Sunday afternoon the Kansas Jayhawks take on the Michigan Wolverines in this year's non conference finale. If Kansas manages a win as expected they'll depart this portion of the season with a perfect 15-0 record as they prepare to head into what promises to be a difficult conference season.
In some ways it's about as uneventful as it gets for the Jayhawks over the last two months. Kansas cruised through a host of cupcake opponents, while those programs and games intended to test the Jayhawks didn't live up to the hype.
Just a few years back a schedule with the names Arizona, UCLA, Memphis and even Cal or Michigan would have provided a few highlights or awakenings in November and December, but as it stood in 2010 that wasn't the case.
So what do we know about the Kansas Jayhawks? Kansas obviously has two dynamic players in Marcus Morris and now Josh Selby. The Jayhawks also have a host of players that have stepped up to varying degrees throughout the early season.
The biggest complaints from Kansas fans would probably center around the defense on the interior and perimeter scoring, both problems that seem to be improving as time drags on.
Offensively Kansas might have as high a ceiling as anyone in the country. The Jayhawks spent much of the early part of the year as the most efficient team in the country from an offensive standpoint and they continue to be the best shooting team out there.
On the defensive end Kansas has, as most Bill Self teams do, slowly turned into a lockdown caliber team when at their best. Currently Kansas ranks number one in the country in terms of defensive efficiency. That's predicated by good perimeter defense, forcing turnovers and limiting the opponent to a single shot.
On paper it's hard not to look at this Kansas team and think they have a very good chance at a seventh consecutive Big 12 title. It's hard not to believe they will be well positioned for a run come tournament time. Still, it's impossible not to look at the schedule and at least ask the question as to how this group will respond against the likes of Texas, Missouri, Kansas State and the rest of the Big 12.
That's where the concern might come into play. At times this year Kansas has scraped by on talent alone. The Jayhawks go ten deep with players that would see solid minutes anywhere in the league. When the opponent isn't up to snuff or Kansas has built a large lead, the intensity hasn't always been there.
Sometimes that manifests itself in letting a team back into a game that could have been put away early(Arizona) and sometimes Kansas never gets things going from the outset(UCLA, USC).
In conference play, in the conference tournament and without a doubt in the NCAA tournament, this is the type of play that can and will come back to haunt you.
The next phase of the season kicks off in just a few days. Kansas wasn't picked to win the league this year, but with Kansas State stumbling the Jayhawks are once again the hunted. Of course, most would probably argue that that fact has never changed. But either way, the college basketball world stands to learn a lot more about these Jayhawks in the next two months than they did in the first two months of the season.