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Gary Gramling

Rock, Chalk, Repeat?


So this year's defending champs might not really look like the defending champs. The Kansas Jayhawks are full of new blood as they head on the road to a repeat. Point guard Sherron Collins is the only guy on this year's team who played a major role during last year's title run. So can this year's young Jayhawks make it two straight?

The biggest thing working in their favor is the Midwest region. There's good depth, but the 3rd-seeded Jayhawks won't see any elite teams on the way.

Top-seeded Louisville may have won the Big East, but they only had to face Pittsburgh and Connecticut once each, at home, thanks to the conference's unbalanced schedule. The Cardinals have lost on neutral courts to Western Kentucky and Minnesota, and got blown out by 37 points at Notre Dame. Michigan State has been inconsistent all season, including blowout losses to North Carolina and Maryland, and a Big Ten Tournament loss to Ohio State.

But KU isn't exactly on fire coming into the Tournament. They got pounded at Texas Tech. They lost to Baylor in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. They were also just 7-6 away from home this season.

Maybe this young Kansas team has what it takes for a Final Four run. But if they play like they did over the past two weeks, they won't make it out of the first weekend.

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