Just days after saying his team has no point guard, Bill Self sat back and watched as Kansas was thoroughly embarrassed in what was the biggest upset, in terms of RPI difference, in at least 20 years. The Horned Frogs were 270 spots below Kansas in Kenpom’s rankings.
Kansas has two points with a little more than six minutes left. They were 1-15 from the floor at the time with eight turnovers. They finished the first half 3-22 from the floor with just 13 points, the least they’ve scored in any half since becoming a member of the Big 12. They finished the game shooting just 29.5% from the field.
Against arguably the nation’s worst major conference basketball team.
No wonder Bill Self was livid.
“It was the worst team Kansas has ever put on the floor,” Self said after the game. “Since Dr. [James] Naismith was there. I think he had some bad teams and lost to the Topeka YMCA the first couple years.”
“For the first half, there has not been a team play worse than that. Anywhere. Maybe Northern Illinois.”
(CLICK HERE: To read what’s wrong and what’s fixable with the Kansas offense.)
He’s got a point, and it’s something that we talked about last night: Kansas has no one on the roster than can create their own shot. Ben McLemore is a spot-up shooter. Travis Releford and Kevin Young are a glue guys through and through. Jeff Withey can dunk and hit an occasional sky-hook. That leaves Elijah Johnson and Naadir Tharpe, whose ugly performance last night — 5-27 from the floor, three assists and four turnovers — is standard for them this season. Johnson is 25-83 from the field (30.1%) with 35 assists and 34 turnovers. Tharpe is 14-64 from the floor (21.9%) with 17 assists and 14 turnovers.
All of that factored into what may end up being the worst loss by any team this season.
Well, for starters, how about UCLA’s loss at home to Cal Poly when the Bruins blew an 18 point lead in the final 12 minutes? But Cal Poly has actually proven to be fairly competitive in the Big West this year. Villanova lost to Columbia at home by 18 points, but Columbia is improved this year and the win wouldn’t be as surprising if Villanova hadn’t somehow managed to spring a pair of upsets on Syracuse and Louisville. Perhaps the only result that’s truly comparable is Virginia losing to Old Dominion, who is currently 2-20 on the season and just got rid of their all-time winningest head coach.
That loss from Virginia cost them somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 spots in the RPI, which may end up keeping them out of the NCAA tournament. That’s brutal.
And so was the Jayhawk’s performance on Wednesday.
But at least they’re assured to be tournament bound.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.