The Kansas Jayhawks are back in the NCAA tournament with a No. 1 seed. Apart from their high seed, one reason that all eyes are on Kansas Basketball is the fact that it is reigning and defending national champions. The Jayhawks play MAAC champ Howard Bison in the first round on Thursday, a game Kansas is expected to win by a big margin. With all that being said, here are a few reasons why Kansas will end up as the last team standing in the 2023 edition of March Madness.

Kansas basketball’s offense is a problem

It’s not easy to find a serious crack in the armor of the reigning national champions. Offensively, Kansas basketball is elite. Per KenPom, the Jayhawks are inside the top 30 in the nation with 114.6 points per 100 possessions. Basic stats show that the Jayhawks are averaging 74.9 points per outing, which is only 79th in the nation, but watching Kansas basketball during the 2022-23 college basketball season would leave one coming away with the idea that this is a team that can have its way offensively, one way or another. Jalen Wilson, Dajuan Harris, Gradey Dick,m Kevin McCullar, and KJ Adams can take turns in burrowing through defenses.

Although as a team, the Jayhawks can’t be considered among the best 3-point shooting team, as they are just connecting on 34.4 percent of their shots from deep, it takes just one of Dick, Wilson, or Harris to get into a rhythm from deep to send defenses scrambling. Dick is shooting 39.9 percent from the 3-point region, while Wilson is second on the team with 67 3-pointers.

Harris, meanwhile, is making over 41 percent of his threes. Kansas basketball also loves moving the ball around. The Jayhawks are an unselfish team when attacking, as evidenced by their averages of 16.4 assists per game and 0.595 assists per made field goal — 12th and 15th in Division I basketball, respectively.

Kansas basketball also loves moving the ball around. The Jayhawks are an unselfish team when attacking, as evidenced by their averages of 16.4 assists per game and 0.595 assists per made field goal — 12th and 15th in Division I basketball, respectively. They’re so good at finding great scoring chances at the rim — and finishing them. Over 57 percent of their field goals at the rim were off assists, per Hoop-Math.

Don’t forget about the Jayhawks’ defense

Breaking news: Kansas basketball is also just as great — if not better — on defense. The Jayhawks are seventh in the nation in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency, with just 91.5 points surrendered per 100 possessions. There isn’t a shortage of sample games that can testify to the sturdiness and peskiness of Kansas’ defense. Take for example Kansas basketball’s defense against the Baylor Bears.

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The Bears arguably have the best offense in all of college basketball, but when they met Kansas in Lawrence last February, they shot just 44.1 percent from the field and posted a pedestrian 52.5 eFG%. Teams shoot considerably worse, relatively speaking, from the 3-point area versus Kansas, making only 31.2 percent of their shots from downtown. Kansas basketball also tires out opponents with an aggressive style of defense that causes teams to commit turnovers 17.7 percent of the time. The Jayhawks also own a high defensive steal rate at 12.5 percent — top 20 overall.

Jalen Wilson is ready for his March Madness moment

During Kansas basketball’s championship run in 2022, Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun were the Jayhawks’ alphas. This time around, if Kansas basketball is to pull off back-to-back national championship campaigns, the Jayhawks will need Jalen Wilson to have a consistent performance throughout the Big Dance. He doesn’t have to generate monster numbers given the amount of talent on the team, but Wilson is the face of this Jayhawks squad.

Kansas could end up going as far as where Wilson takes it. And based on how he’s been playing this season, the Jayhawks are in good hands in the Big Dance with the future NBA first-rounder leading them. This season, he is averaging 20.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game — all top-two numbers among Kansas players.

Self reasons

Unlike most other teams in dancing this March, Kansas basketball is being coached by an all-time great. With Bill Self calling the shots from the sidelines, the Jayhawks assure themselves of an ultra-experienced presence to show them the way in the tournament. It is important to note that Self was not with Kansas during the Big 12 tournament as he had to undergo a heart procedure. However, he is expected to be back with the team beginning in the first round of the 2023 NCAA tournament.

“I’m so thankful for the amazing staff at the University of Kansas Health System for the excellent care I received,” Self shared in a statement. “I am proud of our team and coaching staff for how they have handled this and am excited to be back with them as the best time of the season gets underway.”

Just knowing that Bill Self is going to coach them in the upcoming tournament must be enough for Wilson and the rest of Kansas basketball to run through a wall.