The many of the nation’s top programs losing this week, it seems as though the Kansas Jayhawks have earned the right to be mentioned amongst the top few teams in the country.
The No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers, No. 3 Duke Blue Devils, No. 4 Michigan Wolverines and No. 8 Florida Gators all lost conference games this week and Duke will host the No. 5 Miami (FL) Hurricanes on Saturday as well.
With all the ups and downs of this basketball season, one thing is clear, anything is possible and nothing is for certain.
However, as much as death and taxes are a guaranteed, so are the Jayhawks being atop the Big 12 standings and being one of the top teams in the nation.
The Jayhawks are looking for their ninth straight regular season conference title and only the West Virginia Mountaineers, Texas Tech Red Raiders and Baylor Bears stand in their way. With Oklahoma State and Kansas State scheduled for another regular season game, the Jayhawks seem to be in good shape having split with Oklahoma State and swept Kansas State in their regular season series.
The question for the Jayhawks is not so much will they win the Big 12, but will they be in the hunt for a number one seed when the tournament brackets are announced.
Let’s look at what we know. By the end of the week, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will be the new No. 1 team in the land, sporting a 28-2 overall record and a perfect 15-0 mark in the West Coast Conference, and are a sure lock for a one seed.
The Big 10 is so strong from top to bottom that the Hoosiers have earned a one seed, despite losses seemingly every time they earn back the top ranking.
The Hurricanes with a win against Duke on Saturday will assure themselves a top seed. If they lose against Duke, Duke could grab the one seed back, however the No. 7 ranked Georgetown Hoyas are one of the nation’s hottest teams and if they win the Big East regular season title, they have to be rewarded, no matter how they finish in the Big East Tournament.
That leaves the last spot for the Jayhawks. No team is more poised to make a deep NCAA Tournament run, they have responded well after their three-game losing streak and have the senior experience, a freshman sensation and a great head coach to pass the “eye-test” as to what number one seeds look like.
Rest assured Kansas will be a number one seed as long as they take care of business.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo