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A look at where Kansas is placed in a variety of mock brackets
A new weekly feature here is going to be Bracketology Roundup, a look at where the various mock brackets have Kansas seeded, playing, and whom they could go up against in the course of their trek to the Final Four. If you know of a bracket that I missed please put it in the comments or email it to me at fetch9 at gmail dot com. Let's get to it.
College Basketball Talk (NBC)
NBC has Kansas placed as the second #1 seed in the South, technically in Arlington, Texas. I have more than a few worries about trying to play NCAA Tournament games in Cowboys Stadium, but going from Kansas City to Arlington is as good of a path as we could possibly hope for.
As for potential opponents, a general theme is that Kansas wants to avoid opponents who can stay away from Jeff Withey. This means either teams who have multiple big men who can shoot, or teams who shoot (and make) a lot of threes. This means the good teams we'd like to avoid in the later rounds if possible are Duke, Michigan, Indiana, and Creighton, all of whom rank in the top 10 in three point shooting. However, Duke and Indiana don't take many threes as a part of their offense (as you can imagine with Plumlee and Zeller) so them as opponents is a bit less worrisome.
Anyways, NBC has Kansas matching up with either Pitt and Colorado in the round of 32, then either an Ohio State rematch or a rematch of last year's Sweet 16 win over NC State (though call me crazy, but I think the committee would be much more likely to flip Ohio State and Missouri in that bracket to give us a shot at a border war) and then hopefully an Elite 8 matchup that would come against Indiana or Creighton. It's worth noting that that is 3 of the 10 best three point shooting teams that Kansas could have to go through, but really only Creighton shoots a lot of them.
Our very own bracketology has the Jayhawks as the second #1 seed, again taking the KC ---> Arlington ---> Atlanta route, but this bracket provides a much tougher road. For one, Georgetown in the second round is no picnic with how well they defend and the fact that Otto Porter is basically the prototypical big man to play against this Kansas team. The other note is that Louisville would be the two seed, and although Luke Winn has them as his title pick, I am still not sure. Russ Smith has been great, but he hasn't been defended by Travis Releford, and he literally is their offense. The Cardinals don't shoot the three often or well, and even if Smith (or Siva) can get to the rim, there's some Withey guy there to protect it. The bigger worry will be whether Kansas can take care of the ball well enough to score, but that's for another day.
Jerry Palm's weekly bracket has the Jayhawks - hey look at that - as the #1 seed going from Kansas City to Arlington to hopefully Atlanta. This bracket, honestly, is pretty easy until the Elite 8. The big problem comes then, with a matchup against Florida. If Florida ends up being a 2 seed, they'll likely end up in Arlington because of geography, but fortunately I think they will end up taking Arizona's spot as a #1 seed, even though they lost to them. Florida is the absolute last team I want to see Kansas play. Despite losses to inferior teams like Arizona and Kansas State, and the fact that I think KenPom is overrating them a bit thanks to wins over teams like Middle Tennessee State and Wisconsin, who are highly ranked in KenPom but don't have a lot of talent, the Gators are among the best teams in the nation.
Andy Glockner is my favorite of the bracketologists (partially because he is a nice guy and partially because he is good and partially because he gives Kansas some good matchups), and this week he has the most different of the brackets, giving Butler a 2 seed.
As for the Jayhawks, the usual suspects of Ohio State and NC State and Creighton are there, with Louisville as the two seed. Oh and of course, Kansas City to Arlington.
Because there's really nothing new to cover, I'll just toss this last tidbit here: barring a collapse in Big 12 play, Kansas is basically a lock for a #1 seed. I hate the RPI as a metric, but they are currently 3rd and have the most top 50 wins. They also are (probably) going to win the Big 12 and have only 2 or 3 losses in conference, and even in a relatively down Big 12 that is going to be enough to get a #1 seed fairly easily. Obviously they need to take care of business, but they'll for sure be looking at two Kansas City games to begin their journey, and then hopefully Arlington and then on to Atlanta.