combined 35-0. In other words, on a surface level, Kansas’ record is a little misleading; a deeper look shows its resume is mostly fine. But, that said, the Jayhawks are still below .500 in the first two quadrants (with the past two losses coming by an average of 15.5 points). And though there are some computer numbers that suggest it would be reasonable to continue to rank them, truth is, if I did, they would be the only team in Sunday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 with a record below .500 in the first two quadrants.
So, KU is out of the Top 25 And 1.
And I believe this is a first, at least since I started ranking teams daily. That’s the bad news for the Jayhawks. But the good news is that they should be favored in each of their next five games, three of which are against either lowly Iowa State or lowly Kansas State. So a winning streak is likely on tap, at which point the roughest stretch of games in Bill Self’s time at Kansas will officially be in his past, and a new streak of appearances in the AP poll might be underway.
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Sunday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Gonzaga’s perfect record includes double-digit victories over Iowa, Virginia and Kansas. The Zags have won their eight West Coast Conference games by an average of 24.6 points.||—||18-0|
|Baylor’s perfect record is highlighted by victories over Texas, Illinois, Texas Tech and Kansas. The Bears have won 15 of their 17 games by double-digits.||—||17-0|
|Michigan is 8-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue. The Wolverines’ lone loss came at Minnesota.||—||13-1|
|Ohio State is 7-1 in its past eight games with wins over Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes lead the nation with eight Quadrant 1 ones.||—||15-4|
|Illinois is 10-5 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s win over Wisconsin. The Illini’s four-game winning streak consists of four Quadrant 1 victories.||—||13-5|
|Villanova’s nine-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday at St. John’s. The Wildcats are 5-2 in the first two quadrants with both losses coming in Quadrant 1.||—||11-2|
|Houston is 9-1 in its past 10 games with eight double-digit wins in that stretch. The Cougars are 6-1 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss at East Carolina.||2||16-2|
|Missouri is 7-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses after Saturday’s win over Alabama. The Tigers will take a three-game winning streak into Wednesday’s game at Ole Miss.||6||13-3|
|Alabama is 1-2 in its past three games after Saturday’s loss to Missouri. The Crimson Tide have dropped to 10-4 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss to Western Kentucky.||1||15-5|
|Iowa is 1-3 in its past four games with losses to Ohio State, Illinois and Indiana. The Hawkeyes are 6-5 in the first two quadrants with four of their losses coming in the first quadrant.||—||13-5|
|West Virginia is 6-3 in the Big 12 and alone in second in the league standings. The Mountaineers are 7-5 in the first two quadrants with only one loss coming outside of the first quadrant.||—||13-5|
|Texas Tech’s three-game winning streak features wins over Oklahoma and LSU. The Red Raiders are 6-2 in their past eight games with the only losses in that stretch coming to Baylor and West Virginia.||—||14-5|
|Oklahoma is 6-1 in its past seven games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Texas Tech. All five of the Sooners’ losses qualify as Quadrant 1 defeats.||—||12-5|
|Texas is 1-4 in its past five games and on a three-game losing streak after Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma State. The Longhorns have dropped to 6-5 in the first two quadrants with all five losses qualifying as Quadrant 1 defeats.||7||11-5|
|Virginia is 9-1 since losing to Gonzaga with victories over Clemson, Syracuse and Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers are 6-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.||—||13-3|
|Florida State’s five-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Georgia Tech. The Seminoles are 6-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss to UCF.||1||10-3|
|Virginia Tech is 3-1 in its past four games after Saturday’s win at Miami. The Hokies are 7-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.||1||14-4|
|USC’s four-game winning streak features wins over UCLA and Stanford. The Trojans are 5-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.||6||15-3|
|Tennessee improved to 7-4 in the first two quadrants with Saturday’s win at Kentucky. All four of the Vols’ losses qualify as Quadrant 1 defeats.||—||13-4|
|Wisconsin is 2-3 in its past five games after Saturday’s loss at Illinois. The Badgers dropped to 8-6 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.||4||14-6|
|Louisville’s 8-3 record in the first two quadrants includes victories over Duke, Virginia Tech, Pitt and Georgia Tech. Three of the Cardinals’ four losses have come inside the first quadrant.||1||11-4|
|Drake is the only team besides Gonzaga and Baylor that still has a zero in the loss column. The Bulldogs have won 13 of their 18 games by double-digits.||1||18-0|
|Creighton is 4-1 in its past five games after Saturday’s win at Marquette. The Bluejays are 9-2 in the first two quadrants with three additional defeats coming in the third quadrant.||2||14-5|
|Loyola-Chicago’s nine-game winning streak includes eight double-digit victories. The Ramblers have zero losses outside of the first two quadrants.||2||16-3|
|Rutgers’ four-game winning streak includes victories over Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan State. The Scarlet Knights are 7-6 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.||NR||11-6|
|Purdue is 6-2 in its past eight games after Saturday’s win over Northwestern. The Boilermakers are 9-6 in the first two quadrants with one additonal loss at Miami.||NR||13-7|
In: Rutgers, Purdue
Out: UCLA, Kansas