Can reigning champs Kansas basketball win another NCAA title with a completely different roster?
The last time the University of Kansas won back-to-back men’s NCAA Tournaments was over a century ago. Yep, you heard it correctly! Being as there are so many colleges participating, conquering the title consecutively is one of the hardest things to do in this sport.
This is why it has only happened three times in last 51 years, as UCLA earned them both in 1972 and 73′, Duke thirty years ago, and finally Florida who was the last to accomplish this feat back in 2006 and 07′.
Now, to achieve this after you’ve lost most of your team is even more difficult. And this is precisely the case for the reigning champions of last year’s March Madness, as the Jayhawks have lost 73.7% of its points and 62.7% of its minutes from the last squad that defeated North Carolina in last year’s NCAA championship final in New Orleans.
Just to be clear, the Jayhawks are missing six of their top eight scorers from their championship squad.
If you compare this to the University of Florida, for example, they only lost 6.8% of its points and 9.7% of its minutes in between the back-to-back titles they earned 17 years ago. Duke also did not suffer as many changes as Kansas, considering they lost 24.2% of its points and 26% of their minutes from the 91′ trophy.
Last year’s conquering of the title was nothing less than heroic, as they completed the largest comeback in March Madness history. The Jayhawks were down by 16 points by the end of the first half, but gained inspiration throughout the game to overcome North Carolina and end the contest 72 to 69.
Take a look at the last 3 minutes from that historic night in Louisiana:
Up to last year’s achievement from the University of Kansas, the greatest March Madness comeback came in 1963, as Loyola erased a 15-point deficit to beat Cincinnati at the buzzer, 60-58.
Two former Jayhawks have faith that the team can repeat history this month
As it’s the time of year when college basketball takes everyone’s attention during March Madness, two former Jayhawks have stepped up to announce the unthinkable. Both brothers Conner and Chris Teahan have faith that Kansas can pull off a back-to-back NCAA Division I Men’s basketball championship.
“To win a national championship is obviously the highlight of the career,” Conner started off by mentioning his first and only title earned with the 2008 KU basketball squad. “To win a national championship is so hard, right?” he said.
“And to win a national championship in basketball when you think about the streak you have to put in, six games to win that championship, that in itself is difficult,” he continued.
However, one of his favorite highlights was when he witnessed his younger brother Chris win Kansas University’s sixth national title against North Carolina.
“It’s always great to see Kansas basketball win, but when your brother is on the team, that makes it extra special,” Conner concluded.
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