The Kansas men’s basketball team is projected as a No. 3 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest mock bracket released by ESPN Friday.
Kansas is off to its worst start in conference play (4-3) since the 1988-89 season. This was the last season the Jayhawks missed the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
As of Friday, Lunardi has Kansas matched up with projected No. 14 seed Bryant in Indianapolis. The entirety of the 2021 NCAA men's basketball tournament will take place across the state of Indiana, as previously reported. The tournament is set to begin Thursday, March 18.
Other Big 12 teams currently in Lundardi’s field include Baylor (No. 1 seed), Texas (No. 2 seed), Texas Tech (No. 3 seed), West Virginia (No. 4 seed), Oklahoma State (No. 8 seed) and Oklahoma (No. 9 seed). With seven teams in the projected field, the Big 12 sits behind only the Big Ten (10) for most of any conference.
Kansas currently sits third in the Big 12 conference this year, behind Texas and Baylor. The Jayhawks have been streaky, starting the year off winning eight of their first nine games, including four wins against ranked teams (Kentucky, Creighton, West Virginia, Texas Tech).
Coach Bill Self didn’t seem too worried after the loss at Baylor.
“I thought we did some things that were so close that could have been such a difference — things that were not far off from being pretty good.” Self said on his weekly "Hawk Talk" show. “We’ve got to correct some things, tighten some things up.”
“We are not that far off, we need everybody playing well,” Self continued. “We are not a good enough team to have three out of five starters or two out of five starters play well because our bench isn’t going to be a scoring-type bench. We need our starters to play well.”
Kansas, who currently sits at 10-4 overall, will have a chance to strengthen its resume in its next road game against Oklahoma Saturday. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m.