Skip to content

No 16 Kansas hands an impressive Toledo team their first loss

Dec 30, 2013, 11:18 PM EST

Toledo v Kansas Getty Images

Naadir Tharpe finished with 20 points and eight assists, hitting 7-for-8 from the floor and 4-for-5 from three, as No. 16 Kansas held off a scrappy Toledo squad 93-83.

The Jayhawks put together one of the most brutal non-conference schedules in the country this season, one that still features a visit for San Diego State. But after tough road losses to Colorado and Florida — which came on the heels of a disappointing trip out to the Battle 4 Atlantis — the Jayhawks seem to have righted the ship. Their last three games have all been double-digit wins over potential tournament teams in New Mexico, Georgetown and Toledo. And while those wins being spread out over the course of 16 days, the Jayhawks look like they have embraced the opportunity to spend some time in the practice gym improving.

Kansas has as much talent on their roster as anyone in the country. With the continuous improvement of Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, and the solid play of Perry Ellis convincing Bill Self to run his offense from the inside-out, Kansas looks every-bit the part of a team that can win the national title.

Most important of all, however, has been the play of Naadir Tharpe of late. Over the course of those last three wins, he’s averaging 12.7 points and 7.0 assists while shooting 63.6% from the floor and 7-for-12 from three. He’s the key to Kansas going from a good team to a scary-good team.

But we all know about the Jayhawks and how good they can be.

I don’t want to focus on that.

I want to talk a bit about Toledo.

Monday night was the first loss of the season for the Rockets. They entered the game 12-0 with a couple of decent wins over the likes of Boston College, Stony Brook and Cleveland State, but Kansas was their first real test. And despite playing on the road, and despite the Jayhawks actually playing pretty well, Toledo would never go away. Every time it felt like Kansas was getting ready to make a run and turn this thing into a blowout, Toledo had an answer, whether it was a triple or a couple of quick buckets in a row.

This is a good basketball team, especially on the offensive end of the floor. They don’t defend well enough to truly be a threat at earning an at-large bid, but any power conference team that draws this club in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament — assuming they are able to make it that far — is going to be in for a dogfight.

Latest Posts
  1. Inclement weather leads to postponement of Montana State’s game at Buffalo

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:04 PM EST

    Record Snowstorm Pummels Buffalo Record Snowstorm Pummels Buffalo

    More than sixty inches of snow have fallen in western New York this week, so it makes little sense to attempt to play a sporting event as scheduled.

  2. Arizona, Michigan State headline 2015 Wooden Legacy field

    Nov 20, 2014, 4:58 PM EST

    Tom Izzo Tom Izzo

    Arizona, Michigan State and Providence all reached last season’s NCAA tournament.

  3. Burning Questions: Who gets the last shot?

    Nov 20, 2014, 3:32 PM EST

    marcus paige Getty Images

    Who is the most clutch player in the country?

  4. Throwback Thursday: Jeff Brassow beats Arizona in Maui in 1993 (VIDEO)

    Nov 20, 2014, 2:37 PM EST

    jeff_brassow

    The 2014 Maui Invitational kicks off on Monday.

  5. Poll: 54 percent of people think Kentucky beats the 76ers, 54 percent of people are dumb

    Nov 20, 2014, 1:57 PM EST

    @Sportsnation @Sportsnation

    I cannot respect your intelligence if you think Kentucky beats Philly. I just can’t do it.

  6. Burning Questions: Will we get another surprise Final Four team this year?

    Nov 20, 2014, 1:29 PM EST

    Aaron White, Nathan Hawkins AP

    The last two years, Wichita State, UConn and Kentucky have all made the Final Four as teams seeded outside the top six.

  7. Jerry Tarkanian is back in the hospital

    Nov 20, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Sad: One of the sport’s most notorious coaches is struggling with his health.

  8. Assigned Reading: The Tao of Shaka

    Nov 20, 2014, 11:05 AM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    There’s more to Shaka Smart than meets the eye.

  9. Report: Colleagues don’t expect Brandon Miller to return to coaching

    Nov 20, 2014, 10:32 AM EST

    Brandon Miller Brandon Miller

    Will we ever see Butler’s head coach on the sideline again?

  10. Late Night Snacks: Creighton, Gonzaga make statement in wins

    Nov 20, 2014, 1:05 AM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    It was a quiet night on the college hoops front, but one ranked team went down.

  11. Defense carries the day for an Arizona team that’s still a work in progress offensively

    Nov 20, 2014, 12:53 AM EST

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson AP

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was the spark plug for a team that has a lot of progress to make offensively.

  12. Key Missouri freshman will not be traveling with team to Maui Invitational

    Nov 19, 2014, 11:37 PM EST

    10171551

    Jakeenan Gant has yet to play in a game for Missouri.

  13. Creighton comes from 18 down to knock off No. 18 Oklahoma

    Nov 19, 2014, 10:37 PM EST

    Getty Images Getty Images

    This is a huge win for Creighton and for the Big East as a whole.

  14. Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson apologize for positive drug test

    Nov 19, 2014, 8:57 PM EST

    Stanford Robinson (AP Photo) Stanford Robinson (AP Photo)

    Apologies won’t get Tom Crean off the hot seat, but at least they acknowledged their mistakes.

  15. Three-star center becomes Georgia’s third 2015 signee

    Nov 19, 2014, 5:48 PM EST

    Mark Fox Mark Fox

    Derek Ogbeide’s been praised for his ability as a defender and rebounder, areas Georgia will need to address with two of their front court mainstays being seniors.

  16. Pregame Shootaround: No. 18 Oklahoma tested on road, No. 3 Wisconsin on upset alert?

    Nov 19, 2014, 4:33 PM EST

    Green Bay athletics Green Bay athletics

    It’s not the same as last night, but there are some good basketball games scheduled for Wednesday.