NCAA: If tournament bracket were picked today, no KU or K-State in Kansas City

By Blair Kerkhoff bkerkhoff@kcstar.com

If the NCAA Tournament bracket was selected on Saturday, Kansas would not be placed in the Midwest Regional, which concludes with Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games at the Sprint Center.

The Jayhawks would be a No. 3 seed in the West.

That was part of the bracket preview Saturday, which revealed the top 16 overall seeds. Selection committee chairman Bernard Muir said Kansas wasn’t shipped out to avoid a geographic advantage. Any top-four seed in a region qualifies for geographic preference.

“Kansas could go there (to Kansas City),” Muir said. “We were trying to balance the entire bracket.”

Every team in the tournament is seeded 1-68. In this bracket preview, Kansas was the 10th team overall. The committee considers a balanced bracket to have no more than a five-point separation between the highest and lowest total among the four regions.

The No. 1 regional seeds in order were Duke, Tennessee, Virginia and Gonzaga. Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan and Michigan State were the No. 2 seeds. Joining Kansas as third seeds were Purdue, Marquette and Houston.

The fourth seeds were Iowa State, Nevada, Louisville and Wisconsin.

The top four seeds in the Midwest Region: Virginia, Kentucky, Houston and Wisconsin.

The committee originally had Kansas in the Midwest Region, but after bracketing the fourth line and not achieving the balance, the Jayhawks were sent West.

The Jayhawks also were considered for a No. 2 seed. Kansas entered Saturday with an 8-4 record against the best teams on its schedule, Quadrant 1 victories.

“The final spot on the 2 line came down to Michigan State’s eight Quadrant 1 wins, five of which have come away from home,” Muir said. “While Kansas has a similar number of Quadrant 1 wins as the Spartans, we thought Kansas’s performance on the road, along with the unfortunate season-ending injury to Udoka Azubuike, kept the Jayhawks behind Purdue. At the same time, the abundance of quality wins kept Kansas in front of Houston.”

After the top four seeds were revealed, CBS bracket analyst Jerry Palm filled out the remainder of the 68-team field and had Kansas State as a No. 6 seed in the South.

Also from the Big 12: Texas Tech fifth and Oklahoma ninth in the South; Baylor eighth in the East, and TCU 10th in the West.

NCAA projected seeds revealed Saturday

East Regional: Washington D.C.

1. Duke (No. 1 overall seed)

2. Michigan (6)

3. Marquette (12)

4. Iowa State (13)

South Regional: Louisville, Ky.

1. Tennessee (2)

2. North Carolina (7)

3. Purdue (9)

4. Nevada (14)

Midwest Regional: Kansas City

1. Virginia (3)

2. Kentucky (5)

3. Houston (11)

4. Wisconsin (16)

West Regional: Anaheim, Calif.

1. Gonzaga (4)

2. Michigan State (8)

3. Kansas (10)

4. Louisville (15)

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