After falling to Iowa State on Friday night, Kansas went from having an outside chance at grabbing the last one seed in the NCAA Tournament to being as low as a three seed. In the end, the Jayhawks earned a two seed in the tough South bracket of the tournament and will begin play Friday afternoon in St. Louis against Eastern Kentucky.
Kansas finds itself in a tough bracket with number one overall seed Florida and third seeded Syracuse, with fourth seeded UCLA, fifth seed VCU and sixth seed Ohio State following. It's a tough bracket, but will make for entertaining battles. Overall, count the Jayhawks as happy with their standing.
"Of course we're happy with being a No. 2 seed, no question about that," head coach Bill Self said. "But, I thought that we were really close to being a 1 seed, too. Because of the way things played out and our RPI and our BPI, I looked today and I think we were 3 (RPI) and 5 (BPI) and we had 12 wins against the top 50, where some of the other teams they were considering had five or six."
Should the Jayhawks down 15th seeded Eastern Kentucky on Friday, a potential rematch with seventh seed New Mexico could loom on Sunday. Kansas defeated the Lobos in Kansas City in mid-December. Their seeding has Self somewhat perplexed.
"Yeah, they beat San Diego State in their tournament on a neutral floor and San Diego State is a No. 4 seed, and we saw how good San Diego State was," Self said. "Of course, we played good against them (New Mexico) and made shots in the Sprint Center, and their guard, (Hugh) Greenwood, if I'm not mistaken, was playing with a broken hand then, and their big kid (Alex Kirk) got two quick fouls in the first three minutes, which kind of changed things. We were fortunate."
"I hope we have an opportunity to advance because whoever we play there, (10th seeded) Stanford or New Mexico, would be obviously a very, very tough opponent. But our focus just needs to be on obviously Eastern Kentucky and defending the three point line."
Being seeded second has been kind to the Jayhawks of late. In 2012, Kansas rode the two seed all the way to the National Championship game. Along the way, they won the Regional in St. Louis, though those games were played inside the Edward Jones Dome. This weekend's contests will be played in the more intimate Scottrade Center, home of the NHL's St. Louis Blues. This year's regional will be held inside Memphis' FedEx Forum.