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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Keegan

Finish in Big 12 tourney key to landing in K.C.

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No need to debate whether Kansas University’s basketball team benefits more from winning the Big 12 tournament or getting extra rest by not making it to Saturday’s conference tourney title game in Oklahoma City.

Barring a shocker, staying close to home and playing the first two rounds in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., depends on KU’s performance in the Big 12 tournament, which for Kansas begins at 11:30 a.m. Thursday against the winner of Wednesday’s Nebraska-Baylor game.

The general consensus among bracketologists is that either Kansas or Oklahoma, but not both schools, will open in Kansas City, and the runner-up will go elsewhere, in KU’s case, quite possibly to Minneapolis.

The NCAA uses eight sites, half with Thursday/Saturday games on March 19 and 21, the other four sites with Friday/Sunday games on March 20 and 22. (Kansas City’s games are Thursday/Saturday; Minneapolis is a Friday/Sunday site).

Each of the eight sites gets two of the 16 teams that earn Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 seeds. The higher seeds get preferential treatment in assigning geographically friendly sites.

Most believe that if Kansas wins the conference tournament, it will stay home for the first two rounds, but if Oklahoma wins, it will take the place of Kansas in the Sprint Center. What if both teams make it to the same level of the conference tourney and lose? In that case, it’s too close to call as to which Big 12 team starts the road to Detroit in Kansas City.

KU coach Bill Self hasn’t made “Kansas City, here I come” a battle cry with his players.

“I don’t even know if our guys know that there’s a subregional in Kansas City, in large part because I don’t know if (the media) talked about the potential of us being there because nobody ever thought that we could be, probably,” Self said. “I remember (in 2003-2004) ... that was the talk the whole time: ‘Can we get to Kansas City? Can we get to Kansas City?’ I don’t think our fans going into this season were saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got to lock up the tickets in Kansas City because we expect to be there.’ It would be great if that happens, but if it doesn’t happen, I won’t put much emphasis on that at all.”

Self has concentrated on preparing his team to play winning basketball, rather than on bracketology, and as a result has overestimated how big a speed bump his team’s bad recent loss really was on the road to Kansas City.

“We hurt ourselves against Texas Tech,” Self said. “Call it like it is. I think in the national scope of things from a seeding standpoint, we may have dropped a line or something, at least if it were to come out now.”

Maybe, but Kansas can pass Oklahoma by having a better conference-tourney finish, and one Big 12 team is bound to play in Kansas City.

“We need to go have a really good Big 12 Conference tournament, I think, to give us the best chance to go to Kansas City,” Self said.

Bingo.

“But I don’t know,” Self said. “I’m not in the room.”

Meanwhile, his team is in the Big 12 tourney as the No. 1 seed. Again. This time, though, the Jayhawks are underdogs to the favored Sooners.

Comments

Michael Auchard 10 years, 10 months ago

Wait, I'm confused. ESPN already says we're a 2 seed in KC... I thought it was already decided? Meh.

Okay, all ESPY hating aside, Bracketology has Memphis in the KC pod, too. "Come for the good team, stay to boo the over-rated one."

I wish I had tickets soooooo bad:)

actorman 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't get why it's so impossible to have both KU and OU in KC. They say each subregional only gets two top seeds. So let's say if OU were to win the Big XII tournament and be a one seed, and KU were a two seed (in a different regional), why couldn't they both end up in KC? With the pod system they do that type of thing all the time now.

bradh 10 years, 10 months ago

I've got my tickets for the Sprint Center. I sure hope the Hawks get to play there. I'll root for any Big 12 team that plays there, but it will be much easier to root for KU than OU or heaven forbid, MU.

Even if KU doesn't play there I'll wear my KU gear. It would be funny if the whole place was in KU blue even if KU wasn't there.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Yahweh - the espn anal-ists like to make predictions as to where teams will be seated in the tournament as the season draws to an end. they are not the commitee seating teams. Selection sunday is in 12 days, then we will know where KU is. All is speculation until then.

quigley 10 years, 10 months ago

Please Help: I have been dying to hear more about our new transfer from Arizona. Have I missed an article or a mention in the Basketball notebook? I know he can't play for a year, but any comments on his battles at practice with Cole, any comments from Coach Self, anything???

quigley 10 years, 10 months ago

Jkealing- Thanks for the info. Pretty good article.

Greg Lux 10 years, 10 months ago

Given our success in KC this year I don't know if I want to be there in mid march. Maybe it would be better to be someplace else. We sure didn't play well earlier in KC. And on a personal side I live in AZ and the west regional is in phoenix. OK OK I still want them in KC but I wouldn't mind driving a few miles and watching them here in the phoenix area. Plus the weather is nice in march here ... hint hint ..

