JACK'S SMACK: If KU survives in Dallas, Jack just might become a believer

I want to believe the Kansas Jayhawks are a better basketball team than I give them credit for.

The rabid fan base is crazy good this time of the year. Sometimes I wonder if I'm really missing something here.

This is coming from a completely different perspective. I'll be brutally honest when I tell you I'm not all that impressed with the so called "Kansas brand." I didn't go to school there and I didn't go to Missouri, either.

I do respect the long history and tradition, and the passion the fans have for their basketball teams.

I have nice things to say when this team plays well, like the game at Ohio State. And I'm not shy in sharing my opinion when the Jayhawks stink it up, like the trip to TCU.

Forget the seeding in this tournament. We've seen all kinds of upsets, and near upsets.

Here's a question I have: Is Kansas on a wing and a prayer in the next two weeks?

Jayhawks were unimpressive for 60 of the 80 minutes they played over the weekend in Kansas City.

It took 24 free throws to beat a 16-seed that lost 15 games this year. It took the best second half of basketball this season to rally and close out a below average North Carolina team.

The journey becomes much more difficult for Kansas as they head to the Sweet 16.

No more home games in this tournament. Kansas has played five games in the last 10 days at the Sprint Center.

I'm still trying to figure out how they shot only 25 percent in the first half of that Carolina game.

You would expect them to be familiar with the rims after all the games at the Sprint Center. It doesn't really matter, I guess, because Kansas wins with a tenacious defense.

This is a team with four senior starters, but also a team that needs to be prodded.

This is a team that, sometimes, becomes too comfortable in its surroundings.

In the last two weekends, there has been nothing but adoring fans at every turn.

Kansas has won eight games in Kansas City this year – that's more than a fourth of their total victories this season. The question is, how well can this team travel?

If KU survives this weekend in Dallas, I just might become a believer.

That's Jack Smack.

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