The T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, is hosting the Midwest Regional’s Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds, making the Jayhawks eager to try and clinch the No.1 seed in the midwest to play just 37 miles from Allen Fieldhouse.
With the loss to Texas, Kansas now must sit nervously as they await their fate for Selection Sunday.
While playing in Kansas City can provide an advantage for the Jayhawks, by no means does it equal an easy path for them to make the Final Four.
In 2017, the Jayhawks clinched the No.1 seed in the midwest that was played right down the road. Led by Naismith Player of the Year Frank Mason III, the Jayhawks came up short against Oregon in the Elite Eight.
One of the most significant factors being overlooked is getting to the Sweet 16, which isn’t an easy task. In 2019, the Jayhawks were the No. 4 seed in the midwest and fell to Auburn in the second round. Instead of the Jayhawks playing in Kansas City, they had to watch Auburn do it and make the Final Four.
The loss to Texas in the T-Mobile Center proved that the Jayhawks aren’t invincible in Kansas City, something that redshirt junior forward Jalen Wilson was quick to point out.
“Even if we were playing here, it wouldn’t get any easier here even if we were playing here to go to the Final Four,” Wilson said.
Many experts have expressed that the Jayhawks deserve the No. 1 overall seed, which would most likely solidify them into a path to the Final Four that runs through Kansas City.
Joe Lunardi, ESPN’s bracketologist said that Kansas was safe in the No.1 overall spot after their win over Iowa State.
“If I were in the room, Kansas would have cemented the No. 1 overall seed with that victory tonight,” Lunardi said.
However, Lunardi’s word is by no means the final word.
The two teams that could threaten for the No.1 overall seed are Alabama and Houston. Both of those teams play their respective conference championship games on Sunday. Alabama plays against Texas A&M at noon on ESPN, while Houston, also on ESPN, takes on Memphis at 2:15 p.m. for the American Athletic Conference title.
Both teams likely need a win if they will have a chance to pass Kansas, as the Jayhawks were in front of both of them going into Saturday.
Even if Alabama surpasses Kansas, they would be placed in the South Regional, which plays its Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games in Louisville.
The concern for Kansas is whether or not Houston passes them. Houston is also seeking the No.1 seed in the Midwest Region. A loss against Memphis tomorrow almost certainly crushes their chances to pass the Jayhawks. A win against the Tigers leaves the decision in the hands of the committee, which will have a tough decision to make.
Interim head coach Norm Roberts believes that the Jayhawks have a great chance at the No.1 overall seed even after the loss because of the competition they’ve endured throughout the season.
“I’d put it [our resume] up against anybody,” Roberts said. “We’ve got what, 17 quad-one wins?”
The 17 quadrant one wins are the most any school has ever accumulated before the NCAA Tournament.
Will it be enough to be the No.1 overall seed? And if not, how about enough to fend off Houston?
All those questions will be answered when Selection Sunday will be broadcasted on CBS at 5 p.m. to reveal the bracket.
If the Jayhawks do fall below Houston, the most likely destination for them is the No.1 seed in the East Region, which plays its Sweet 16 and Elite Eight at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The Jayhawks are almost certainly playing their first two games in Des Moines, Iowa.
Since the Jayhawks couldn’t solidify their fate by beating Texas, it makes for a nervous Sunday for Jayhawk fans, who must wait until 5 p.m. to see if they can play in Kansas City for a shot at the Final Four.