There’s a lot of basketball going on in Kansas City between Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, high school basketball state tournaments, and Division II national tournament. Let’s see if the Chiefs and Royals were able to bust through all the basketball and make the top five rankings in this week’s addition of the power rankings.
5) Rockhurst boys basketball
The Hawklets took home the Missouri Class 5 state championship Saturday.
Sean Smith, Mike DeVito, Donnie Avery, and Anthony Fasano are all Chiefs after the opening week of the NFL free agency period. Add the trade for Alex Smith, re-signing Dwayne Bowe and Dustin Colquitt, restructuring Tyson Jackson‘s contract, and signing Dunta Robinson, and you have a suddenly reformed Chiefs roster.
Releasing Eric Winston came as a surprise as does the potential trade of Branden Albert, but the moves are all aggressive and make sense. If Kansas City can find away to maintain the offensive line but add some high draft picks, the Chiefs will be in great shape.
Salvador Perez comes back from the World Baseball Classic alive? Check. Eric Hosmer, too? Check. Tim Collins, as well? Check. Luis Mendoza locking up the fifth spot in the rotation with five innings of shutout ball? Check.
Not a lot to complain about on the Royals front. James Shields, Alcides Escobar and Wade Davis are looking just fine in their minor league appearances so injuries do no appear to be much of a concern.
Hosmer had two hits in his return to the Cactus League. Too much has been made about his performance in the WBC, where he was just five-for-25 with one extra base hit. There wasn’t a whole lot of hitting going on in the WBC for team USA anyway. Giancarlo Stanton hit .235 and had zero extra base hits. Adam Jones batted .182 with six strikeouts. J.P. Arencibia batted .200. I’m confident Marlins, Orioles, and Blue Jays fans are not freaking out that their star young players are not suddenly falling off a cliff into an abyss of suck.
There is a lot of pressure heading into this season on Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to produce at a high level at the plate. I understand the urgency of wanting to see signs of improvement from the two now and not more troubles. But the reality is if Hosmer had spent the last two weeks in Arizona batting .398/.453/.675 with five home runs and eight doubles as he did last Spring it would mean just as little as his performance in the WBC. The same would be true if he had crushed the ball in the WBC – the numbers are meaningless. Let’s at least wait until actual meaningful games begin until we decide if Hosmer is completely and utterly broken.
2) Missouri Mavericks
A win over Quad City on Saturday night clinched a playoff spot in the CHL postseason for the Mavericks. The team has four games left to catch Rapid City for the fourth seed in the playoffs and home ice advantage in the first round.
1) Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks take the top spot in the power rankings for the second week in a row after breezing through the Big 12 tournament and locking up a one-seed in the NCAA tournament.
Kansas manage to end up in a loaded bracket – Florida, Georgtown, Michigan, VCU – but still draw favorable matchups. Most of those are reliant on their offense and do not have much in terms of of an inside presence. So long and Kansas doesn’t go into a prolonged offensive funk – which is completely possible – the should be able to beat any of those teams in a tournament setting.
Georgetown in the one to watch as the biggest team that stands in the way of the Jayhawks and another Final Four. Georgetown at times played like the best team in the country and was in serious consideration for a number one seed. They are a defensive heavy team that can pressure guards and prevent the ball from getting inside. Rebounding is an issue for them, which may lead to them getting upset early in the tournament, but if Kansas has to play them in the Elite Eight it won’t be an optimal matchup for the Jayhawks.
Honorable Mention: Missouri men’s basketball, Blue Springs girls basketball, Central Missouri men’s basketball, Emporia State women’s basketball, Sporting Kansas City, Kansas State men’s basketball