Joe Lunardi has lost it


    In his lastest bracketoly he has all three Kansasschools in the same Midwest bracket.

    WSU as the one. KU as the two and KSU as the 8.

    I get the NCAA likes good story lines and all, but cmon already, this won’t happen.

    Now the Michigan 3 seed playing KU third round I could see them setting up and even Colorado in the second round fora rematch.

  • @JRyman

    The only thing Lunardi has going for him is the huge ESPN audience. As a "bracketologist’ he is middle of the pack at beat.

  • I agree that all the Kansas schools will not end up in the same bracket. I do wonder which of the three schools is most likely to move into an different bracket (by losing or winning or some other way).

    Wichita State will probably win out and remain a No 1 seed, so no change.

    KU plays Oklahoma at home, Okie State, Texas Tech at home, and West Virginia. I think all of these are winnable. If KU wins one or two games in the Big 12 tournament, they for sure stay at least a No 2 and possible ascend to a No 1. As a No 1, they move to a different bracket.

    KSU plays Texas Tech, Iowa State at home, Okie State, and Baylor at home. Two road games (TT and OSU) and two home games (but one is with ISU). I can easily see the Wildcats losing two or three games. Not good for their ranking. So I think KSU will also move to another bracket (the one that KU is in?!).

  • @Careful you - I wonder if any #1 seed has ever had a Strength of Schedule of 103-112 (depending on where you get your sports info) ? Just asking. And no - I don’t like Wichita State.

  • @JRyman - I’d give two dollars and a Casio watch if we wind up in the same bracket as WSU.

  • @nuleafjhawk I used to fret about where they were going to seed us this year. But our schedule is so tough, it doesn’t really matter. I know the odds are way against a seed other than a 1, but these guys have played so many good teams so often now, and they have had so many kinds of defenses thrown at them that they could probably be a threat as the 64th team in the tournament.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @JRyman If Joe Lunardi had his way, no teams outside the EST would make it past the first weekend.

  • @JRyman Hmm … I’d say “sold” if I were offered this bracket, right now.

  • @nuleafjhawk A number 1 one seed with a weak SOS–good question. I d don’t have the chops to research it. Maybe someone else can help. It is a good question though.

  • KU is currently ranked #5 in the AP poll, with Florida #1, WSU #2, Arizona #3 and Syracuse #4.

    Now, the chance that Syracuse or Arizona go unbeaten the rest of the season is small as they will face decent competition, particularly Syracuse. Florida and WSU, on the other hand have a good chance of running the table because they play in weak conferences, particularly WSU.

    If KU wins the regular Season and post season conference titles, I just cannot imagine not getting a #1 seed. specially if the other choice is Wichita State. This is what the committee would be looking at, according to Sagarin who has KU as # 2 and WSU as #17

    SOS: KU =1, WSU = 128.

    Against top 25: KU = 4-3, WSU = 1-0

    Against to 50: KU = 10-6, WSU = 3-0.

    Conf. Rank: Big 12 = 1, Missouri Valley = 11.

    Conf. SOS: Big 12 = 1, Missouri Valley = 11.

    RPI: KU = 1, WSU = 8

    Although WSU is unbeaten, its record is built against weak competition, having played only 3 games against top 50 teams where KU has played 16. KU plays in the Top ranked Conference, WSU in the 11th.

    Take a dozen teams from major conferences and have them play WSU schedule and they would all be unbeaten as well. This is reflected on the RPI which is (supposedly) used by the NCCA for seeding.

    In general, the more objective rankings (computers) favor KU and they don’t like WSU much. If you look at the composite of all rankings combined, KU is #2 and WSU is #9.

    Composite rankings

    When we look a the entire picture in context, if selection day was today, KU should be seeded ahead of WSU. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

  • WSU will probably be a 1 seed and I think they should. Do I think they are one of the 4 best teams in the country? No. Would they be undefeated with a schedule that matches the teams ranked around them? I don’t think so, but we’ll never know. They have won all of their games and should be a #1. That being said, if we don’t get a 1 seed…and I don’t think we will…I would prefer to be matched up against them as a 1 vs. the other 1s. Now about our tournament history…we’ll discuss that in detail as we get closer to that time, I’m sure.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “Take a dozen teams from major conferences and have them play WSU schedule and they would all be unbeaten as well.”

    I bet none of them would be undefeated. It just isn’t easy winning all those away games. KU would not be undefeated if they had played WSU’s schedule.

    It just doesn’t work that we bag WSU for not playing anyone then refuse to play them. This is our own doing.

    We should have played them this year and we would have another win, they would have a loss, and we would be seeded ahead of them!

    This is one more example of why I’d like to play them every year.

    For some crazy reason we think we would be helping them by playing them every year. I don’t think it would help them if we gave them a good beat down every year.

    But now they can have their easier schedule, go undefeated, and probably swipe a #1 seed away from us. So we don’t really have control of our own destination because no way we are going to beat all these ranked teams every year… when all we need to do is beat down the Shocks in November (to prevent them from getting our #1 seed).

    Kansas fans aren’t going to like what is coming soon from WSU. Starting 2015, they are going after 5-star recruits. The fear we had of having to compete against them for 5-star recruits will begin. I’ve heard it from a good source.

    The Shocks benefit most by begging us to play and us not accepting. They get a kind of bragging right without having to play for it. As long as we won’t play them, they will continue to get the benefit and build their program higher.

    I like seeing good basketball in our State… so I don’t totally mind it and actually have been enjoying watching them play this year.

  • @drgnslayr “It just doesn’t work that we bag WSU for not playing anyone then refuse to play them. This is our own doing.” Simple, beautiful logic.

    Anyway, if they and we are the top two seeds in the same region, who cares what order? Win 3 games each, then play each other.

  • , if they and we are the top two seeds in the same region, who cares

    @ParisHawk A: The Wiggins brothers. I suspect they would rather not have to play each other until game 6.

  • @bskeet I’m sure you’re right, but that’s not what I meant. I didn’t say “who cares”, I said “who cares what order”.

  • @Hawk8086 I do’t know the year but St. Joesphes went undefeated a few years back in their regular season and won their league turny, and they were not a 1 seed nor a 2.

  • @JRyman : That was 2003-04. Saint Joe was a #1 seed that year. They had Jameer Nelson and DeLonte West. They ended up losing in the last seconds to okie lite in Regional Final.

