Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Big 12 tournament up for grabs in K.C.

Kansas head coach Bill Self protests a call against the Jayhawks during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas head coach Bill Self protests a call against the Jayhawks during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.


— Top-seeded Kansas University goes into the Big 12 tournament favored to win but with much to lose.

Colorado and Nebraska, in the final hours of their Big 12 membership, both have much to gain.

For fired-but-still-working Pat Knight, the four-day event in downtown Kansas City is an opportunity to extend his time as Texas Tech’s coach by at least one game.

And besides all that, the last Big 12 tournament that will actually have 12 teams should be wide open.

“Certainly this year, there’s so many teams out there with so much to play for, it should be as competitive as any tournament we’ve had,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.

The No. 2 Jayhawks (29-2), the conference regular-season champions for the seventh year in a row, figure to already own a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tourney. But if they should stumble and lose on Thursday morning to the winner of today’s Nebraska-Oklahoma State matchup, they could get pushed down a line, depending on what happens at other conference tourneys.

“To me, the conference tournaments aren’t as important as the regular season,” Self said. “What it does is give everybody hope. It gives everybody incentive to play for. I know it’s not the most important thing, from our standpoint, as the NCAA tournament. But still yet, it is our league and it is our conference championship and any time you lace ’em up you want to try to play your best.”

Knight was fired by Texas Tech on Monday after going 50-60 in three seasons. The Red Raiders (13-18) will have a bevy of seniors line up against sixth-seeded Missouri (22-9) in the last game tonight.

“This is about the seniors,” Knight said. “Hopefully, I’m going to coach again. But we’ve got some seniors, and this could be their last game or last couple of games.”


okjhok 11 years, 3 months ago

"Top-seeded Kansas University goes into the Big 12 tournament favored to win but with much to lose."

Don't see this to be the case. Even losing one more game, and finishing 29-3, isn't our #1 RPI (which could change slightly with another loss) and #12 SOS enough to guarantee a 1-seed. I certainly would think so.

On selection Sunday, I'll be more interested to see how the 2 and 3-seeds shake out than the 1-seeds. KU, OSU, and Pitt appear to be locks. I think Duke still has the West #1, but will need to win the ACC, which I think they will. If not, maybe ND.

Michael Auchard 11 years, 3 months ago

Curious what RPI you follow, as I watch and we don't have nearly those gaudy numbers. I trust Pomeroy over any other guru, he has the best track record I've seen.

Still, I think you're right. I do think we only need to win the first game, worst-case scenario, to maintain a 1 seed.

Mainly because the East Coast Bias would raise its ugly head again if we didn't win. Even with a first-round loss, our body of work would be amazing if we played in Carolina or New York. Or, Bristol, Connecticut.

Kye Clark 11 years, 3 months ago

I go to CBS sports and their RPI numbers are in line with okjhok. RPI and SOS are pretty straight forward formulas, so not sure how much they'd change. What I can tell you is anytime ESPN flashes RPI and SOS numbers up during games they're always in line with what CBS has, so given that I'm assuming that's what the selection committee uses.

klineisanazi 11 years, 3 months ago

Most commonly "RPI" refers to the formula used by the NCAA selection committee to evaluate a team's record vs. its strength of schedule. The NCAA posts the RPI every week, and in the most recent, KU is indeed "#1". KenPom's ratings are a combination of strength of schedule and offensive/defensive efficiency. Interesting and perhaps more accurate, but not what most commonly refer to as "RPI'"

okjhok 11 years, 3 months ago

I like Pomeroy as well, but think its paralysis by analysis sometimes. In line with that thinking, and somewhat contradictory to my first comment, these stats don't tell us everything. I, like many of the other college ball watchers out there, like the eye ball test best. I've seen all the big dogs play this year, except Pitt. The only squad that I think can hang with KU when its playing its best is OSU, and that's only if OSU is playing its best.
What KU has over every other team this year is its bench, and I'm not talking about going 10 or 11 deep, which KU also can do better than anyone else. I'm talking about the top 8. KU legitimately has more "starters" than any other team in the country.

