Bill Self isn’t ready to lobby for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Too early for that, he says. Too many games left. Too much can happen.
But with two games left in the eighth-ranked Jayhawks’ regular season, their case for a No. 1 seed is compelling … and complicated. Kansas has played the toughest schedule in the country and won the Big 12 regular-season title outright. The Jayhawks have also lost seven times.
“You look at us, and you see 22-7 — you know, that doesn’t do much for me,” Self said of KU’s overall record. “You've lost seven times, and then you look at the strength of schedule, and you say, ‘Well, there’s a lot of people that would have lost seven times.’ And then you say, ‘Well, how did you do in your league, and if you’re up three games with two to play in maybe the best league in America, you must be pretty good.”
Self says he’s not sure what Kansas needs to do secure a No. 1 seed before Selection Sunday, but he knows his team can certainly be out of the discussion with a couple of poor performances during the next week.
“To me it’s irrelevant unless you play well from this point forward,” Self said. “If we don’t play well from this point forward, we don’t deserve to be in that conversation.
“I think there are three teams that are locks to be No. 1. I think Wichita State obviously is a lock, I think Arizona is a lock and I think Florida is a lock. You’ve got seven, eight, 10 schools probably fighting for that other No. 1 seed, and you may say there’s not that many. No, there is that many.
"If you win out and go win your league tournament there’s that many. And it may be more than that. We’re one of those teams, I think, but how we finish will determine whether or not we’ve got a shot.”