Jalen Wilson and the Kansas Jayhawks got some payback against the Baylor Bears this season, and it was a turning point for their season. Read all about it here!
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In college basketball, there are supposed to be certainties. Sure, any given team can lose on any given night but, over the course of a season, the cream typically rises to the top. The best teams usually win their conference and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
This season, however, has been anything but certain. COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in everyone’s plans and no one has been immune to its effects. The Kansas Jayhawks are no exception.
Before the season even began, the Jayhawks lost superstar guard Devon Dotson to the NBA Draft. Then, just days before their first game, it was announced that big man Udoka Azubuike would miss the entire season with a wrist injury.
With two of their best players gone, many wrote off Kansas’ chances of winning a 15th consecutive conference title. But then something unexpected happened: Jalen Wilson saved the Jayhawks’ season.
It was the biggest game of the season, and the Kansas Jayhawks were getting blown out. They were down 21 points in the first half to their biggest rivals, the Missouri Tigers, and things weren’t looking good.
But then something amazing happened. Jalen Wilson, a freshman who had only played in four games prior to this one, took over. He scored 27 points in the second half, including 17 in the final eight minutes, to lead the Jayhawks to a come-from-behind win.
This wasn’t just any win; it was a statement win. It showed that Kansas is still the team to beat in the Big 12, despite their struggles this season. And it showed that Jalen Wilson is a star in the making.
How Jalen Wilson Saved the Jayhawks’ Season
In their first game since losing to Baylor, the Jayhawks made a statement by winning in a blowout. Jalen Wilson was a big part of that, as he led the team in scoring and showed off his all-around game. But more importantly, he avenged a loss from earlier in the season and gave Kansas some much-needed payback.
Days later, the Jayhawks were in Oklahoma City for the Big 12 tournament. They had a chance to avenge an earlier loss to the Sooners in the semifinals, but they fell behind by 15 points in the first half and couldn’t catch up, losing 83-80.
It was a crushing defeat, one that put Kansas’s NCAA Tournament streak in jeopardy. The Jayhawks had to sweat it out on Selection Sunday, but they ultimately earned a No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region.
In the first round, they faced Northeastern, a team that had upset No. 1 seed Illinois in the Round of 64 the previous year. It was a tight game, but Kansas pulled away late for a 87-53 victory.
Next up was Auburn, which had just taken down No. 5 seed New Mexico State. The Jayhawks trailed by double digits in the second half, but they rallied for a 89-75 win to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016.
In conclusion, it is evident that Jalen Wilson and the Kansas Jayhawks’ season was saved by some payback. This actuated them to win their next games and eventually the National Championship.