Kansas may trail Baylor in the Big 12 Conference race. But the Jayhawks’ NCAA tournament résumé keeps getting prettier to the point where one loss for the Bears would position them for the top overall No. 1 seed.
Kansas (21-3, 10-1) won their ninth in a row and added yet another Quadrant 1 win to their tourney portfolio by defeating West Virginia on the road in Morgantown. WVU (18-6) is a projected No. 3 seed and the win gives Kansas a nation-leading 11 Quad 1 victories.
Kansas, in addition to two defeats of the Mountaineers, has victories against Dayton, Colorado, Tennessee and Texas Tech. Its only three losses — Duke, Villanova, Baylor — all came against top-30 opponents.
A Feb. 22 rematch against Baylor will give coach Bill Self’s team an opportunity to show the committee its merit to be the top team on the bracket come Selection Sunday in a month.
► No. 1 seeds: Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga, San Diego State.
► Last four in: Wichita State, Florida, Stanford, Cincinnati.
► First Four out: Georgetown, North Carolina State, Memphis, Richmond.
NCAA tourney explainer:
- Quadrant 1 wins: Home games vs. 1-30 NET teams; Neutral-site games vs. 1-50 NET; Away games vs. 1-75 NET
- Quadrant 2 wins: Home games vs. 31-75 NET; Neutral-site games vs. 51-100 NET; Away games vs. 76-135 NET
- Quadrant 3 wins, losses: Home games vs. 76-160 NET; Neutral-site games vs. 101-200 NET; Away games vs. 136-240 NET
- Quadrant 4 wins, losses: Home games vs. 161-plus NET; Neutral-site games vs. 201-plus NET; Away games vs. 241-plus NET
Others considered for at-large bid (in no particular order): Virginia Commonwealth, Mississippi State, Syracuse, St. Johns, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Tulsa, SMU, TCU, Alabama, South Carolina, Oregon State, Saint Louis, Clemson, UNC-Greensboro, Utah, Furman, Texas, Utah State, Providence.
On life support (in no particular order): Mississippi, Washington State, Connecticut, Washington, Georgia, Duquesne, Miami (Fla.), DePaul, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech.
Multi-bid conferences: Big Ten (11), Big East (6), Pac-12 (6), SEC (5), Big 12 (5), ACC (4), American (3), West Coast (3), Atlantic 10 (2).
Leaders or highest RPI from projected one-bid conferences — (23 total): America East – Vermont; Atlantic Sun – Liberty; Big Sky – Montana; Big South – Winthrop; Big West – UC Irvine; Colonial – Hofstra; Conference USA – North Texas; Horizon – Wright State; Ivy – Yale; MAAC – Monmouth; MAC – Bowling Green; MEAC – North Carolina Central; MVC – Northern Iowa; Mountain West – San Diego State; Northeast – Robert Morris; Ohio Valley – Murray State; Patriot – Colgate; Southern – East Tennessee State; Southland – Stephen F. Austin; SWAC – Prairie View A&M; Summit – South Dakota State; Sun Belt – Little Rock; WAC – New Mexico State.
- Transition schools ineligible to participate: Cal Baptist, North Alabama, Merrimack.
- Banned from participating: Georgia Tech, Detroit.
About our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 on his website, Bracket W.A.G. He joined USA TODAY in 2014. In his seventh season as our national bracketologist, Mast has finished as one of the top three bracketologists in the past six March Madnesses. He’s also predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.