Dale Kroening 11 years, 3 months ago

We are 1st in RPI and 2nd in KenPom. Not sure what your point is ?

Laura Hrabak 11 years, 3 months ago

Actually in Kenpom were number 2 overall, 4th best offense and 7th best defense. So O a, confused what kenpom you follow, we are #1 in the ESPN insider RPI as well.

KU 11 years, 3 months ago

My eyeball test tells me there are at least 5 or 6 teams that are equal to or better on any given night compared to KU. The statistics are skewed. There's no way they can tell the whole story. If KU were in the Big East, we would not be 29-2 right now. Some of the Big East teams' stats aren't quite as gaudy as KU's because of the level of competition.

On the other hand, if KU were in the ACC this year, we may be 29-2 (with perhaps a series split with Duke and UNC), but our stats would be even gaudier than they are playing in the Big 12 because the ACC is horrible this year. So, Duke and Carolina's stats may be a little padded in the national ratings because of their relatively weak conference.

I do agree with you that OSU looks very, very tough. And the Big 10 is having a pretty strong year, despite Izzo's team struggling.

My degree of confidence in RPI or Sagarin or Pomeroy is this--They probably have the top 10 teams pegged, but not necessarily in the correct order.

David Brown 11 years, 3 months ago

At least there is a tournament in basketball. No stupid voting process. Thank goodness there are no basketball "bowl committee's" looking out for their own interests (and $$$$$). Well, except for CBS.

So regardless of what numbers from which website, the tournament will determine the winner. Simple. Fair.

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 3 months ago

I think win or lose we are a #1 seed, going to Tulsa.

I also think OSU is a lock and Pitt are locks.

The committee has always valued the regular season, and doesn't really emphasize the conference tourneys. These are just last ditch efforts for teams to get an impressive win or win the tourney for an autobid.

I think there are four teams vying for the last #1 seed and those are Duke, BYU, Notre Dame, San Diego State.

Since Duke lost the ACC championship, they opened the door for BYU again, personally I think Duke will get it. BYU will have to show that it can win without Davies and a win over New Mexico (their nemesis this year) and SDSU would give them proof that they could win without Davies. But usually it has been decided before the conference championship.

If I was a betting man...the following would be my #1 and #2 seeds

East - Newark

1OSU (and overall #1 seed) - #2 UNC

Southwest - San Antonio

1KU and #2 BYU

Southeast - New Orleans

1Pitt and #2 ND

West - Anaheim

1 Duke and #2 Purdue

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 3 months ago

Oops I meant ND in the west and Purdue in the Southeast...sorry.

Rob Wempe 11 years, 3 months ago

For selfish reasons, I want KU to come West since they will have to go to Anaheim. I live in Phoenix and would definitely make it there for the weekend!

phillyh3 11 years, 3 months ago

BYU couldnt be in the southwest since they don't play on sundays

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

If Pitt is a #1 and ND a #2 they will send them to different regions as they are both Big East. Now I see your correction above.

I look for BYU to drop to a #3 unless they win their tournament.

UNC might also be a #3 unless they win the ACC Tournament.

San Diego State may be a #2 assuming they win their tournament. In any event look for them to be in the West regional. Small schools without a traveling crowd are often seeded in their home region if #1 or #2. The committee seems also to like to ambush a #1 by sending them into the West against a strong #2.

REHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

KC Star just reported that Perry Jones of Baylor suspended for taking illegal benfits. Wonder if the Bears will have to forfeit some wins?

HawkBBall 11 years, 3 months ago

No. Offense(s) occurred pre-enrollment.

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

I find it perfect that we get the likely opportunity to play both K-State and Texas in this tournament. This time on a neutral court (ha)! Any advantage is all good to me.

I also like getting sent as a #1 seed to the Southwest this year. This means Texas will be sent elsewhere and KU has an opportunity to play the entire tournament in Big-XII country - Tulsa, San Antonio and Houston if we can win the first four.

11 years, 3 months ago

Help! I'm stuck at work and would like to watch streaming video coverage of the game at 11:30 this morning - where can I find that? Thanks in advance -

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