March has been nothing short of pure madness thus far.
With the Sweet 16 set to get underway, only two 1-seeds remain in Villanova and Kansas, and the same can be said for the 2-seeds, with only Duke and Purdue still standing.
With upsets significantly altering the landscape of the NCAA Tournament, Bleacher Report ranked the Sweet 16 field, and the Jayhawks came in at No. 3, trailing only Duke and Villanova, per Kerry Miller, who detailed Kansas’ championship blueprint.
“Own the perimeter game,” Miller said. “When Kansas has struggled this season, it’s usually because it either wasn’t making threes or wasn’t stopping the opposing team from draining them.”
“The Jayhawks are 5-6 this season when the opposing team shoots at least 39 percent from downtown but 24-1 in all other games. Thus far in the tournament (21-of-53), they have not done a great job on the defensive end. Turn that around and get Azubuike back to his usual self, and they’ll be in business.”
On Friday, the Jayhawks will meet 5-seeded Clemson in the Sweet 16. That’s a welcoming matchup bearing in mind Kansas’ championship blueprint.
Kansas’ 40.3 percent success rate from the perimeter is one of the very best efforts in college basketball, and the second-best among all teams still in the NCAA Tournament, behind only Purdue (42.1%). Meanwhile, Clemson’s three-point field goal defense ranks 180th nationally after allowing opponents to convert at a 34.9 percent clip, and the Tigers offense ranks outside of the top 85 nationally in three-point field goal percentage.
If talents such as Big 12 Player of the Year, Devonte’ Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, and Malik Newman can find their shooting stroke on Friday, it may very well mean a trip to the Elite 8 is imminent. If not, Kansas could find itself on the wrong end of yet another NCAA Tournament upset.
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