  • Every team in the country except Wichita State has a loss. This is a fact. If they stay undefeated, they will be a one seed.

    Saying that other teams would be undefeated if they had played WSU’s schedule ignores facts.

    Syracuse has lost to Boston College. BC’s RPI is in the 170s. So is Drake’s. WSU beat them by 17 in Des Moines, and by 29 in Wichita. Cuse almost lost to NC State. Their RPI is around 60. Indiana State has a higher RPI than NC State. WSU beat them by 20 at home and 7 on the road.

    Arizona lost to both Arizona State and Cal. ASU has an RPI of 32, Cal is at 49. Wichita beat BYU by 13. BYU’s RPI is 33. They beat St. Louis by 5 at SLU. SLU’s RPI is 11.

    Simply put, almost every team loses games they probably shouldn’t lose. WSU has not done that, even though they get everyone’s best shot every night in the Valley.

    Going undefeated is HARD. I don’t think anyone can do it for a whole year because even a team with a “weak” schedule like WSU has played enough legitimate teams that they could have slipped up once. Except they haven’t.

    The only team in the country besides WSU that doesn’t have a loss to a team outside the RPI top 30 is Florida (Wisconsin at 5, Connecticut at 30).

  • @justanotherfan Right on! And I would add: if I remember correctly from geography class oh so many years ago, Wichita is in the state of KANSAS, while Syracuse is in the state of New York, and Arizona is from where? Hmmm. I haven’t lived in Kansas for over thirty years but for those of you who do, how could you not get excited about the possibility of a NC between 2 schools from Kansas? And why would anyone who loves KU not be excited by the possibility of KU knocking off the only undefeated school in the country? As JayHawkFanToo pointed out above, the chance for Syracuse or Arizona to go unbeaten the rest of the year is small. If anyone watched last nights game between Syracuse and Maryland, they saw Cuse almost get beaten again, by another unranked team (with a coach from KU). So my point is, KU doesn’t have to take WSU’s #1 seed. If KU can win out, and Cuse or Az (most likely Syracuse) falls, KU and WSU could both get #1 seeds, and maybe compete for the NC. Personally, I think that would be pretty cool, and I would be screaming my head off for KU. And as a final thought, I would love to see a title game without a school from east of the Mississippi.

  • @oldhwkfan

    Love the post!

    I’m on board. I’m for having both WSU and KU in the FF this year! Let’s leave the east coast out of this one!

    Speaking of geography… it helps KU to have more ranked teams nearby. Doesn’t seem logical at first… but think about it. It’s the same reason why fast food restaurants all position themselves by each other… because in the end, they feed off of each other.

    We fed off WSU this year. I seriously doubt Andrew Wiggins would have come to KU if brother Nick Wiggins wasn’t just down the road at WSU. He said it was a key reason and I believe him. If Andrew goes on to be a superstar at the next level, we will always have WSU to thank for that (and the bonus it brings us).

    It’s not good for KU to geographically be located in a desert away from other top teams. It’s like putting a McDonald’s in the middle of the Flint Hills…

    Back in the east, you can hardly drive 20 miles without being at another Top 20 caliber school.

  • @drgnslayr

    I respectfully disagree. If KU would have played WSU schedule I believe that it would likely be unbeaten, but more importantly, what do you think WSU record would be if it had played KU’s Schedule?

    KU - SOS = 1, toughest schedule of any school in 20 years, playing in the top ranked conference with 8 out of 10 teams with overall winning records and all in the hunt for a NCAA bid and 7 projected to make it.

    WSU - SOS = 128, 11 ranked conference with only 4 out of 10 teams with winning records and only WSU projected to make it to the NCAA.

    KU has played 17 games against top 50 teams and won 11 games, WSU has played only 3 and won all of them.

    Now, let’s look a the 3 WSU wins. St Louis is a very good win, no question about it, the other two are against Tennessee and BYU, both teams are now in the bubble and more likely will not make the tournament, which means that other than the automatic qualifiers from the smaller conferences (if any) that I did not bother to check, only 1 team,WSU played will make it o the NCAA Tournament. The majority of teams that KU played, on the other hand, will make it to the dance, including 6 from the same conference that KU has won running away from the field.

    The computers look at the numbers objectively and most have WSU ranked between 8 and 18, and the ranking is predicated in one very important parameter, which is the zero losses; one loss and WSU drops dramatically in the computer rankings.

    Last night after the game, ESPN had a comparison of the KU vs. WSU records, and the had one analyst advocating for each team, The showed two good wins for WSU, Saint Louis and Tennessee and they kind of laugh at the end, because Tennessee more likely than not, will not make it to the tournament. They also had Lunardi who indicated (if I heard right) that if KU runs the table and wins the Conference Tournament, he did not see how it could be denied a #1 seed. So much for that.

    Now, for the second part of your post about WSU starting to compete for 5 star players, it is possible but unlikely and history is not on their side. WSU has had and up and down history; in 1965 they were ranked #1 and made it to the Final Four and then the programs went back to being average. In the early 80’s under Gene Smithson WSU recruited players like Cliff Levingston, Antoine Carr, and Greg Dreiling (which later transferred to KU) and resulted in an Elite Eight appearance, and later Xavier McDaniel ,and those were some of the better years of the program. Probation and poor recruiting brought them back to their more normal status. Under former KU player Mark Turgeon, they had some good years including one Sweet 16 appearance but this is as good as it got.

    Under Marshal they have continued to improve moving from the CBI to the NIT and then to the NCAA, and last year making it to the Final Four, their best season by far in a long, long time.

    Now, how does it compare to other similar teams? Let’s take Saint Joseph a very storied program similar to WSU although playing in better conference. In '03-'04 the team led by Delonte West and Jameer Nelson, playing in the decent A10 conference, went 27-0 during the regular season and after getting a bye in the Conference Tournament they lost to a good Xavier team. They did get the overall #1 seed and made it to the Elite 8 where they lost to Oklahoma State. Since then, do you know how many time they have made it to the NCAA Tournament? One time.

