Kansas Jayhawks: 27-7, 13-5 in Big 12

Head coach: Bill Self (14th season)

Players to watch: Devonte’ Graham (17.3 PPG, 7.5 APG); Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (15.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 45.0 3PT%); Udoka Azubuike (13.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 77.4 FG%)

Season Recap: Another season, another Big 12 title for the Jayhawks. Despite winning its 13th conference title in a row, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Kansas. Bill Self was forced to abandon his usual offensive approach—playing through two bigs in the post—and had to trot out four-guard lineups for much of the season. 

At the end of the day, however, Kansas has Devonte’ Graham and everybody else doesn’t. The Big 12 Player of the Year’s consistent heroics helped lead the Jayhawks to first place in one of the deepest conferences in the nation. The Jayhawks played the second-most difficult schedule in the NCAA, and that led to a laundry list of impressive wins. Their resume includes season sweeps of Texas, TCU and West Virginia, a road victory at Texas Tech, a win against Kentucky on a neutral court and a 30-point beatdown of Trae Young and Oklahoma.

But with those great wins came some head-scratching losses, including a sweep at the hands of Oklahoma State and a loss to Washington in front of a friendly crowd. This Kansas team is a No. 1 seed, but isn’t nearly as dominant as Jayhawk squads of the past. They're shallow, have no size beyond Azubuike and are extremely dependent on 3-pointers. While Azubuike was out for the entirely of the Big 12 tournament due to a knee injury sustained during practice, the Jayhawks are optimistic he will play in their NCAA tournament opener; however, they will need him back and healthy if they expect to play at top level.

How they make a run: Kansas takes advantage of its athleticism on the perimeter and gets hot from behind the 3-point line. At the same time, it needs Azubuike healthy enough to play and to avoid foul trouble if he does, as well as for Graham to keep shining in big moments. 

How they falter: If they run into a team that can take advantage of the Jayhawks' lack of interior size, it will be a short tournament for Kansas. Similarly, if Graham performs like he did in last year's Elite Eight matchup against Oregon—0-for-7 from the field—Kansas won’t get far.