Early exits from the NCAA tournament caused chaos throughout the power rankings this week, which opened the door for our first individual to make the cut. See who it is in this weeks KC Power Rankings.
Opening Day is one week from today!
While deciding to start Chris Getz over Johnny Giavotella is potentially the worst move the Royals have made this offseason aside from tendering Luke Hochevar a contract, it is hard not to look at Kansas City’s offseason as a whole and not think the Royals will be a very competitive team.
The first three months of the season may be the most important three months of baseball in Kansas City in decades. If the Royals can enter the All-Star break within striking distance of a playoff spot they’ll have the returns of Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino – who are probably two of their four best starters – on the horizon and the resources to fix any lineup holes in a trade. That combination could equal a very serious playoff push. The problem will be getting to the All-Star break in once piece, something the Royals have done only once since the 1994 strike. Here’s hoping the Hochevar and Getz decisions didn’t just screw that up.
4) Sporting Kansas City
Down two of their best players, Sporting went on the road and got a point. You could make a serious case walking away with a tie was a poor result given the amount of time Kansas City possessed the ball yet managed so few scoring opportunities. Still, a point is a point, especially given Sporting’s circumstances.
3) Mayor Sly James
A foot of snow drops on the city during a national event yet you would never have known if it weren’t for Mayor James leadership and Craig Sager driving heavy machinery around.
The way major events have been handled in the city by James has been excellent, and this is concerning since Kansas Citians are used to colossal failures from their local leaders. So a big shout out to Mayor James (and Sager) for making sure Kansas City was not a national laughing stock this weekend even though Mother Nature tried her best.
2) Missouri Mavericks
The fifth-seeded Mavericks start their playoff run this weekend at Rapid City after finishing the regular season with a 35-25-6 (76 points) record. They will not have home ice advantage in their first round series but Missouri has actually been pretty strong on the road, going 16-13-4 this year away from Independence.
Missouri goalie Mathieu Corbeil was named an Oakley Star Player of the Week by the league for saving 36 shots and not allowing a goal. Not bad.
1) Kansas Jayhawks
A win is a win. Survive and advance. Puke and rally.
Kansas is on their way to the school’s 30th Sweet Sixteen, and no one seems to know how exactly they got there. KU managed to win two games this week even though they turned the ball over 39 times, went over 60 minutes without hitting a three, allowed North Carolina to take 73 shots, and let Western Kentucky out-rebound them on the offensive glass 13-4. There was very little Kansas did right this weekend yet they still won. Somehow.
One thing, maybe the only thing, KU did do right was play defense. Western Kentucky shot 31.8-percent from the floor while North Carolina managed to make just 30.1-percent of their attempts. If the Jayhawks continue to play defense like this they will be in every game they have remaining. And if they can figure out how to play a full game the same way the played the second half against UNC, they will be on their way to another Final Four.