    How about another very successful program, Butler that played in a comparable conference. They had many more recent NCAA appearance in the NCAA than WSU culminating in back to back trips to the Finals and then fell all the way to the CBI the year after that. They also had one of the better coaches in college basketball (and the one I had hoped would replace Bill Self when he retires), Brad Stevens. Much like St Joseph and VCU, and George Mason and many other programs, they were unable to capitalize on their success and attract higher ranked players; the best Butler could do was Rodnei Clark, a transfer from Arkansas.

    As you can see, it is unlikely that WSU will attract 5 star players, when there are many other programs playing in better, stronger conferences with a lot more exposure that take the lion’s share of potential recruits. Like Butler, VCU, St Joseph, George Mason and others, they will always play second fiddle to the bigger programs. When you think of Indiana basketball, is Butler the first team that comes to mind? No. How about Virgina and VCU or George Mason? Pennsylvania and St Joseph? Kansas and Wichita State? absolutely not; KU and KSU are the names that come up first. KU gets top ranked payer Andrew Wigging, WSU gets unranked little brother Nick Wiggins.

    When you look a the 2014 class, most publications list only the top 30 or 40 and WSU is not in any of them. I found a couple that list the top 100 and the highest WSU ranking is #71. Likewise, WSU does not have any recruits among the 2014 top 150 in any publication.

    WSU has assembled a solid core of unheralded players that developed nicely and they have a good number of them coming back next year. They are really good and do not beat themselves and will win the games they are supposed to win, but their ultimate ceiling is limited by their ability to play as a team. I will guess that Marshall will have good, not great season, next year and after that he will bolt to a bigger program.

    I am sure that we probably disagree in number of issues, but this has been a good exercise and made me go back in time and refresh memories of years gone by. I hope other posters find the information interesting as well. I am sure there are a number of different opinions, but it is nice that we can all present and dicuss them in a civilized manner.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    It’s fine to disagree! I also respect you and your position!

    The Shockers proved they belong as a top team last year. Heck… the refs ripped them or they would have beaten Louisville.

    The Shockers are the real deal and all they can do is go win games. Any team that doesn’t think they play a tough enough schedule can fix that by offering to play them. We don’t because we know we’d eventually have to go to Wichita and that would be a tough win. But as this year is proving to us, it helps us to take on tough teams in tough venues.

    History isn’t on WSU’s side to go after 5-star recruits, mostly because they have never had a program this established before. They’ve had good teams for a year or two, but that is it. They are proving they can develop players. Cleanthony Early will go pro… and he was on no one’s radar before WSU. They’ll have a couple of other players that will get looks by the pros, too.

    What killed WSU’s moment before was NCAA sanctions, but that might not be there to hold them back this time. Not in basketball… baseball… I’m not so certain.

    I’m not saying they will suddenly be in the same recruiting circles we will be in. They won’t. But I’m convinced they will continue to build with Marshall… whether we like him or not. All he has done is improve his team every year. They have a couple of players now I would love to bring in on our roster… vanVleet and Baker, for example. They have a footer coming in 2014 and maybe a second. I’m talking about 2015 anyways. It makes sense that if they keep improving they will recruit better players. The same thing happened with Self, though his starting place at KU was much higher than Marshall at WSU.

    WSU has proven it can recruit 5-star players… some KU were after… It’s all good… because 5-star recruits are being recruited by every big school. I’d like to see more 5-star players in uniforms in our State! I hope they start landing better talent! But it isn’t all about talent level. They go after scrappy kids, and I commend them for that.

    I’m not sure why you’ve listed all this history. History doesn’t determine tomorrow. It certainly didn’t play a part last year as WSU advanced farther than KU.

    I think you just don’t want to believe what is in front of you. The Shockers are for real… good for them! And that doesn’t tarnish KU unless we get hung up on it and decide it does. It’s another quality team in Kansas… that is good for our State and it is even good for KU!

    Now… let’s play them every year and prove who the better team is in Kansas! I’m already psyched to buy some of the awesome t-shirts on a rivalry that should be… I want some kind of shirt graphic to replace the last shirt graphic I saw with a Shocker and Jayhawk on it… It said “66-65” at the bottom… something I would very much like to replace in my mind!

    Right now, we are part of established basketball that doesn’t believe in the Shockers. Marshall is feeding on that and fueling his team. They went to the FF last year and they even have more to prove this year! That is brilliant sports psychology!

    We should have used that psychology after our 2012 loss in the finals to Kentucky. But we didn’t. I pointed it out constantly all year last year and we had no chip on our shoulders going into March, and it showed. People can blame EJ all they want. We lost as a team, and if the team had an edge, we wouldn’t have needed to put EJ in that position to revive the game.

    Unfortunately, all of us (including the team and coaches) watch wayyyy toooo muchhh television! We buy into the elite factor too much and it hurts our hunger level in March. In the least we could feel our elitism and then feel it slipping away with every loss in March. Anything to gain an edge in March!

    I’m almost hoping we drop another game here soon… bump us back in the pack and make these kids go into March and prove something!

    We had something to prove against Texas and look how we played!!! That’s the team we need to show up all through March!

    Rock Chalk, @JayHawkFanToo !

    BTW: I was (am) a big Brad Stevens fan, too!

  • @drgnslayr

    I think you missed my point. What I was trying to say, apparently not well enough. is that one or two successful season do not result in a recruiting bonanza. What can it be more successful than back top back trips to the finals with one of the top coaches in the land, and yet no 5 star recruit resulted from that. Yes. you will have the small programs that have occasional outstanding seasons but the Powerhouse programs do not come from the smaller conferences, they come from the big ones. I mentioned the history to illustrate what the pattern has been to date and the obstacles that WSU faces.

    Every Division 1 coach recruits 5 star players, but most will tell you that they are just going to the motions since the chance of getting one, not being in power conference, are slim to none. As long as WSU is the MV, the chances of getting 5 star players are very small. Butler finally moved from the Horizon to the A10 to get better recruits…and then lost Stevens; tough break. It is difficulty for K-State, a programs with a very good basketball pedigree and playing in power conference, to recruit with Kansas in the neighborhood. Thinks how much more difficult is going to be for WSU to get 5 star players. I went clear back to 2007 and there is not one 5 star recruit that signed with a school that is not in a power conference. Yes, I am sure that Marshall will go after 5 start players but the chance of actually getting one is very slim.

