Five close wins in the last month suggested Kansas was tip-toeing on thin ice and needed significant improvements top-to-bottom in grinding out a ninth straight conference title.
That ice broke last weekend with a frustrating, mistake-filled loss to Oklahoma State. Head coach Bill Self was not shy in identifying his team's weaknesses.
"They were tougher than us. They beat us to loose balls and they just kicked our (butt) on the glass in the second half " Self said on Saturday. He continued, "When you don't play well, you have to defend and rebound, and we didn't do that worth a crap today."
Self's teams have never relied on one shooter, one lockdown defender or one big man and there is no exception this year. Improvements are necessary from every Jayhawk before a repeat title game appearance is possible.