Two and a half weeks ago the possibility of the Kansas Jayhawks winning a seventh straight league title looked bleak. Texas was rolling and the Jayhawks had recently sustained a loss to the Kansas State Wildcats which put Kansas two games back of the Longhorns.
Texas proceeded to lose three of their next four, with all three losses to Big 12 North opponents including the two departing members of the Big 12 in Nebraska and Colorado. With that Kansas enters tonight's game against the Aggies with the opportunity to clinch at least a share of their seventh consecutive Big 12 Conference title.
It's the streak that seems to hang on year after year and with Kansas also boasting a 26 year senior night winning streak, it's a streak that looks likely to continue. Brady Moringstar, Tyrel Reed and Mario Little will all play their final games in Allen Fieldhouse with an opportunity to wrap up the title and hoist the trophy among family, friends and fans in Lawrence.
It's a fitting end to a career and made even more fitting by the fact that two of the three seniors departing tonight are native Kansans and they have a chance to bring the trophy back in a year when in state rival Kansas State was picked to take that title away. Head coach Bill Self summed up the evolution of those two careers on Tuesday.
"They've been great. (Brady) has basically been, even though he has been a sixth man, a three year starter for us. He started all the games as a sophomore and some as a junior and senior, so he's been great.
Tyrel was pretty highly recruited. He had offers from Missouri, K-State, and Oklahoma. We kind of hesitated and finally said, `Hey, that kid is such a great kid. He would be great for our program.'
Not only have those two (Morningstar and Reed) been great for our program they've been to the point where if they don't perform well, we don't win. There have been huge improvements in their developments since they got here."
Without question the two headed monster of Morningstar and Reed have become critical to the Jayhawks success and when the NCAA tournament begins, the Jayhawks will be at their best when these two Kansans are at their best. But for tonight, it's a celebration of three careers and a night that Kansas coaches, players and fans hope to see end with another trophy for the trophy case.