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College basketball rankings: Kansas lurks outside top five after impressively dismantling Houston

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Kansas is a flawed team.

The Jayhawks don’t shoot it well from the perimeter, barely offensive rebound at all and have a bench that provides nearly nothing. If Bill Self doesn’t win the Big 12’s regular-season title for what would be the 18th time in a 20-year span, one of those things will likely be the reason; it could be all three of those things.

But, flawed as it might be, Kansas is still an obvious national championship contender, largely because of the presence of its Hall of Fame coach. Saturday served as the latest reminder when the Jayhawks hosted a Houston team that’s still No. 1 in most computers and beat the Cougars with few issues.

Final score: Kansas 78, Houston 65.

Hunter Dickinson finished with a team-high 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists.The Jayhawks led by as many as 20 and won by 13 despite closing as a slight (and rare) underdog at home inside Allen Fieldhouse.

“That’s sacrilege,” said Houston coach Kelvin Sampson. “How is Kansas not favored in any game — especially here? … You challenge the Jayhawk pride by telling them they’re not favored. We’re not some superteam.”

No, Houston is not some superteam — but the Cougars are still 19-3 overall and tied for first in the Big 12 standings. They’re 8-3 in the first two quadrants with six Q1 wins and zero losses outside of Q1. Simply put, nobody other than Purdue and UConn has a better body of work than that, which is why Houston is still No. 3 in Sunday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings, where Purdue remains No. 1 for the 25th straight day.

Kansas is up to No. 6.

To understand just how impressive the Jayhawks were this weekend, consider that they shot 68.9% from the field against Houston, which is the best any opponent has ever shot from the field against the Cougars in Sampson’s 10 years at the school. The best effort might’ve come from Johnny Furphy, who took seven shots, made six of them and finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. It was the 6-foot-9 freshman’s seventh straight start after beginning the season as a reserve. For what it’s worth, in this seven-game stretch with Furphy in the starting lineup, the Jayhawks are performing like a top-three team, according to BartTorvik.com.

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