Thursday, March 8, 2012


KU-MU could scramble seeding


If the Kansas basketball team wins the Big 12 tournament title Saturday in the Sprint Center, it earns its fifth NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed in six years, and nothing is left to chance.

But what if Kansas doesn’t win it? More specifically, what if Missouri defeats the Jayhawks in the title game? Does that mean the Tigers get a No. 1 seed and Kansas a No. 2?

That’s a tough call, a scenario that could leave supporters on whichever side of the Border War that doesn’t get a top seed feeling cheated.

Kentucky and Syracuse will get two of the top seeds, and the next two likely will go to the team with the top resume from the ACC and the Big 12, although if one of the Big Ten’s regular-season tri-champions wins the conference tourney, it looms as a threat to take the last top seed.

In an attempt to gain some insight as to how the selection committee would handle the Kansas/Missouri close call in the event the Tigers defeat KU in the conference tourney final, I hopped on conference calls to put the question before committee chairman Jeff Hathaway and then ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi.

Before hearing that question, Hathaway, former UConn athletic director who succeeded former Kansas AD Lew Perkins in that job, was asked about how much weight the RPI carries.

“I think there’s a lot of criteria,” Hathaway said. “And, unfortunately, I think a lot of people go immediately to RPI or go to one or two criteria, when there really is a litany of criteria that we look at.”

Such as?

“Head-to-head competition, common opponents, road records. As we all know, any coach in any league will tell you it’s difficult to win on the road. Overall strength of schedule. Obviously, we look at competition against top-quality teams. And we all know what the bottom-line premise has been of the committee over the past years, and that is: Who did you play? Where did you play them? And how did you do?”

So what would the committee do if Missouri defeated Kansas in the title game?

“We would look at Kansas, and we would look at Missouri, and we would look at those other handful of teams that we believe are due consideration for the first line and the second line, and we would compare them all with each other,” Hathaway said. “So it goes back to what I alluded to, and that is head-to-head competition is a factor that’s considered. Common opponents is a factor. Right down the list. We’ll look at the full body of work. One game … one game is not going to determine, be the sole determinant for where they’re going to be seeded.”

I asked Lunardi who would be higher on the S-curve if Missouri won a close title game against Kansas. Same question if the Tigers won by double digits.

“I think if Missouri beats Kansas two out of three, they’re higher,” Lunardi said.

Even though Kansas finished two games ahead of Missouri in the regular season?

“It’s definitely a factor,” Lunardi said. “You know, that’s a big win. That’s a big win, and they would have a bigger win in the semis than Kansas would have.”

He didn’t close the door on the possibility of KU’s No. 1 seed surviving a close loss.

“I’ll be honest, I only look at it side-by-side after it happens, so it could be that you’re right,” he said. “It could be that Kansas stays ahead of Missouri if Missouri wins a close game, like the other two have been. If (the Tigers) beat them by double-digits in Kansas City, that’s got to count for something. Why play the game then?”

Easy. To make money. It seems the best way to make the call, in order to preserve the value of the regular season would be to give Kansas the nod in the event of a close outcome and push Missouri ahead only in the event of a convincing title-game victory.

Then again, it’s entirely possible Iowa State wins the Big 12 tournament title, even though it would have to go through Missouri and Kansas to do it.


MUTigerFan8 2 years, 1 month ago

I'd love a 1 seed just so we can have it. Honestly though it does not matter. The teams who are playing well and get the best in-game match-ups will win. At this point I could easily see both teams getting a 2 seed although if MU does we will become the first team from the power 6 conferences to win 30 games and not get a 1 seed. That being said we played some pretty week early season teams and the teams we scheduled that were supposed to be strong ended up not being all that strong. (Cal, ND) I'm not really thrilled about moving to the SEC so I'd like to see the Final Four have all Big 12 teams with MU and KU matching up to decide it all. Good luck to the Jayhawks, I hope to see you again soon.


jhawkrulz 2 years, 1 month ago

It has been repeated every year includiing this year that conference tourneys don't affect seeding...the committee does not want to diminish the regular seasons. The #w seeds are set. The only question is whether UK gets the Midwest or South. If UK gets the midwest KU goes west. If UK goes south we get the Midwest and UNC goes west.

Finally a few thing I've mentioned over and over again. MUs RPI is horrible for a top seed. Although not perfect it is used to do seeding. A 14. In the RPI gets you a #4 seed.

Don't expect Dan Beebe to do MU any favors. MU basically got him fired. Don't forget MU also voted OSU #4 in the BCS there will be retribution.

Also if the BIg (en isn't going to get a #1 seed they could actually get three #2 seeds. MSU, OhioSU and michU.

No SEC rep this year either.

I predict a #4 seed for missouri.


lahothan 2 years, 1 month ago

I wouldn't put it past Iowa St to do something crazy. Go Cyclones, win it! So long as MU doesn't I'm fine with that.


Richard Heckler 2 years, 1 month ago

No matter where KU is placed coming home with the NCAA trophy is the objective....the bottom line.


manginorh00lz 2 years, 1 month ago

If this doesn't prove that Lunardi has no idea what he is talking about, nothing will.


mumbojumbo 2 years, 1 month ago

I think we just win each game we play and then don't need to worry about MU out doing us for a number one seeding.


gotmylimitofjhawks 2 years, 1 month ago

Beakers chill...a 30-4 Mizzou team with two wins over Kansas, two wins over Baylor, three wins over ISU/Texas, and wins over Illinois, California, Notre Dame, Villanova and Old Dominion is getting a No. 1 seed...ESPECIALLY if a win against KU Sat. (certainly NOT a sure thing) is convincing, giving the Beaks SIX losses on the season

No. 1 seed is good for the fans' ego, but is there really that big a difference in the 1, 2 or the 3?...the No. 4 seed is what you don't forces you (possibly) to play a No. 1 before the Elite Eight game...