    I am not putting WSU down, they are an absolutely solid team, but you also have to look at their record in the context of their schedule, not who they wanted to play, but who they have actually played. I give you 100 to 1 odds that if WSU played KU’s schedule they would not have as good a record as KU has. In the last couple of years (other forum), I have mentioned on several occasions that Kansas is becoming the hotbed of basketball. Kansas is the only state with at least 3 Division 1 school to send every team to the tournament; this will be the third year (assuming K-State doe not blow it) that all teams make it. I do want every program in the state to be successful.

    As far as playing better competition, you have to start like any business would; you make concessions until you get in the same footing. Recent success aside, WSU IS NOT in the same footing as KU, and trying to impose conditions (home and home games) from a position of weakness is foolish. If Marshal really wanted to play KU, he could accept a game at AFH and maybe one in Kansas City as a way to start the series, but insisting in home and home games, loudly and not nicely, turns people off and makes it impossible for KU to ever agree to it…maybe this is what he really wants, the issue rather than the game. As I have posted before, his talk resonates in other places but not in the state of Kansas or with the ultimate decision makers. At this point, there is very little upside and too much downside for KU to play Wichita, the opposite is true for Wichita.

    KU does not need to worry about what seeding WSU gets; they need to worry about winning all games regardless of who the opponent is. Losing track of this will certainly result in an early exit.

    Again, nice exchange of ideas.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    About that schedule, let’s break it down and ask ourselves if WSU would be worse than KU’s current 22-6 mark if they played KU’s schedule.

    Let’s dispense with the easy ones first - ULM, Iona, Towson, Wake Forest, UTEP, Toledo, West Virginia, TCU (2), Texas Tech. All wins. That’s 10 wins right now.

    Moving to the next tier, we have to consider Villanova, Oklahoma (2), K-State (2), New Mexico (neutral), Georgetown, @Colorado, Texas (2), Baylor (2), Oklahoma State:

    Villanova is good. They have only lost 3 times all year. All three losses are by double digits (Syracuse, Creighton twice). This game is probably a coin flip.

    WSU is in many ways a better version of K-State. They’ve handled teams like OU, New Mexico, Georgetown, Colorado and Baylor all year. I say they end up with one loss among those 9 games. KU went 7-2, but WSU was more consistent early in the season than KU, so I figure they either beat KSU in Manhattan or beat Colorado in Boulder, but not both.

    Texas and OSU left in this group. Texas may give them problems down in Austin, but WSU is pretty stout at home, so they are no worse than 2-1 here.

    The final tier is the tough ones: Iowa St. (2), Duke (neutral), SDSU, @Florida.

    I’ve got WSU pegged for a loss against Duke. I also have them losing to Florida in Gainesville. They beat Iowa State at home. The trip to Hilton is a coin flip. The visit from SDSU is a coin flip. The SLU win tells me they probably beat ISU at Hilton. They may hold their home court against SDSU.

    So going back and counting the coin flips, its Villanova, @ISU and SDSU. Let’s say they go 1-2 there.

    Counting it up - 10-0 against the weakest teams. 10-2 in the next tier. 1-2 in the final tier. 1-2 in coin flip games.

    Losses to Duke, @ Florida, Villanova, SDSU, @ISU, @KSU. Basically trading the Colorado loss for the Duke loss and the @ Texas loss for the @ISU loss. Maybe they have one more loss (either of those previously mentioned games), but I have a hard time finding more than 7 losses on that slate for WSU.

    Remember, the Big XII’s strength is in having lots of really solid teams, not in having a bunch of world beaters. The rankings for the conference are 11 (ISU), 23 (Oklahoma), 24 (Texas), 39 (Baylor), 41 (K-State), 47 (Okie St), 82 (WVU), 113 (Tech), and 201 (TCU). The lack of really bad teams boosts the overall conference rating.

    The Big 10 has 5 teams rated behind West Virginia and three rated behind Texas Tech. The Pac12 has 4 teams ranked behind West Virginia and Washington ranked just a few spots ahead (78). 8 SEC teams are rated below 80. The Big East only has 2 teams in the top 50, but three lower than 120. The ACC has 6 teams ranked below 100, including 3 below 150.

  • @JRyman I agree with you also. Clearly Lunardi has no clue what he is doing. He’l probly just blindly picking schools, fill in the blank type. No Way the selection committee puts all 3 Kansas schools in the same bracket. Wont happen. On the chance that KU gets a 2 seed and Wichita gets a 1, I can see that happen. We’ll beat there asses too. That said, I also don’t want UNC in our bracket this year, I am tired of it. I like Roy, I like UNC. I hope they do great in the tourney this year as a way underseeded team. But, just not in our bracket this year please?!

  • @justanotherfan

    I see where you are coming from but I don’t necessarily agree with you. You are basing all the wins on WSU being unbeaten and ranked high. My point is that they are unbeaten because they have played weak competition. As far as I can tell, they have one good win against St Louis, which at this point seems to be the only team they have played that will make it to the tournament. Compare this with KU’s competition, the majority of which will be dancing in March; likely 6 other teams just from the conference alone.

    Now, the Big 12 is the top rated conference. At different times during the season, 7 teams have been ranked in the top 25. Of course, once conference play started, they beat each other up and out of the top 25. This is the equivalent of a boxer with a 29-0 record that has fought one decent opponents and the bulk of the record is built beating up chumps.

    I am not saying that Wichita is not good, but in the Big 12, they finish middle of the pack at best. I can see them sweeping TCU and maybe Tech, although Tech has played tough at home lately. The rest of the games are probably splits and maybe losing both to ISU and a healthy OSU. Again this is just my opinion.

    WSU is a well disciplined, super solid team that will not beat itself. We will see how good they are after the Sweet 16. Let;s face it, the first two games for a #1 seed are pretty much academic, although as we know all too well, upsets do happen…it’s all about match ups and WSU is the type of team that traditionally gives KU fits. I think it is highly unlikely that KU and WSU meet before the Final Four, particularly if they are both top 2 seeds; however, I would love to see a Final Four game with them so we can exact a little payback for the 1 point loss in '81 in the “Battle of New Orleans.”

  • @JayHawkFanToo sorry drgnslayr!!! You know how I can’t stand Marshalll! But jhawkfantoo said it perfectly, and much nicer than me. “The issue rather than the game”! Nice, hardy-working group of kids, just a slimy coach! He called us chickenhawks, I heard it! I hope we play them in tourney, not afraid. If coach Self thinks it benefits us, then I’m good w/it. There is a reason why nobody will play them and it’s nothing to do w/being afraid!

  • A 1 seed with weak SOS? How about Gonzaga last season? But we cant put too much into the Bracketology, other than hoping we get a 1-seed. Gonzaga got beat last year…but hey the overall 1 seed Jayhawks got bounced by VCwho in 2011, so anything can happen in a OAD tourney–we’ve lived through EVERY variation of ups & downs, right?

    The focus is how is our team playing, how consistent and tough can this young jayhawk team play?

    Life isnt as easy as Gregg Marshall would like: He (& his shocker fans) can “hate” KU all he wants…no different than the KSU crowd, but this is Kansas, and while I may be a KU alum, I did take a class at WSU, grew up in Wichita, paid daughter’s way thru WSU undergrad (now she’s in Lawrence at a KU professional school). And my best friend in college went to KSU’s acclaimed Vet school.

    I’ll end with a quote from Marshall’s own player, Ron Baker, sitting in AFH watching KU-Baylor game, being interviewed on natl TV by Holly Rowe: “…hey, at the end of the day, its just basketball, and we all represent the state of Kansas.” I got no problem with that, or WSU’s players. They are fun to watch. Analytically speaking, my money is on KU, simply because KU is a deeper, bigger team. As Self would say, WSU’s starting 5 are as good as anybody’s, and have experience–“should be a great game”. (I’m still betting on KU).

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    It won’t hurt my feelings if we mash the Shockers… but I still like watching them play and appreciate having them in Kansas.

    I don’t hate or like Marshall… but just appreciate how he gets his team ready. I never heard him call us “chickenhawks” and I tried to find it online and couldn’t. If you have a link, please post it. Thing is… I feel like a chickenhawk when we refuse to play them. I don’t like that feeling, especially being a fan of the best program in college basketball! I’m just that kind of guy that doesn’t back down from anything. All that yack from Wichita ticks me off!

    I’d like to see us mash them in the Final Four!


    I’d like a little revenge for the “Battle of New Orleans” too! I felt like I had the stomach flu for the entire year of 1981! What makes it worse… I can’t get that image out of my head when Mike Jones nailed that fade away shot falling back into the bench. Talk about a prayer being answered!

  • Regarding Marshall’s feelings, he has made it known over time. In the Wichita paper a couple of years ago, he was quoted as saying (when talking about their LateNite equivalent): “you wont see ME riding a motorcycle onto our basketball floor…”. We know he hated losing Perry Ellis to KU, and is a competetive coach, so of course we can chalk it up to competetive “fire”. Fine. But the problem is his shocker fans take that sentiment and run with it…

    –> So, pains me to say this, since I like WSU’s players, but I hope we meet up in the Tourney and proceed to give Gregg Marshall’s team a Longhorn-sized beatin’! (thats big, folks)–> Just to shut their damn fans up.

    The other issue I have with not playing WSU is that we know Self is a tough, competetive dude. Why would he shrink away from playing 'ChitawState? I dont buy the recruiting angle, as lets go ask Ben Jacobsen of UNI how his beating KU that one time helped his recruiting? Nope, Ben Jacobsen’s been busy getting his butt kicked by half the MVC every year.

    Self needs to look at himself in the mirror and realize he could skewer Marshall anytime he wants. This is unlike the Mizzou refusal-to-schedule (& scheduled Colo. just to rub it in Mizzou’s face), as Mizzou tinkered dangerously with our OWN conference’s stability and potential TV market (big, big recruiting ramifications if we went to western time zones).

    Unfortunately, after WSU gets beat by KU, it will mean Marshall bolts for a place with better recruitability. I will say I was impressed he said “no” to UCLA. I mean, no one can say if this success by WSU is only due to THIS group of WSU players (VanVleet, Early, Baker, and last year’s Carl Hall). Marshall would do better to focus on long-term results, like winning the MVC several years straight, and making it back to a couple or three Elite8’s. That’s the proof of a ‘system’ of excellence, not just 1 group of guys.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “…but in the Big 12, they finish middle of the pack at best.”

    I think that is putting too much stock into the jersey, and not enough stock into the players wearing the jersey. I watched WSU last night and the thing that impressed me was that they had the game under control literally the whole way. Once they hit certain thresholds, the lead stayed there. Once they got up 6, Bradley never got it back within four. When they pushed it to 10, Bradley never got closer than 6. Once it went above 15, the closest Bradley got was 13. They never had a knockout run, but there was never a moment where Bradley made a run to make you think they could maybe get back into it. They play the kind of basketball that makes it hard for the other team to believe they can win.

    Cleanthony Early is a potential pro. I’d go so far as to say that he’d be the best player on the floor if WSU played Tech, TCU, WVU, K-State, Texas or Oklahoma. He’s got a ton of talent. There isn’t a surefire NBA player on any of those rosters. Early would start any of those places. I’d bet Fred Hoiberg would love to have him at ISU. He could play a ton of minutes at OSU or Baylor. Heck, Early would play at KU. He wouldn’t start ahead of Wiggins, but to think he’d be behind any of the other guys at the 3 spot is insane.

    Ron Baker is a top notch shooter. I’d go so far as to say this year he’s every bit as good as Cooney from Syracuse. I think you could switch those two guys and nobody would notice a change in production at either school.

    Van Vleet is about as solid a point guard as there is in college basketball. He’s not an elite talent, but he’s very, very solid.

    Tekele Cotton is… actually, rather than tell you, I’ll just submit this link.

    Those four guys all average between 10 and 15 points a game. All four have hit at least 30 threes this year. Their other five guys that play all play at least 12 minutes a game and provide something - Coleby, Lufile and Carter rebound, block shots and generally make the painted area an uninviting place for opponents. Wiggins shoots and defends. Wessel hustles, defends and handles the ball.

    The only thing that would change if WSU were to play in the Big 12 is player development. In the Big 12, guys like Wessel, Baker and Van Vleet would not have gotten the minutes they got last year (19, 26 and 16 respectively). They would have been playing less than 15 minutes each, which probably would mean they would not be developed to the point they are now.

