After losing to Kentucky in the National Championship game last season, the Kansas Jayhawks will look to build on their Big 12 regular season title and remain one of the nation's premiere college basketball programs. ESPN's Joe Lunardi has them ranked as such, with Jayhawks slotted as a 2-seed in his preseason bracket.
Lundardi's preseason bracket is simply a projection of where school should likely end up based on their talent-level and coaching. As the season progresses, team placement becomes more defined and based on record and strength of schedule, rather than reputation. Kansas' ranking encompasses all of the above, with top talent and coaching primed to take on a tough non-conference schedule that includes Ohio State and Michigan State, who Lunardi has as a 1- and 3-seed, respectively.
The Jayhawks lost Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor to the NBA, but McDonald's All-American Perry Ellis is a top recruit and should start at power forward for Bill Self. Seniors Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson return to bring veteran guile to a team that should compete for another Big 12 title.
Kansas is one of six Big 12 teams included in the bracket, with the Jayhawks being the highest-ranked of their fellow conference mates. The Jayhawks open their season on Friday against SE Missouri St.