Rock Chalk

keith horinek 10 years, 10 months ago

As of today, March 10th, Loe Lunardi of ESPN has KU a 2 seed in K.C. and OU a 2 seed in Minneapolis. I think he may be thinking KU travels better than OU and KC would be a better venue for fans. I don't think OU sold out very many games at home this year.

not_important 10 years, 10 months ago

Basically, the problem with getting both OU and KU in KC is Memphis. Because they have a crappy conference and never lose, they stay high on RPI charts based on their commendable non-conference schedule. Of course they have to play solid teams in the non-conference portion because they play no one in coference. Anyway, trying to leap-frog Memphis is difficult since they won't lose in C-USA. KC is the closest regional to Memphis, that is why everyone is automatically giving them one of the pods in KC. That leaves the last pod up for grabs between KU and OU, probably whoever comes out on top in the tourney this week.

d_prowess 10 years, 10 months ago

I think the reason KU and OU would never both be in KC, is that Memphis is also going to be a high seed and KC would be closest for them. And since Memphis plays in a horrible conference and wins all of those games (I don't blame them, but it is what it is) they have earned that high seeding and a KC placement. So it leaves only one spot for us to fight over.

barackchalkjhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

The way we've played at the Sprint Center this year, I really wouldn't mind playing somewhere else. Plus it will give the many ticket brokers that apparently bought all of the tickets for all rounds before they could go on sale to the general public (thanks AEG) a chance to screw OU fans instead of KU fans for once.

rockchalkin54 10 years, 10 months ago

"Now that would be awesome if we could play them, and have our partisan crowd give those tigers the same "over-rated!" game ending chant AllenFieldhouse gave the mizzou tigers, as we beat them down again."

Bad idea. We lost the game right after the Missouri game and the Tech fans chanted overrated at us. Besides, the overrated chant is overrated.

Scott Oswalt 10 years, 10 months ago

Do the Jayhawks really want to play in KC? They choked at the Sprint Center earlier in the year (1-2). It would be close to Lawrence, but what if we played in Minneapolis? Cole would for sure dominate in his home state.

What's up with AEG buying all the tickets before they went on sale? I'm on a waiting list, but the chances don't seem that great of getting tickets. I'm getting fed up with the Sprint Center. Seems like a bunch of mindless fools running it.

jayhawkcat 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't care where they play, only that they do good. I would also like to see the Kansas St team do good also.

not_important 10 years, 10 months ago

The lottery for the chance to buy tickets to the Sprint Center was conducted last March. I do believe the event was considered sold out after that lottery was conducted. The notification for the lottery was on the Sprint Center, Big XII, and NCAA websites. If you were selected in the lottery, you then could choose how many tickets up to 4 you would like to purchase with no knowledge of where you would end up sitting. You give them your money in April and you don't get your tickets until late January the next year.

If our squad can control the midwest again next year, we'll end up in Oklahoma City for the first/second rounds. If you think we'll do that, keep your eyes out for the lottery for next season. Keep checking the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, Big XII (they are the host conference), and Ford Center websites.

not_important 10 years, 10 months ago

The lottery for the chance to buy tickets to the Sprint Center was conducted last March. I do believe the event was considered sold out after that lottery was conducted. The notification for the lottery was on the Sprint Center, Big XII, and NCAA websites. If you were selected in the lottery, you then could choose how many tickets up to 4 you would like to purchase with no knowledge of where you would end up sitting. You give them your money in April and you don't get your tickets until late January the next year.

If our squad can control the midwest again next year, we'll end up in Oklahoma City for the first/second rounds. If you think we'll do that, keep your eyes out for the lottery for next season. Keep checking the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, Big XII (they are the host conference), and Ford Center websites. I would assume they will open up the lottery and hold it fairly soon.

knightmare34 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree with rockchalkin54. I've never been a fan of the "over-rated" chant. Beasically, it screams "we wouldn't be able to beat a team with that ranking, so you must be overrated." KU fans are better than that.

d_prowess 10 years, 10 months ago

I am not really a big fan of chants that try to be overly clever (see most Duke chants), but would it be better for a team to chant, "We're Under-Rated!" That sort of implies that the team you beat is as good as their ranking, but that you are even better than them and thus should be ranked as such. Just a thought, maybe a dumb-one, but still a thought!!

JayhawkPhil64 10 years, 10 months ago

I live in KC and would love to have the chance to try and buy a ticket outside to see KU play but I have to agree with those who point out we have not exactly played well there before(outside of the Big 12 tournament), Also it would be a stretch to deserve a #2 seed without not only wining the Big 12 tournament but also several of the teams currently ranked 5 through 10 stumbling in their tournaments..

KUFool 10 years, 10 months ago

"I don't think OU sold out very many games at home this year."

Pathetic.

knightmare34 10 years, 10 months ago

I will admit that Mizzou WAS overrated at the time of that game, so the chant was somewhat justified in this case. (And it was nice to bring them back down to earth with that trampling.) I'm just saying I'm not a fan of the chant in general. It usually pops up when an unranked (or much lower-ranked) team beats a highly ranked team. I've always thought it cheapens the victory and makes the fans look stupid. Perhaps they should try it at the beginning of the game? KU is rarely in the position to even think about chanting that, so I like to let the victories do the talking. That's all. Nothing is out of bounds or "classless" against MU.

plogjayhawk7568 10 years, 10 months ago

KU can't play Memphis in Kansas City. They will be in a different pod. If we were to play them it would have to be in a Regional Final, or in the Final Four. If KU beats OU we will be in KC for sure. Maybe even if we don't win the Big XII tourney we may still be in KC because the NCAA wants the arena full.

Craig Lang 10 years, 10 months ago

I think plog makes a good point. Ticket sales for all sporting events are down nationwide because of the economy. One sure way to sell out the Sprint Center would be to ensure that KU plays there. So long as KU gets one of the top 4 seeds in any region, the NCAA would be justified in putting the Jayhawks in KC for the first and second round. As for Memphis, I don't quite get the convenience of seeding the tigers in KC. KC is about as close to Memphis as Philidelphia, Dayton, Miami, Greensboro and Minneapolis.

oregonjhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Come to Portland, Hawks!! I've got tickets and would much rather see KU than Gonzaga and Washington....

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