Kansas vs. Western Kentucky, 2013 March Madness: Jayhawks squeak by WKU

USA TODAY Sports

Kansas didn't blow out Western Kentucky as some might have expected, troubling Jayhawks fans who were hoping for a comfortable win.

Kansas got a win over Western Kentucky to avoid being the first-ever No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed, but there were some scary moments for a Jayhawks team that trailed at the half against the Sun Belt champions.

Even though WKU had a really dismal game - 21-for-66 from the field, just 31.8 percent, and 3-for-20 from deep, 15 percent - they gave the Jayhawks trouble. Kansas missed every three they took and trailed at the halftime break. They emerged in the second half with a renewed spirit, quickly opening up a lead on WKU and not relinquishing it, but the lackluster effort still disturbed Kansas fans:

I can't figure out yet if this team doesn't think it's good enough to win a title, or if they think they are so good that they don't think they need to give a full effort all the time, but either way they're wrong. Credit to the Hilltoppers though, who held Kansas under a point per possession.

Despite the performance, KU blog Rock Chalk Talk said the close game didn't greatly effect their hopes for a deep run, and that it was "not panic time yet."

As we noted over here, there's only a slight correlation between close first-round games for No. 1 teams and future tournament success, so the Jayhawks shouldn't be overly worried, but it's still a correlation: teams that win by small margins in the first round tend to have less success in later rounds.

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