At any rate, amazing how "little" Elite KU cares about poor ol MU...


jgkojak 2 years, 1 month ago

If UNC and Duke do not win the ACC Tourney, and Michigan St does not win B10 tourney,

then a Mizzou victory over KS probably makes MU overall #3 and KU overall #4 and both gets #1 seeds.

if KU wins then its a lock for the #3 overall and MU is #6 behind the UNC/Duke winner and Michigan St, unless they flame out in the first round.


brooksmd 2 years, 1 month ago

As long as somebody beats MU in the Big 12 tourney and then in the big dance, I don't care what happens. I just don't want MU to take anything associated with the Big 12 with them to the SEC.


REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I view this Big 12 Tournament as one heck of a grind for the two teams who survive for Saturday's title game. Aggies have improved lots with the return of Middleton and Dash Harris. K State primed for its usual end of season splendor. Mayor Hoiberg's Iowa State bunch can slay any Goliath who shows up with a ho-hum preparation. Baylor has the studs to surprise anyone, if Drew should catch the flu and be relegated to a hotel bed. And the Tigers, well, unless Kimmie English dents their solid armor with his mouth, they can defeat anyone in the country when their barrage of threes are falling. This might be a real topsy turvy tourney!


David Brown 2 years, 1 month ago

Does being a #1 or #2 seed matter that much? Is it just a label or is there any real (or imagined) benefit?


Mike Kendall 2 years, 1 month ago

Enough talk---let's play the games!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Joe Joseph 2 years, 1 month ago

"If the Kansas basketball team wins the Big 12 tournament title Saturday in the Sprint Center, it earns its fifth NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed in six years, and nothing is left to chance."

One seeds might be something to brag about, but aside from a guaranteed win in the first round, they mean nothing. Kansas has one final 4 appearance to show for in its last 4 one seeds. One seed/ two seed, it doesn't matter. It's all about matchups and avoiding the hot team in the tournament. KU's tournament success will not depend on its seeding.


FoCoCoHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I do NOT want Mizzou skulking out of the Big 12 ANY league hardware. Almost everything else is secondary.

As for our Jayhawks, for once I agree with Al Davis: "Just win, baby."


Orangedog87 2 years, 1 month ago

Supposedly on Sunday after the brackets are announced on CBS the committee chair will be on TRU tv to talk about the logic or lack there of in picking and seeding teams. They will also reveal the seeding of all 68 teams.


newmedia 2 years, 1 month ago

Just try to make it through the worthless Big 12 Tournament without any injuries....


jhox 2 years, 1 month ago

I especially don't want to end up in Syracuse's bracket. Kentucky seems a notch above the other teams, as well, but they're young and could more easily be upset. Syracuse, on the other hand, is the real deal. They're the class of the country as far as I'm concerned. When entirely healthy, they've not lost, nor have they had many close games. They remind me of our '97 team in that they're clearly head and shoulders above everyone else, but as we proved in '97, it doesn't matter if you don't show up to play.

The primary point I wanted to make is that I just don't want to end up as a 2 in Syracuse or Kentucky's brackets. That would make the road the Final 4 that much more difficult.


DWINOP 2 years, 1 month ago

"It seems the best way to make the call, in order to preserve the value of the regular season would be to give Kansas the nod in the event of a close outcome and push Missouri ahead only in the event of a convincing title-game victory."

As if the tournament selection committee really cared about that sort of thing. Since there isn't anything resembling an objective set of selection criteria, there's no way to know what value is placed on what. Let's recall 2003 when the selection committee awarded Texas a 1 seed and Kansas a 2 seed on the strength of Texas' win over Kansas in Lawrence that season. Funny thing, KU defeated Texas in Lawrence in 2003 on the strength of an incredible performance by Nick Collison that was so good, it received standing ovation by Dick Vitale right there on the court.


Jason Keller 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure we want to play MU again. I just don't see that kind of emotional and physical investment benefiting us going into the real tournament or MU for that matter. I still want to win the Big 12 tourny, I just don't want to play Missouri again. It's hard on the guys, win or lose. Although, I know we would beat them.


Terran Woolley 2 years, 1 month ago

We are a lock ALREADY for a #1.


Steve Quatrocky 2 years, 1 month ago

If MU beat KU in the championship game, neither would get a one seed, both would be two's. NC/Duke is number three and either MichSt/Ohio St number 4. It just gives a reason for the committee to snub the Big 12.

Quite frankly, IMHO, all this talk of a KU/MU rematch is incredibly disprespectful to the rest of the league and totally underestimates how hard it is to beat any team after having played them twice already.


notaubermime 2 years, 1 month ago

I think that Missouri has too much ground to make up on Ohio State and North Carolina to be in as a 1 seed even with a win. They need one of those teams to go down in flames early in their tournament because Missouri's out of conference schedule was so weak.


Selbyville 2 years, 1 month ago

"..even though it would have to go through Missouri and Kansas to do it."

hey lets cool it on the whole victory forecasting, true kansas fans understand most that each game is a crapshoot. the one sad cog in the otherwise buzzsaw of a program.


Hank Cross 2 years, 1 month ago

If KU wins the final they'll get the No.1 in STL. If they lose, they may still get the PHX no. 1. Let's be honest though, the committee probably wants a UK/UNC final and will do what they can to a make it happen. I wouldn't be surprised to see MU sent west to play UNC in PHX or to ATL against UK. People know MU doesn't travel well and their chances of getting to the FF are, well.....


gardenjay 2 years, 1 month ago

The seeding is not where the award happens, why should anyone get an award for having an easier time of it. Let's get down and play some ball!


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