SAN ANTONIO -- My position for more than a month has been this: At its best, Ohio State beats anybody. That was my position because I hadn't seen a team that could play with the Buckeyes, if the Buckeyes were on their game.
I saw that team Friday night.
Kansas is really, really freaking good.
Now, I'm not back-tracking on the Buckeyes. They're still, to me, the best team in the country. But the gap isn't what I thought it was. And the gap might not exist at all. Maybe I'm biased toward the Buckeyes, familiarity breeding appreciation since I've followed Ohio State all season from my home a few miles down the road. Maybe, given my blind spot for Buckeyes basketball, Kansas is Ohio State's equal.
Anyone wanting to make that argument picked a damn good day to do it.
Kansas defanged a really prickly Richmond team 77-57. The Spiders play a weird offense, they play a weird defense, and they play really hard. They did all of those things against Kansas on Friday -- and it mattered not even a little bit.
Kansas hit 3-pointers, Kansas grabbed rebounds, Kansas protected the ball and Kansas defended the perimeter. Those are not easy things to do, any of them, but Kansas did them all on Friday.
And this wasn't even Kansas at its best.
Marcus Morris, Kansas' All-American, had 13 points and seven rebounds. Markieff Morris (five points, six rebounds), Kansas' second-best player, played just five minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. When he left the game, Kansas led 10-7.
Kansas then went on a 27-7 run.
See what I'm saying?
Kansas manhandled a slippery Richmond team, and did it without either Morris twin playing his normal game. Brady Morningstar (18 points, four assists) was awesome. Thomas Robinson (12 points, 14 rebounds) was even better. Everyone else in a Kansas uniform, though, was merely decent. And still, this was a blowout.
What happens if Kansas plays better than this -- and it's obvious, Kansas can play better than this -- against Ohio State? I'd pay good money to watch that one. Or I'll watch for free and thank my lucky stars I have such a cool job.
And also be thankful that Kansas fans are so willing to forgive, um, this story here. Yeesh.