Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jayhawks currently a 2 seed in eyes of NCAA Tournament selection committee

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) flexes after a bucket from reserve guard Chris Teahan during the second half on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) flexes after a bucket from reserve guard Chris Teahan during the second half on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


If the 2018 NCAA Tournament began today, the Kansas Jayhawks would be a No. 2 seed in the West region.

That was the message sent by this year's selection committee, which on Sunday revealed the top four seeds in each region, as things stand today, during an afternoon special on CBS Sports.

The Jayhawks were pegged as the second No. 2 seed in the bracket — sixth overall — and were sent to the Los Angeles region, where Purdue resided as the No. 1 seed.

Both teams are among the strongest in the Midwest but were sent west by the committee because of where they fell in the bracket. The Boilermakers were the No. 4 overall seed and the Jayhawks were put with them to balance out the bracket, according to Bruce Rasmussen, who chairs the committee.

Here's a quick look at all of the seeds revealed on Sunday:

1 seeds – Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue

2 seeds – Auburn, Kansas, Cincinnati, Duke

3 seeds – Texas Tech, Michigan State, Clemson, North Carolina

4 seeds – Tennessee, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Arizona

Rasmussen joined host Greg Gumble and analysts Seth Davis and Clark Kellogg in revealing the projected Top 16 teams in this year's NCAA Tournament and the committee held a 90-minute conference call Saturday night to finalize their thoughts one month ahead of the real selection show, which is slated for 5 p.m. on March 11.

“The committee was pretty strong in their consensus of the No. 1 seeds,” Rasmussen said. “But there was a lot of dialogue all the way through the first quadrant because the teams are so close, it's paper thin.”

Davis and Kellogg both whole-heartedly agreed with the No. 1 seeds as they stand today and added that it was hard for them to see anyone cracking into the Top 4 during the next four weeks. They did not, however, say it was impossible.

“The sleeper team to get to the 1 line is Texas Tech,” Davis said, noting their current standing in the Big 12 and potential to pick up another big time win, when they face KU at home on Feb. 24.

“The Red Raiders, to me, are a very interesting group,” added Kellogg. “Because they're older, they're very experienced, they're deep, they defend, they score in different ways. I really think this Texas Tech team is one to really keep an eye on no matter what it looks like a month from now when we reveal the bracket.”

As for Kansas' standing as a No. 2 seed, the Jayhawks currently have nine Quadrant 1 victories — tied with Villanova for the most in the country — and still have an impressive overall resume despite their recent struggles.

“People might say Kansas has six losses, Duke has five losses, but it's not just what happened in the past couple of weeks,” Davis said. “All those wins that those teams racked up in November still matter.”

Sunday marked the second consecutive year that the NCAA Tournament selection committee has provided a sneak peek of sorts into its thinking about the most popular bracket in all of sports.

While none of what was revealed on Sunday is binding in any way, it provides a blueprint for where things stand and gives teams both on the list of 16 and off of it an idea of what needs to be done to either improve or secure their seed the rest of the month.

For Kansas (19-6 overall, 8-4 Big 12), that merely means winning. Whether they win the Big 12 for a 14th consecutive season or not, the Jayhawks appear to be in good shape for at least a 2 or 3 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament provided they can work through their current issues and win four or five of their final six games.

Their first opportunity comes Tuesday night, when the Jayhawks head north to Ames, Iowa, for a showdown with Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum.

After that, the Jayhawks will return to Allen Fieldhouse for arguably their two biggest games of the season — Saturday vs. West Virginia, with ESPN's College Gameday in the house, and Monday, Feb. 19 for a rematch with Trae Young and Oklahoma.

From there, the Jayhawks head to Lubbock, Texas, for that showdown with Texas Tech and close the season at home against Texas on Feb. 26 and at Oklahoma State on March 3.

With three of those games on the road — and wins in all of them going a long way toward helping KU win the Big 12 — the Jayhawks still have as much to play for as anyone out there and can either solidify or improve their seed in the eyes of the committee with a strong finish.

“The amazing stat on the No. 1 line (is) those four teams are 40-8 away from home,” Rasmussen said. “The one major change (from last year) is we do a better job of recognizing wins away from home.”


Bryce Landon 4 years, 5 months ago

NCAA must be feeling pretty generous. We may be 19-6, but the way we lost our 6 games does not make us look like 2-seed material. Maybe a 3 or 4 seed.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 5 months ago

Bryce, I totally agree. this looks like one of those Golden Glove MLB awards that go to a player whose been brilliant for a long time but, even though he has a season where he truly doesn't deserve it, the carry over gets him a bonus award.

By March, we will be lucky to be a three!! By the way, it's almost a guarantee that Missouri will be in our regional no matter where we are. The networks have been dying to do this for years; it's just that now Missouri is finally good enough to make the field.

