No. 10 Kansas had its four-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night with an 85-73 loss to No. 18 Texas Tech in its Big 12 home opener.
The Jayhawks suffered their second straight defeat against a ranked opponent despite showing they could overcome an obstacle — getting to the free-throw line — that has plagued them all season.
They tied a season high in attempting 23 free throws, making 17. In each of their previous five contests, Kansas shot 10 or fewer free throws. The Jayhawks rank 347th among 351 NCAA Division I teams in free-throw attempts per game, and just 133 of their 1,215 points this season, or 10.94 percent, have come from the line.
Compare those figures to fifth-ranked Xavier's. The Musketeers (15-1) lead the nation in both free throws made (321) and attempted (407), accounting for nearly one-quarter (23.19 percent) of their offense.
Outside of a wide-open layup or dunk, a free throw is the highest-percentage shot in the game; hence, the name. Kansas' inability to get to the line consistently adds a greater degree of difficulty than any other team with championship aspirations faces. Through 14 games, Kansas' opponents have connected on 159 of 230 free throws, visiting the charity stripe 16.42 times per game, while the Jayhawks are 133 for 180 on the season. That disparity has loomed large in KU's three losses, to Washington, Arizona State and Texas Tech. The Huskies, Sun Devils and Red Raiders combined to make as many free throws as Kansas attempted (43) and took 17 more.
Kansas' biggest problem lies at the free-throw line
Sporting News - NCAAB | Jan 4