It’s Selection Sunday, and the question on everyone’s mind is: where will the Jayhawks end up? Here’s a look at some of the most likely scenarios.
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The Jayhawks’ Record
The Jayhawks are currently 26-3 and ranked #1 in the AP Poll. They have won 14 consecutive games, and their last loss was to Iowa State on January 27th. Kansas has won the Big 12 regular season title for the 14th consecutive year. They are the favorites to win the Big 12 tournament and are expected to be a top seed in the NCAA tournament.
Their Overall Record
The Jayhawks have an impressive 27-3 record heading into the NCAA tournament. They are led by player of the year candidate Devonte’ Graham, who is averaging 17.3 points and 7.2 assists per game. The Jayhawks also have one of the best defenses in the country, allowing just 64.3 points per game.
Kansas is currently ranked #1 in the AP poll and they are a heavy favorite to win the NCAA tournament. They will most likely be a #1 seed in the tournament and they will have a great chance to make it to the Final Four.
Their Record in the Big 12
The Jayhawks finished the season with a 13-5 record in Big 12 play, good for second place in the conference standings behind Baylor. Kansas lost to Baylor in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament and will enter the NCAA tournament as a No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region. The Jayhawks will take on No. 13 Eastern Washington in the first round of the tournament on Thursday, March 19.
Their NCAA Tournament History
The Jayhawks have been a part of the NCAA tournament 31 times and have made it to the Final Four 14 times. They have won the tournament 3 times, with their most recent victory coming in 2008. They have also been the runner up 4 times.
Their Recent History
In the last ten years, Kansas has made the NCAA tournament nine times. They have been a number one seed six times, a two seed three times, and a four seed once. They have advanced to the Elite Eight five times and the Final Four four times. They won the National Championship in 2008.
Their Overall History
Since the NCAA Tournament began in 1939, Kansas has been a part of it 27 times, tied for the 10th most all time. They have appeared in the tournament as a No. 1 seed 18 times, tied for the second most behind only Kentucky.
Kansas has made it to the Sweet Sixteen 37 times and the Elite Eight 25 times. They have made it to the Final Four 14 times and have won the NCAA Tournament 3 times, most recently in 2008. They have also won 2 National Invitation Tournaments (NIT), most recently in 1999.
Their Chances This Year
This year, the Jayhawks are predicted to be a 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. Their recent loss to Baylor put them at 21-10 on the season, which is not as good as their record was last year. Nevertheless, they are still one of the top teams in the country. They have a chance to improve their seeding by winning the Big 12 tournament.
As the Jayhawks are currently projected as a No. 4 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament, they have a very good chance of making it to the Sweet Sixteen and even the Elite Eight. However, their chances of winning the whole thing are slim, as they would likely have to go through several tough teams, including Duke, Gonzaga, or Virginia, all of whom are projected to be No. 1 seeds.
Their Potential Matchups
As of right now, the Jayhawks are projected to be a 4-seed in the Midwest region of the NCAA Tournament. This would put them up against 13-seeded Northeastern in the first round, with the winner most likely playing 5-seeded Auburn in the second round. From there, it gets murkier. If Kansas were to win those first two games, they would most likely play top-seeded Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen. The Jayhawks have beaten some good teams this year (including then-ranked #1 Duke), so they have shown that they can hang with anyone in the country. However, Kentucky is on another level and would be a tough out for Kansas.
Looking at some other potential matchups, if the Jayhawks were to drop to a 5-seed, they could end up playing 12-seeded New Mexico State in the first round. This is a team that Kansas should be able to handle, but they would then most likely have to play 4-seeded Iowa State in the second round, which would be a tough game. Another possibility is that Kansas could end up as a 6-seed, which would put them up against 11-seed St. Bonaventure in the first round. The Bonnies are a good team, but Kansas should be able to win that game and then potentially play 3-seed Houston in the second round.
All of these are just potential matchups and it is impossible to say for sure where Kansas will end up or who they will play. However, regardless of their seed or their opponent, the Jayhawks will be a team to watch come NCAA Tournament time.