    Take a guy like Tekele Cotton. He played 10 minutes a game as a freshman. In the Big 12, he probably plays less than 5 because he would not have been ready. At WSU, they know he’s going to be there 4 years, so it helps to get his feet wet as a frosh. Last year as a sophomore he played 23 minutes a game and was a key player for them, typically coming off the bench. This year as a junior he’s starting, playing 31 minutes a game and doing the kinds of things I linked to above. He probably couldn’t have played in the Big 12 as a freshman. He absolutely could play in the Big 12 now.

    If you took out a random Big 12 team (let’s say Oklahoma) and replaced them with WSU I think WSU is probably second or third in the conference right now. Sweeping Tech, TCU and WVU is pretty clear. They would put the muscle on a team like Baylor and Baylor would probably not bang back with them. Depending purely on when they played Oklahoma State, they might split, but I have a feeling Tekele Cotton would make Marcus Smart very frustrated. The Iowa State games would be incredible basketball. As I said yesterday, they are a better, more talented version of K-State and I just don’t think KSU could beat them because their style would make it very difficult. That leaves Texas and KU. Say they go 1-3 there and end up 13-5 or something like that in the Big 12. That’s probably good for second, definitely enough for third.

  • @drgnslayr Maybe not calling us “chickenhawks” here, but here is a link to Marshall saying if he was Bill Self, he wouldn’t play WSU:

    And not exactly sure of the context (other than him “repeating the phrase” as the article says), but here is a link in which the word “chickenhawk” apparently did come out of Greg Marshall’s mouth:

  • @ralster

    Good points. As per Jeff Sagarin, last year Gonzaga SOS was #93 had 4 games against top 25 and 9 games against to 50 teams and had 2 loses heading to the tournament. Wichita State SOS is #128, has 1 game against top 25 and 3 games against top 50 teams and no loses. Gonzaga’s non-conference schedule was stronger but much like WSU, the overall SOS was hurt by playing in a weak conference. Overall, their records are not that different.

    By the way. Sagarin currently has KU as ranked #2 and WSU as #16; Iowa State is ranked #15 and ahead of WSU. Sagarin uses 3 methods including the PURE-ELO which is based solely on wins and loses and in that ranking WSU is obviously ranked #1 (KU is #6). The overall rating is a combination of the 3 methods and definitely a better predictor.

    Ken Pomeroy now has WSU as #7 and KU as #8. I believe that since the last time I checked. KU went up and WSU went down. No question the computers are not too crazy about WSU; if WSU loses one game before the tournament, which is highly unlikely given the competition, they would drop at least 10 spots in the computer polls. Their game against Mo State should be interesting; they had to come back from a 16 point deficit at half time and finally won in over time in their previous game.

    I watched the WSU-Bradley last night and Bruce Pearl, who was the analyst, mentioned that when WSU bigs were being pushed by Bradley, Bradley stayed in the game and once they stopped doing that, WSU took off. I just don’t see WSU bigs being able to keep up with our front line, particularly in view of how well they handled Texas front line in the game in Lawrence.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Exactly.

    And here is the point that WSU fans need to understand: do they really think that their big guys can stop Embiid, Traylor, Black, and Ellis? Did they see what they did to Texas?

    I hope that KU and WSU get in the same bracket as the top two seeds and play in the Elite Eight. I think that WSU fans dont realize how good this KU team is when they play focused and run. If they came to play, the game might be over at half time like against Texas.

  • @justanotherfan if you were rating them against top teams, then that would hold more value. But based on the Bradley game, there’s no comparison to the big 12. They have some great hard-working kids, no doubt! Put them against top talent, weekly and check then.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “I just don’t see WSU bigs being able to keep up with our front line, particularly in view of how they handled Texas front line in the game in Lawrence.”

    How we played Texas in Lawrence was impressive. How we got manhandled in Austin (particularly that front line) is not.


    I’m not saying WSU is the likely national champ. I think Florida is the best team in the country right now. But I think they are among the best dozen or so teams in the country.

    Look at the current top 10: Florida - probably the best team in the country, losses to Wisconsin (5) and UConn (30) Arizona - losses to ASU (32) and Cal (49) Syracuse - losses to BC (171) and Duke (6) Kansas - losses to Villanova (4), Colorado (26), Florida (3), SDSU (20), Texas (24) and K-State (41) Duke - losses to Kansas (1), Arizona (2), Notre Dame (114), Clemson (67), Syracuse (9) Louisville - losses to UNC (22), Kentucky (10), Memphis (35) and Cincinnati (21) Villanova - losses to Syracuse (9) and Creighton twice (7) Creighton - losses to SDSU (20), GW (29), Providence (62) and St. Johns (50) St. Louis - losses to Wichita St. (8) and Wisconsin (5).

    You’re saying that Wichita State doesn’t belong in that group? That they are that much inferior to Creighton, a team they beat last year? That they are inferior to SLU, a team they beat this year? Villanova, a team that Creighton mauled TWICE this year? Louisville, who has won exactly one game against a ranked opponent, and who WSU took to the brink in the Final Four last year?

    Villanova beat Kansas. Kansas beat Duke. Duke beat Syracuse. Arizona beat Duke.

    Wichita State is a clear top 10 team this year and it’s hard to say they aren’t among the 5 or 6 best teams. The worst losses on the above list belong to Syracuse and Duke. I don’t hear anyone saying they shouldn’t be in the discussion for a 1 or 2 seed.

  • @justanotherfan

    Keep in mind that out of 30 wins, 1 is a very good one against a legitimate top 25 St Louis team, 2 are against marginal top 50 teams, Tennessee and BYU both of which are currently in the wrong end of the bubble, and fully 27 wins are against teams outside the top 50. If selection day was today, only 1 team they have played would likely make it to the tournament.

    The Missouri Valley conference is ranked #11 and the second ranked team behind WSU, Indiana State, is ranked #100 (Sagarin), the third team Missouri State is #142, the fourth team Illinois State #158 and so on. Of their 30 wins, the 18 conference wins are against teams ranked 100 or lower, and 16 of those are against teams ranked $142 or lower Other than the 3 teams I mentioned above, their non-conference team is not that much better.

    Compare it the the #1 ranked Big 12 Conference which has had at least 7 (maybe even 8 ) teams ranked in the top 25. and at least 6 and possibly 7 other conference teams will be going to the tournament. All 6 KU loses are to top 25 teams, in fact, the 4 non-conference loses were to teams that at one point were or are in the top 10. The only team in the conference outside the top 100 is TCU and they have not won a single game in the conference; the next lowest ranked teams is Texas Tech. which is #74, that is 26 spots higher than the the top ranked team in the Missouri Valley other than Wichita.

