Thanks To Arizona State Kansas Fans Can Stop Pretending They Had The No. 1 Team In The Country

Arizona State 80, Kansas 76

For the second year in a row it was Arizona State carrying the torch for the Pac-12 in the nonconference and getting a win over Kansas. More importantly, it’s finally going to let everyone call out the flaws in Kansas. Don’t get me wrong Kansas is a really good team, but in no way should it have been ranked No. 1 and a loss after flirting with disaster is finally going to let us talk about that without it being a ‘hot take.’

Let’s start with Arizona State. I was damn impressed with how the Sun Devils stayed alive and refused to let Kansas run away with the game every time they looked like they were about to. Yes, it was a home game and that matters in college hoops, but for Arizona State to stick around and then let guys like Remy Martin and Rob Edwards win you the game was huge – obviously.

Here’s the thing with this year’s Arizona State team. They aren’t nearly as bad defensively as they were last year. They can get after you and they made Kansas uncomfortable in the second half. More importantly they can beat you offensively by getting into the lane and attacking. We saw them drive off a high ball screen to the free throw line and either pull up for an open mid range jumper or kick for a three. Edwards and Martin were unbelievable in this setting.

But, let’s get to Kansas here. This is the story. Kansas was the No. 1 team in the country, simply because, well, I don’t know. If you want to tell me Kansas had the best resume I wouldn’t argue, but they weren’t the best team in the country. Just watch them play. They needed Lagerald Vick/Dedric Lawson to absolutely bail them out against New Mexico State/Villanova/Stanford. There are absolute holes with this team – most notably being where the hell is Quentin Grimes.

That was exposed a bit tonight.

Dedric Lawson put together a goddamn great game. But, Vick struggled. Kansas had 5 points from the bench. Grimes was 4-for-12. Garrett really isn’t an offensive threat. Azubuike is still out with that foot/ankle injury. This was the first time that Vick’s shooting and Lawson inside couldn’t bail them out.

It also just shows how vulnerable teams are this year. Kansas shot just 25% from three. In order for this team to be successful it need Quentin Grimes. The freshman is a top-10 talent for the NBA Draft. He’s someone that should be putting up 12-15 points consistently. I know that Self’s offense isn’t the easiest for wings, especially freshman wings. But, in order for this team to look like the top-3/5 team it needs Grimes. It’s that simple. You have the interior spot. You have a guy in Vick that is a microwave scorer. But, you need that go-to wing and combo guard in Grimes.

As for Arizona State, it’s one hell of a win. The Pac-12 needed this win. The conference has been a mess this season and Arizona State is the one bright spot. They are the one team that can jump into the top-40 on KenPom. Bobby Hurley is building something there. More importantly, he’s showing that he can coach and get these guys to beat the best of them. This is two in a row now vs Kansas.