The 2021-22 season is shaping up as a bounce again marketing campaign for some blue blood packages, and whereas Kansas did not slip far in any respect in comparison with Duke or Kentucky final season, there’s actually room for the Jayhawks to make a resurgence. As ordinary, their nonconference schedule is full of intriguing matchups that can give a deep, revamped roster some alternatives to shine.
Final yr’s squad opened with 102-90 loss to Gonzaga however bought good wins over Kentucky and Creighton in nonconference play earlier than getting blown out by Tennessee within the Massive 12/SEC Problem. All 4 of these video games had been in opposition to opponents ranked within the top-20 on the time, which made Kansas’ nonconference schedule one of many nation’s more durable slates amid the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This time round, the Jayhawks have compiled a equally difficult nonconference slate. With a stable returning nucleus and the addition of the nation’s No. 8 recruiting class together with a star switch guard in Remy Martin, KU ought to be poised to take a step ahead and once more be a nationwide title contender.
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This is a have a look at Kansas’ full 2021 nonconference schedule with the Massive 12 schedule to be introduced at a later date:
Nov. 9: vs. Michigan State (Champions Traditional)
Nov. 12: Tarleton State
Nov. 18: Stony Brook
Nov. 25-28: vs. Alabama, Belmont, Dayton, Drake, Iona, Miami (Fla.) and North Texas in ESPN Occasions Invitational (Orlando, Florida).
Dec. 2: at St. John’s (Massive East – Massive 12 Battle)
Dec. 7: UTEP (Kansas Metropolis)
Dec. 11: Missouri
Dec. 18: Stephen F. Austin
Dec. 21: at Colorado
Dec. 29: Harvard
Jan. 29: Kentucky (SEC/Massive 12 Problem)
Let’s dissect the schedule extra intently by rating the Jayhawks’ 5 most difficult non-conference video games — ranked countdown fashion.
Dec. 21 at Coors Occasions/Convention Heart in Boulder, Colorado
2020-21 file: 23-9
Coach: Tad Boyle
In one other conflict between former massive 12 foes, Kansas will play at Colorado, which is coached by former KU guard Tad Boyle. The groups final met in 2013, when the Buffaloes snagged a 75-72 victory. That is nearly assured to be a Quadrant 1 alternative for the Jayhawks for the reason that sport is on the highway.
4. Michigan State
Nov. 9 Champions Traditional at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York
2020-21 file: 15-13
Coach: Tom Izzo
The all-time collection is tied 7-7, so it is solely becoming that the tiebreaker will happen on a impartial courtroom. Kansas has received the final two within the collection, together with a 2018 impartial website sport and a 2017 second-round NCAA Event crew. The Jayhawks ought to be favored on this one, too, because the Spartans attempt to get better from a First 4 exit out of final season’s NCAA Event.
3. ESPN Occasions Invitational
Nov. 25-28 at HP Subject Home in Kissimmee, Florida
Attainable opponents: Alabama, Belmont, Dayton, Drake, Iona, Miami and North Texas.
A possible matchup in opposition to Alabama is just too good to not point out right here, though the Jayhawks and Crimson Tide determine to be pitted on reverse sides of the bracket. The sphere is stable all-around in addition to Drake, Iona and North Texas had been additionally NCAA Event groups final season. Dayton and Belmont are sometimes stable and Miami figures to be one of many ACC’s high turnaround groups. Whatever the draw KU will get, it should get some high quality video games.
Dec. 11 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas
2020-21 file: 16-10
Coach: Cuonzo Martin
The long-awaited renewal of the basketball Border Battle is lastly on after it was worn out final season as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. These former Massive 12 rivals haven’t performed — except for a 2017 exhibition — since Missouri’s final season within the Massive 12 again in 2012. That sport went to time beyond regulation with Kansas rising an 87-86 winner. The rematch has been a very long time coming and may make for a raucous environment at Allen Fieldhouse.
Jan. 29 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas
2020-21 file: 9-16
Coach: John Calipari
Contemplating their shared heritage as school basketball elites, it is a bit stunning that Kentucky owns a 22-10 lead within the all-time collection. However Kansas has received 4 of the final 5 and will get the Wildcats at dwelling this season as a part of the SEC/Massive 12 Problem. After getting blown out at Tennessee in final yr’s problem, the Jayhawks ought to be lots motivated to make it a superb displaying in what figures to be the occasion’s marquee matchup.