Many imagined the Kansas Jayhawks would sneak by—at the very worst—and get a victory. Instead, Iowa State stunned the fifth ranked Jayhawks 72-64, in what was a game involving major foul trouble.
Thomas Robinson and Jeff Whithey were both in a world of trouble throughout the game, which really killed the team early on since the depth is lacking in Lawrence.
The backcourt has been sensational with the play of All-American-caliber point guard Tyshawn Taylor. Yet, Taylor could not go off and carry this team, and it did not help that the bench had just five points.
For a heavy favorite, who, at the very worst, will be a two seed, Bill Self has a ton of things to clean up before tournament time.
In fact, Iowa State (15-6, 5-3) dominated Kansas (17-4, 7-1) on the boards 34-19, and a lot of it really had to do with All-American Thomas Robinson not going bonkers.
So many games this Kansas team has won just based on the fact that their opponent did not have anybody that could limit Robinson or Taylor.
The inside-out game makes up arguably the best duo in America, but their 29 points were not enough today. When the rest of the team combines for 35 points, there will be some major issues.
Plus, the team had 15 turnovers, and poor communication often led to lost possessions. In tight road games that are in a hostile atmosphere, it is best to have your team focused and playing sharp, or else you will go home a loser.
That was what the Cyclones sent Kansas back to Lawrence with, but the star of the game was clearly forward Royce White.
Dropping 18 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting stood out, and he will need to continue to carry this team if they expect to make a run at the big dance.
The defensive effort was spectacular for the Cyclone, as they were dominating on the boards, which led to 34 trips to the charity stripe compared to the Jayhawks' 16 trips.
The victory for Iowa State was their first at home over a ranked opponent since February of 2006 (over KU), and they will now look to carry their momentum over against Kansas State, who they play on Jan. 31st.
Kansas, meanwhile, has suffered their first conference loss of the season, and though most bracketologists had them as a one seed, they will have their work cut out for them.
They still have yet to face Missouri and still must take on the Baylor Bears in Waco (Feb. 8).
Time will tell if these Jayhawks can bounce back and still get that coveted one seed, but they are in great shape to hover around the top 10 and get a two or three seed.