    WSU is not a bad team; I don’t believe anyone is saying this. However, we really don’t know how good they are because, other than a couple of games, they have not really played anyone. We all have our biases and we can spin it any way we can, but the numbers above are factual and hard to ignore, don’t you think?

  • @JayHawkFanToo thanks! Exactly what I meant.

  • Here is a pretty decent write up on the subject. I believe it covers most of the points in our own discussion.

    Wichita going 30-0

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Their schedule is certainly not very strong. I agree with that. They don’t control their conference and losing Creighton definitely hurt the strength of the Valley this year.

    Here’s the thing though. They can only play teams that will play them. KU has no interest in playing them, which I believe is the right decision for KU. Let’s compare their non-con schedule with some other teams from major conferences:

    So here are some non-conference schedules, by current RPI of teams that are likely to be dancing in March, plus WSU.

    Team A - 265, 240, 227, 217, 212, 193, 165, 138, 24, 23, 22, 10

    Team B - 285, 217, 192, 156, 130, 108, 95, 72, 39, 32, 9, 1

    Team C - 345, 279, 239, 211, 182, 163, 161, 146, 82, 59, 28

    Team D - 321, 182, 143, 141, 133, 132, 119, 104, 99, 56, 33, 12

    Team E - 331, 327, 263, 195, 191, 180, 96, 62, 52, 43, 40, 4

    Team F - 274, 272, 244, 164, 157, 146, 122, 109, 107, 77, 21, 14, 7

    Can you pick out which one is WSU’s “weak” non con? Even better, can you guess who the other schools are?

    Answers later on.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Thanks for the link. It is a good read and pretty much neutral info.

    No doubt the Mo Valley is weaker this year… especially after losing Creighton (so they could go on to dominate the Big East)!

    It would suck to lose to any of those teams… like Bradley or UNI… especially in March! (bad joke)

    I do recall the history of the Mo Valley, and some of their past members…

    KU, OU, U of Nebraska, ISU, Iowa, NMSU, Tulsa, Missouri (yuck!), Louisville, Cincinnati, Butler…

    I’d advise WSU to move to another conference, but I’m not sure anyone wants them and if they become independent, they won’t be able to schedule a top 300 team in a home/home.

    What no one is talking about is how well this team plays when considering who they are. One quick read of the comments from your link pretty much tells the respect the Shockers get outside of Wichita. Pretty much all slams for a team that has 30 straight wins. They get punished for winning.

    The moral of this story will take place in March… and I dare say I wouldn’t want to be a team that would have to face this pissed off Shocker team! They know that the critics will be there to criticize them for any outcome besides a National Championship!

    Congratulations Wichita State… you’ve actually exceeded the required expectation level we have at Kansas! I thought WE were the only ones that would criticize our team for not bringing home the trophy!

    We all have to enjoy this moment for what it is… a moment in time where peoples’ emotions are at play and the subject matter offers up plenty of punch lines! Bravo for that!

    It really wouldn’t surprise me if we end up having to be the team that has to earn the title, “Shocker killer.” I just hope JoJo has had enough practice killing lions!

    I’d bet all the gold in Fort Knox that JoJo doesn’t know what a Shocker is! Will someone please ask him that question during one of his interviews… the answer will become a pure classic!


    All in good fun!

  • We use machines to shock the wheat. I’ve seen footage of other countries still hitting the wheat against a stone and throwing it up in the air to separate the chaff. Maybe JoJo has seen it first hand?

  • I think it is arguable whether Joe Lunardi ever found it in the first place.

  • @justanotherfan

    You pose a question that cannot be answered because the Automatic Qualifiers override the RPI in reference of who goes to the dance and many teams that should no go end up going. The committee gets to select only 36 teams, the others are automatic qualifiers regardless of record or RPI. In this case, the RPI is used for seeding only.

    For example, say Grambling State wins the SWAC tournament, they would go to the NCAA even when they are ranked 351 out of 351 teams and have a 3-20 overall record. Their non-conference schedule could be the 12 teams ranked above them and they would still go dancing.

    You posted less than half of the picture and expect to extrapolate the entire picture and when the more important half is missing. You did not even post what the records were for those non conference schedules; a 12-0 record would be completely different than a 0-12 record wouldn’t it? But we do not have that information. In fact you data can be quite misleading because many teams from stronger conferences offset the conference games with a weaker non-conference schedule. Also, without looking at the entire schedule and the SOS value, the data you presented and as you presented it is not enough to make any kind of determination.

    For example, you can have a Big 12 team play a weak non conference schedule and then play 18 pretty decent games during conference play. Would you say they are equivalent to a team from weak conference that plays the exact same non conference schedule and a weak conference schedule to boot, just by looking at the non conference schedule? I think not, although in the data format you presented they would be identical.

    The numbers I posted for WSU are for their entire schedule, not part of it, and it shows that fully 27 of those games (both conference and non conference) were against teams ranked outside the top 100. I am going to guess that their non conference schedule, although not great, might actually be better that the conference schedule, but unfortunately, they play a lot more conference games so it carries a greater weight.

    Does it make sense?

    Personally, I believe that the system should be changed as follows:

    Select the best 56 teams regardless of conference and automatic qualification.

    Take the automatic qualifiers not selected above and add teams by rank until you have 32 teams.

    Have these 32 team play 2 rounds and the top 8 are added to the first 56 to complete the field of 64. This gives even small school a chance to make it to the dance, and the final 64 are hopefully the top or close to the top 64 team in the Division 1. Many deserving teams are now left out because a weak automatic qualifier takes one spot.

    Since many of the automatic qualifiers will be in the top 56, the second group could be cut to 16 and they would play just one game to join the top 56.

    What this does is to make the automatic qualifiers that that are not in the top 56 compete for 8 spots instead of 32.

  • @drgnslayr

    Nice thread.

    No question about it, WSU is penalized for being ina weak conference. But then, should they really be rewarded for winning, albeit consistently, against weak competition? I don’t really have an answer to that.

    Unfortunately the Big East is no longer an option and the new American Athletic Conference is now a BBall/FBall conference, so it is not an option either. I am not sure if there is a BBall only conference other than the Big East…tough spot for Wichita.

