Bill Self didn’t mince words about No. 1 Kansas’ 84-68 loss to Kansas State Monday night. And why would he? A team that was clamoring for the No. 1 ranking got thrashed by an in-state foe that had been freefalling most of the season.
“I will not put a positive spin on this. We played our in-state rival in their building in a great atmosphere, and we didn’t respond,” Self told the Lawrence Journal-World. “I heard Frank (Martin, KSU coach) say that when he’s come to Allen. I probably feel the same way Frank did leaving Allen (after KU’s 90-66 win on Jan. 29) as I do Bramlage tonight. They were without question the better team from the opening tip.”
But wait, there’s more!
“The No. 1 ranking? After watching that? Geez … we may fall out of the polls next week,” self told the paper.
“Let’s just call it what it is. That was a beatdown.”
It was Kansas’ worst loss to Kansas State since 1982 and its largest margin of defeat since a 19-point loss at Texas Tech in 2009. They couldn’t guard Wildcats senior Jacob Pullen, who dumped a career-high 38 points on KU by hitting nine of 17 shots.
“If you look at the positive side, we held them to 46 points if Jacob didn’t play,” Self cracked afterward. “I don’t know that kid very well, but he’s got 38 against a team that doesn’t deserve to be ranked No. 1 in the country.”
So. Just how bad was it? Well, it’s the worst defeat Kansas has had ranked No. 1 since a 100-78 loss to Oklahoma in 1990. According to Upon Further Review, the Jayhawks have lost 13 times as the top-ranked team since then. This was the fourth double-digit loss in that span, coming in ’90, ’93, ’02 and ‘11.
(Useless factoid for those concerned about their brackets: Kansas went to the Final Four in two of those three wretched loss years.)
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