3 Kansas Jayhawks on Thin Ice Ahead of NCAA Tournament

The Jayhawks are just 1-4 in their last five games
The Jayhawks are just 1-4 in their last five games / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
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The Kansas Jayhawks open the NCAA Tournament against Samford on Thursday night after a tumultulous week. Hunter Dickinson is expected to play, though Kevin McCullar Jr. will miss all of March Madness in strange circumstances surrounding his knee injury.

Kansas has just one win in its last five games and will now be without the team's leading scorer and best wing defender. The Jayhawks are favored against Samford, though it'll require a herculean effort to advance deep into the tournament.

Given the struggles of the team entering March Madness, here are three Jayhawks on thin ice as the opening round tips off today:

3 Kansas Jayhawks on Thin Ice Ahead of NCAA Tournament

1. Dajuan Harris Jr.

The veteran point guard has taken a step back this year, though he'll need to bring his best effort in the tournament for Kansas to have any shot. Unfortunately, he's in a slump.

He has 15 turnovers in his last five games and shot just 3-of-11 against Cincinnati in a blowout loss in the Big 12 Tournament. Harris is the most experienced player on this roster and if he doesn't cut down his turnovers while adding some scoring punch, the Jayhawks are in trouble.

Harris is still the conductor of this offense and the team will lean on his experience in an attempt to gut out victories this weekend and, hopefully, next. In a win over Texas near the end of February, for example, Harris shot 7-of-11 for 14 points with six assists and no turnovers. That's the kind of performance that can keep Kansas in the tournament.

Relative to last season, Harris' scoring and assists are down while his turnovers are up. If the steady floor general can find a way to tap into the potential he showed in previous years, the Jayhawks have a puncher's chance. If he can't, we'll likely see an early exit.

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