Dec 30, 2013, 11:18 PM EDT
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.
Mar 15, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Now that it appears that Florida, Arizona and Wichita State have all but wrapped up three of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, let’s take a look at the teams still competing for the final No. 1 seed.
Mar 15, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT
Saturday’s conference tournament action will have plenty of tremendous games with outcomes that will have huge implications on the NCAA Tournament. Find out what the big matchups of the day are here.
Mar 15, 2014, 8:29 AM EDT
Who is on the right side of the bubble? Who missed the cut? Who is the fourth No. 1 seed?
Mar 15, 2014, 3:56 AM EDT
Friday was jam-packed with action, with teams across the country moving one step closer to the NCAA tournament.
Mar 15, 2014, 2:04 AM EDT
Why does Georges Niang look like he was in an MMA fight?
Mar 15, 2014, 1:55 AM EDT
Get caught up on all of Friday’s bubble action.
Mar 15, 2014, 1:50 AM EDT
George Washington shot 50.8% from the field and had six players score in double figures in their eight-point win over UMass.
Mar 15, 2014, 1:48 AM EDT
Arizona is playing as well as anyone in the country. How come no one is talking about them?
Mar 15, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT
Baylor’s now won six in a row and ten of their last 11 after throttling Texas in the Big 12 semis.
Mar 15, 2014, 12:27 AM EDT
No. 21 UConn advances to the American Athletic Conference title game, and they’ve got their role players to thank for it.
Mar 14, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT
Duke was involved in another controversial call. Did the refs get it right?
Mar 14, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT
Rivals Richmond and VCU met for the third time Friday night, with the Rams completing the season sweep.
Mar 14, 2014, 10:16 PM EDT
LaDontae Henton scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Providence to its first Big East tournament title game appearance in 20 years.
Mar 14, 2014, 9:52 PM EDT
Iowa State lit up Kansas for 94 points. Is it time to be worried about the Jayhawks defensively?
Mar 14, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT
No. 11 Syracuse shot just 32.7% in their loss to N.C. State, the sixth time in the last eight games that the Orange have failed to shoot at least 40%. That’s an issue entering the NCAA tournament.
Mar 14, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT
What “The Tweak” was doesn’t matter. The end result is that Kentucky finally bought-in. But will it last?
Atlantic 10 Tournament: Langston Galloway’s three-pointer sends Saint Joseph’s to semifinal round (VIDEO)
Mar 14, 2014, 6:22 PM EDT
Langston Galloway capped an excellent day with a three-pointer with 17.9 seconds remaining, advancing Saint Joseph’s into the A-10 semis.
Mar 14, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
The Atlantic Tournament quarterfinals are being held in Brooklyn on Friday and the NBC Sports Network will be there to help you along the way. You can watch all of the games live on NBC Sports Live Extra. Things kicked off at noon St. Bonaventure beating Saint Louis in a thriller with a buzzer-beater, while Dayton…
Mar 14, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT
Add another vacancy to the coaching carousel, as Jacksonville makes a change in the leadership of its program.
Mar 14, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT
Tennessee’s now won five in a row after handling South Carolina, and their defense has been a key reason why. Next up: top-ranked Florida.
- Bracketology: Will we have a bid thief? 0
- Bubble Banter: Monster day for teams on the cutline 1
- Pac-12 Tournament: Are we overlooking Arizona right now? 0
- Big 12 Tournament: Iowa State lights up a poor Kansas defense 2
- SEC Tournament: ‘The Tweak’ worked as Kentucky runs over LSU 0
- ACC Tournament: Pitt locks up tourney bid by beating struggling No. 16 North Carolina 2
- Atlantic 10 Tournament: St. Bonaventure upsets Saint Louis with a three at the buzzer (VIDEO) 6
- Wichita State will head into the NCAA tournament 34-0 as a No. 1 seed (13)
- Was Duke’s Rodney Hood fouled by Clemson? You make the call (VIDEO) (13)
- NBCSports.com’s 2014 College Basketball All-Americans (12)
- No. 1 Florida’s undefeated SEC season not just a by-product of their league (6)
- Don’t mess with Aaron Craft’s memory (6)