Big 12 M5: 03.18.13 EditionPosted by KoryCarpenter on March 18th, 2013
- The NCAA Tournament Bracket is finally here, and it didn’t take long for someone to predict another early Kansas loss this year. Jeff Goodman at CBSSports.com previewed the South Regional here (in which the Jayhawks are the #1 seed) and has #8 seed North Carolina taking KU out in the Round of 64. And as C.J. Moore points out here, this upset pick might not be that crazy. Roy Williams changed his lineup last month against Duke, inserting P.J. Hairston into the starting lineup at the four spot. Since that game, the Tar Heels are 8-2. And it’s not like small lineups haven’t given the Jayhawks fits in the past. Think Purdue in last season’s Round of 32 or Iowa State this season.
- It hasn’t gotten much publicity, but Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger is now the first coach to take five different schools to the NCAA Tournament after his Sooners earned a #10 seed in the South Region. Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, and UNLV were all NCAA Tournament teams at one time or another under Kruger, who signed on at Oklahoma before last season and steered the Sooners to a five-game (and counting) improvement in the win column this season. The Sooners face #7 seed San Diego State in the Round of 64.
- For those of you lucky enough to skip work or school later this week, here’s a guide for your TV viewing pleasure, from Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch. For all the things the NCAA can screw up, the move with CBS and Turner Sports to broadcast more Tournament games across a number of networks (truTV, TBS, TNT, CBS) was one of the better decisions it has made in years, much better than the decision to expand the field to 68 teams (Did Middle Tennessee State really deserve an at-large bid?). The SI piece has all you need to know, including a list of broadcasting teams. My personal favorite: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery, and Rachel Nichols.
- Forget bracket predictions, snubs, sleepers, and upsets for a minute. Eamonn Brennan ranked all 68 NCAA Tournament teams, but not by talent or resumes or title chances — instead, he gave us the most “watchable” teams of the Tournament. Not surprisingly, Iowa State came in at #11, higher than any other Big 12 school. The Cyclones aren’t a great team, but their complete lack of conscience from deep is fun to watch. Almost anywhere past the half-court line is fair game for their shooters. Not surprisingly, Kansas came in next at #21, followed by Oklahoma State (#22), Kansas State (#37) and Oklahoma at #43. Indiana topped the list.
- Bruce Weber has had a great first season at Kansas State, sharing the regular season conference title with Kansas and making it to the conference tournament championship game over the weekend. Weber told Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star that he wanted to play in Kansas City and on Friday. It’s unclear if Weber knew that Kansas City was a Friday/Sunday site so one wish came with the other, but he received both desires nonetheless. But as Robinett points out, the Wildcats are also forced to scout two teams this week after getting paired with the winner of a play-in game Wednesday: La Salle or Boise State. Kansas State is likely to face #4 seed Wisconsin should the Wildcats win on Friday.