The next few days will be about Big 12 basketball and the end of season tournament in Kansas City. Of course all of that culminates with one of those unofficial holiday's for sports fans, that being selection Sunday. By all accounts the Jayhawks are a lock for a no. 1 seed at this point with trips to Tulsa and San Antonio preceding what everyone hopes will be a trip to Houston.
While it's been pointed out that winning a Big 12 Tournament championship is always a goal, what other teams might Jayhawk fans keep an eye on headed into Selection Sunday? What do the "bracketologists" have to say about the Kansas draw, possible matchups and any interesting storylines that might unfold with the unveiling of the brackets on in just a few days?
First and foremost it's been a bit funny to watch the bracketology world evolve from the days where this slightly chubby Joe Lunardi was the only game in town to a time where bracketology almost feels like a legitimate science.
In terms of an in season bracketology the tendency is to update weekly but during this "championship" week the changes come fast and furious as those teams that are battling for seeding either provide a good showing or a bad showing in their respective conference tourney's. And of course there are the bubble busters.
Using the Big 12 as an example, you have roughly four or five teams that are playing for seed.
Texas #2/#3 Kansas State #5-#7(?) Texas A&M #4-#6 Missouri #8-#10
Colorado would be your fifth but they haven't been included because they are still very much playing to get in.
Stories like this will be playing out all over the country this week and how that affects Kansas is in the likely draw that the Jayhawks will receive. Certainly no one can account for blatant bias by the committee, but a look at a few bracketology scenario's laid out there at the moment might give some hints to the Jayhawk path to Houston.
ESPN - Kansas #1 Southwest (Path: Tulsa, San Antonio, Houston)
2nd round matchup against winner of Utah State v Gonzaga
Possible sweet 16 matchup against #4 Connecticut or #5 Wisconsin
Bottom half of the bracket includes #2 North Carolina, #3 San Diego State, #6 Vandy, #7 Villanova
Watchout for Bucknell as a possible #13. Not sure if they are any good, but I don't like seeing that name.
Lunardi's other #1's Ohio State, Duke, Pitt
Beyond The Arc - Kansas #1 Southwest (Path: Tulsa, San Antonio, Houston)
2nd round matchup against winner of Utah State and Tennessee
Possible Sweet 16 matchup against #4 St. Johns or #5 Xavier
Bottom Half of the bracket includes #2 San Diego State, #3 Purdue, #6 Cincinnati, #7 Villanova
Watchout for Michigan State at the #12. It's been a tough year but Izzo seems to have a rabbit in the hat come March
Other #1's Ohio State, Notre Dame, Pitt
SBNation's Bracketology - Kansas #1 Southwest (Path: Tulsa, San Antonio, Houston)
2nd round matchup against winner of George Mason and Tennessee
Possible Sweet 16 matchup against #4 Louisville or #5 Arizona
Bottom Half of the bracket includes #2 Purdue, #3 North Carolina, #6 Georgetown, #7 UNLV
Other #1's Ohio State, Notre Dame, Pitt
Some common points:
- Two brackets currently have Notre Dame as the fourth #1 with ESPN(shocking!) the lone holdout for Duke. Obviously I think Notre Dame has to go deep in the Big East tourney to make it happen but I'd say they have EVERY bit the argument that Duke has at this point.
- Carolina and Purdue showing up as the #2 or #3 in two brackets. Just a prediction but the ease of the ACC might have inflated Carolina's profile more than necessary but Purdue is a team that would be an interesting matchup.
- Villanova as the #7 in two of the three. Not a huge deal but a common point.
- Also worth noting that MWC San Diego State shows up in two brackets. Again nothing going with this matchup until the Elite Eight, but Kansas fans have appeared welcoming of that potential challenge.
What's the preference? Come selection Sunday which bracket do you want to see? Do you go for the easier path to the second weekend that might be provided in SBNation's version? Does the softer #4/#5 in Beyond the Arc seem more appealing? Or do you go with Lunardi's scenario that lays out a difficult path for Kansas but certainly forces the Jayhawks to battle hard or go home?