    Wichita will be in a different position in this tournament. Last year they had nothing to lose and did not have much pressure on therm; this year they have the spotlight and a huge target on their backs and everybody is gunning for them.

    BTW, I will be rooting for Wichita all the way unless they play KU; if they play K-State it will be a close call.

  • What is really amazing is how our intense SOS has helped us this year.

    We’ve lost 6 games, and the only team around us in the polls with 6 losses is Duke. We all know Duke always gets over-rated… but forget Duke and then you have to go all the way down to Kentucky about 9 or 10 spots lower, before hitting another team with 6 losses.

    Really… when you go outside of our conference play we only have one solid win against a top team… Duke.

    So we’ve been given a lot of love for playing a tough schedule. If we had played softer teams before conference, and if we had only lost half of those games, where would we be today?

    Let’s see… that would mean 4 losses and we could be ranked lower than we are now! I don’t think we would be ranked higher!

    If we had won all our non-conf and it was a soft schedule, the highest we could be ranked now would maybe be a spot or two higher. We would have had a larger target on our back throughout most of the season, which could have helped create another loss or two.

    I like us playing a tough schedule. And what if we start winning more of those tough games before conference play? Seems we have everything to gain and nothing to lose!

    I hope we keep up with the tough schedules. It is also good for our team development!

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I agree… they have a huge target on their back. They have had that target on them all year (this year) but now it will be coming from better competition.

    I’m not sure that will matter. They remind me of a nagging ex. They just won’t go away… and when you escalate an argument, they escalate right with you and seem to thrive on it.

    Yeah… I’m rooting for them, too… except against us. In that case I’d like to see us really give them a good beat down!

    I hope they do get the #1 seed. I just like to see college basketball mixed up now and then. It shouldn’t just be us and Duke, UNC, UK and a few others. It’s good to get some new blood in there, whether or not it stays at the top or not. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Butler and was pulling for them.

    I always want Kansas to be at the top… then I’d like to see all the other top teams fail now and then and be replaced by teams like WSU. Ha… It helps spotlight how good we are to stay consistent all these years.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I disagree with your changes to the NCAA tournament for this reason. Right now, WSU can’t get KU or KSU to play them. They take the games they can get, typically against mid level teams from other power conferences. They also try to get into tournaments to play stronger teams. This year, they were in the CBE classic. They could have played Texas in the final, but UT lost to BYU, so WSU played BYU instead. That’s not WSU’s fault that Texas didn’t take care of business against BYU.

    Now, as for yesterday’s scheduling challenge, I picked the schedules I picked specifically for a reason.

    Team A is Michigan State. They lost to team 22 (North Carolina). Yesterday, you said that WSU would likely finish “middle of the pack” in a major conference. You could not distinguish their undefeated non-con slate from MSU’s 1 loss non con slate.

    I’ll skip team B and jump to C. C is K-State. They lost to team 163 (N. Colorado), 161 (Charlotte) and 59 (Georgetown). They have pretty clearly the weakest schedule of the entire group, and they are a “middle of the pack” Big 12 team. You don’t think WSU is better than K-State?

    Team D is Syracuse. Team F is Arizona. Both went undefeated in non-con. The ACC is obviously pretty solid with UNC, Duke, Pitt and UVA. However, Cuse has played only UNC, Pitt (2), and Duke (2). That’s five games. The rest of their conference schedule is Miami twice (123), Virginia Tech (227), BC twice, with a loss (186), Wake Forest (98), Notre Dame (116), Maryland (76), NC State (64), and Clemson (73). Not exactly murders row. Basically, we are giving them credit for playing #22 (UNC) once, #45 (Pitt) twice and #7 (Duke). Pitt is slightly better than Indiana State (57). So really, they have three games so far that WSU can’t match.

    Arizona is slightly better because of the fact that the Pac 12 has a bunch of decent teams without a lot of bad ones. They played Washington State (189), USC (156), Oregon St. (100), Washington (78), Stanford (41) and UCLA (15) once. Utah (90), Oregon (44) Colorado (26) Cal (52), and Arizona St. (34) twice, with road losses to ASU and Cal. WSU can match Washington State, USC, Oregon State, Washington, Utah and Cal for schedule, so really we are talking about the following games - UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona State. Five games.

    Finally, my favorite comparison - E and B. E is Wichita State. B is Villanova. Villanova’s non con is a bit better. They have the single loss to Syracuse (9), but they have some good games in there. Looking at the Big East, other than Creighton, Xavier is 46, Georgetown, Providence and St. Johns are around 60, Marquette is in the 70s and then DePaul, Seton Hall and Butler are below 130. Not exactly world beaters here. One top 50 team in the league other than Creighton, then a bunch of decent and below teams.

    Basically, if Creighton had stayed in the Valley, Villanova would be dominating a pretty weak Big East. They would be 26-1, loss to Syracuse (they got rocked by Creighton TWICE). Would we be saying Villanova wasn’t good enough to be considered for a #1 seed? The only thing keeping 'Nova out of the 1 conversation is a pair of 20+ point losses to Creighton. WSU would probably be 29-1 with a split with Creighton? Would they be good enough to be a #1 seed if Creighton was in the Valley? We are basically talking about Creighton being in the Valley vs. the Big East in order to legitimize Wichita State. That doesn’t make much sense to me.

  • Awesome discussion! I’ve learned a lot in this thread!

    I think Creighton has a seat at this table of discussion. They are only one year removed from the Mo Valley… it’s the same Creighton team that was Mo Valley.

    Creighton is proof why teams like Wichita State can’t get a date to the dance (not talking about the big dance… just games!). At least, not a home-and-home.

    What it really speaks to is how undervalued the Mo Valley is (in general). No one wants to risk loss to an undervalued Mo Valley team. This may not be the best year to look at the quality of the Mo Valley… but their schedules this year were decided in previous years.

    This inequality in college basketball is damaging to the entire sport. But inequality is a part of life and we’ll never live in a utopian world. I’m just glad we do have a large field in the NCAA tourney and it is a way for undervalued teams to make some noise.

    WSU is making noise… plenty of it!

    And for people like me that like to see the pot stirred now and then, this is a good thing! Just so our Jayhawks don’t end up getting burned on the bottom of the pot. I see that possibility as highly unlikely!

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