Steve Johnson 4 years, 5 months ago

You nailed it, noway this team is a 2. TT should be a 2

Allan Olson 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Bryce on the 3-4 seed. With Texas Tech as a 1 and Oklahoma as a 3, overall strength of BIG 12 equates KU as a 2. However, if that's the math, any further stumbles below conference 2nd place, should moves us down accordingly. Ergo a 3 or 4 seed. I also just can't see how this year's team's overall fragile/inconsistent performances at home rated such a high seeding. In my opinion our odds of defeating any of the other 15 listed teams through to the Elite Eight is very suspect. I am still a rabid fan and always want the best results. But I am a realist as well, and this seeding now is not reasonable. Any seed in the top 4 of each region will be wonderful. Then the guys have to get their minds ready to play smart, team basketball, and let the chips fall where they may.

Craig Carson 4 years, 5 months ago

with the free fall OU is in, the only way the get a 3 is if they win out..right now, they look to be a 6 or 7 seed..the glare and hype of the early season OU has faded away

Tony Bandle 4 years, 5 months ago

Reasons for the Down Season[short form]:

1] Preston absence.

2] Preston absence distractions.

3] Transfers transferring

4] League Parity.

5] Not enough players.

6] Not enough heart in the players left.

7] 14 is the loneliest number you'll ever do.

8] Scoring-challenged bench.

9] A very offensive defense.

10] Sometimes, you just have to say, what the F##K!!

Len Shaffer 4 years, 5 months ago

Love your list, Tony, and number 7 is very funny!

I think we're all realistic enough at this point to not expect this year's KU team to do much in the tournament. But how great would it be if this were one of those teams that somehow manages to put it all together and make a long run? It would certainly be a lot more exciting than most years because of how little we expect.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, for #10, here's a thumb-up for your post..

1,2 - how do you guarantee Preston would be enjoying more than 1-2 minutes PT?

5 - it's a myth, we've got Sam - remember, it was all over the news when he finally suited up? we've got Silvio, again.. re-classified recruit highly anticipated by many.

8 - depending who's benched: Newman? Vick? Garrett? Lightfoot? Some games, the bench scores double digit. Thin bench, I'm talking about. Not the under-1 minute ones.

Craig Carson 4 years, 5 months ago

IMO, #1 was the catalyst to all of KU's problems this year...Self was coming into this season planning on playing 2 bigs, then suddenly he found himself down to 1 big..he had to redesign the offense in the 1st game if the year..bench scoring may not have been an issue with Newman or Vick coming off the bench..Their depth would have been better, defense would have been better, rebounding would have been better

Bryce Landon 4 years, 5 months ago

The 1988 team had the national player of the year and #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft in Danny Manning. No one on this team comes close to being either of those things.

Brad Avery 4 years, 5 months ago

After KU's performance against Baylor, I will be happy if they make the tournament, much less a two seed. Not much about this team that is clicking, and this late in the season, that's a bad sign.

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 5 months ago

Clearly the long grind is wearing them down. Not enough players in the rotation is killing our starters. They just don't have much juice left.

Armen Kurdian 4 years, 5 months ago

What's going to give this team a fighting chance next month is speed. Without speed, we are toast. We are weak defensively, and win our games by having to outscore the opponent, i.e., w need the outside shot this year unlike in previous years.

KU needs to add another dimension to their game. I don't see them improving that much defensively. We need transition baskets, and we need help in transition, how many times have we had a fastbreak where we got blocked on the other end, or missed the layup w/no help to clean it up?

Maybe it's also a testament to the weakness, relatively speaking, of everyone off the 1-line. If a lot of teams are having a slightly off year, that mitigates some of our struggles.

Brad Watson 4 years, 5 months ago

I see us as a 5 as of today...we win our final 6 games and the Big 12 Tournament..... then we are a 2....we haven't shown the consistent play to be a 2 right now..

Craig Carson 4 years, 5 months ago

I love my KU Jayhawks, but I gotta be honest, this isnt a 2 seed type of team...I wouldnt put them above a 5..4 if Im feeling generous..They have probably another 3-4 losses in them before the NCAA..I cant see them beating TTU in Lubbock and no remaining home game is a lock..WVU and OU are gonna come in desperate..Im not even picking them Tuesday at ISU, especially seeing how narrowly they beat them in AFH

Tony Bandle 4 years, 5 months ago

I can't believe I am saying this but maybe Bill should just bite the bullet and go zone for the rest of the year:

1] Will cut down penetration moves.

2] Will help hold down fouls.

3] Will be less taxing on this very short rotation.

4] Players are in better screen off position for defensive rebounds.

5] Will slow down opponent offenses into a half court set.

6] Still might not be enough but it can't be any worse than the defense is right now!!!

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 5 months ago

It's hard to replace the consensus #1 basketball player of the year.

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