Kansas can rest easy knowing they've positioned themselves as the top overall seed for the NCAA Tournament, but should they?
Kansas hit the 2000 win mark with a victory over a pesky Red Raiders squad on Thursday morning and heads into the Big 12 semifinals against the Aggies of A&M. So what's at stake for the Jayhawks at this point? Is there anything to gain?
On Tuesday the NCAA saw Syracuse drop their 2nd game in a row and potentially worse, one of their marquee big men. A week ago the talking heads were singing the praises of Jim Boeheim and the Orange after getting swept up in the media circus of "the largest crowd ever to see a game". Today they sit at 28-4 and out of the Big East tournament in the quarterfinals. Syracuse is no doubt a very good team, but at this point one would think they'll be A #1 seed but probably not THE #1 seed.
Friday the Kentucky Wildcats will take to the court in the SEC tournament as likely the only remaining threat to Kansas' #1 overall seeding. The Wildcats have had a great season, 29-2 in the SEC and put as much talent as anyone on the basketball court. Still there isn't much many believe they can do to surpass Kansas for the top overall spot.
So with #1, #2 and #3 all likely set, what's to gain if you're Kansas? The Jayhawks likely already find themselves the beneficiary of the muddied waters that make up the pool of potentials for the fourth #1. Two more days of games is two more days of tiring legs in Kansas City? Is it all a waste?
I don't think so. Kansas can come out use these final two games as no pressure scenario's to find their stride. Consistency has been the biggest concern all year and come next Thursday inconsistency will kill a team's hopes at a title in a heartbeat. Kansas has the opportunity to square off against A&M, a likely 5-7 seed, and then possibly Kansas State for the third time this season. If there has been one team that has brought the best out of Kansas, or at least the most fight, it's been Kansas State. Get to the finals, win the finals and use the next two days to make your last minute adjustments for the final six.
Kansas is in a no lose situation. They've got everything of importance wrapped up in the estimation of many. Play loose, have fun and find the passion that wins championships, that's what's at stake for the Jayhawks.