None of Kansas University’s basketball players or coaches will be thinking about Friday’s Big 12 tournament semifinal loss to Iowa State when they gather at 5 p.m. today in Allen Fieldhouse to watch CBS-TV’s NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday show.
What’s done is done — good and bad — regarding the 2013-14 regular season and conference tournament, as there’s new life, so to speak, entering the 2014 postseason.
“It’s the same way even if you win the (Big 12) tournament on Saturday. By Sunday at 5, it doesn’t matter. It’s over,” KU coach Bill Self said.
“A couple years ago, we lost to Baylor in the second round and had a pretty good run in the (NCAA) tournament after that and made it to the finals (losing to Kentucky in 2012 title game). In all honesty, it’s time to really try to have some fun and do something to prolong our season as long as we possibly can.”
KU sophomore Perry Ellis has enjoyed one Selection Sunday as a college player.
Is it one of the most exciting days of the season?
“It is,” Ellis said. “To see where we are at ... to see who we get to play, it is.”
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi on Saturday had KU as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest regional, ticketed for a second-round game against Milwaukee in St. Louis. He has the winner of that game playing hometown school Saint Louis or Iowa for the right to go to the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis.
Self was asked if it would be better for his 24-9 squad to be a “high 2-seed” than the last of the No. 1s.
“We’re not going to be a 1,” Self said, “so I’m going to tell you it’s definitely better since we’re not going to be a 1. We played a really good schedule, and who knows if we’ll be a 2? We’re not going to be disappointed with whatever happens.”
Lunardi’s 1 seeds as of Saturday were Florida, Arizona, Wichita State and Michigan. The 2 seeds were Villanova, Wisconsin, Duke and KU.
The 3s were Virginia, Creighton, Syracuse and Iowa State, with Louisville curiously all the way on the 4 line.
Obviously, some of those slots could change by 5 p.m. today. In fact, Villanova is being touted as a No. 1 in some circles. Also, Arizona lost in the Pac-12 semifinals Saturday.
“Honestly, I have no clue where they will put us,” Ellis said. “I mean, this (regular) season is over. There’s nothing we can do now. It’s wherever they put us we have to be ready to compete and play wherever we play.”
Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor said he spends no time considering the possibilities.
“I don’t really know. I’m not into that,” Traylor said. “I’m just going to watch it and see where we are and then get ready to play our schedule out. Wherever they put us, we have to play hard and win every game.”
Junior point guard Naadir Tharpe said the important thing is to treat the postseason as the most important segment of the year.
“We have to let this go,” he said of a setback in which Iowa State hit 11 threes and shot 54 percent overall in a 94-83 victory over KU. “We have Sunday coming up, Selection Sunday, and we have to move forward from there. We can’t let this game drag. It’s a new day tomorrow, and we still know we can make things happen.”
Despite having nine losses, “I definitely feel we are one of the best teams,” Ellis said. “It’s a mental-type thing with this team. If we go out and believe and are energized while playing, good things happen. We have to learn to consistently do that.”
Still an elite team: As of Friday, ESPN’s Jay Bilas had KU as his fifth-ranked team in the country.
“Kansas is a contender because the Jayhawks can score and protect the rim with (the injured) Joel Embiid in the paint. When he isn’t on the court, it’s a big difference,” Bilas wrote at ESPN.com. “Overall, Kansas allows only 9.4 second-chance points per game, fewest in the Big 12. Additionally, Kansas shoots 49.8 percent from the floor, fourth-best in the nation, but gets spotty play at point guard. When Naadir Tharpe plays well — and he has played really well at times this season — Kansas wins. The Jayhawks have won six games against the Sagarin top 25 and 12 games against the top 50.”
Recruiting: JaQuan Lyle, a 6-5 senior shooting guard from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, has a final list of Memphis, Oklahoma State and Oregon, he reported Saturday on Twitter. Lyle, who is ranked No. 22 in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com, made an official recruiting visit to KU for the KU-Oklahoma game on Feb. 24. Zagsblog.com said KU recently dropped Lyle as a recruit. ... KU signees Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre have been named to the 20-player Parade All-America team.
Wiggins all-tourney: KU’s Andrew Wiggins on Saturday was named to the Big 12 tournament all-tourney team. He was joined by most outstanding player DeAndre Kane (Iowa State), plus ISU’s Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang and Baylor’s Isaiah Austin.