It’s almost time.
Time for speculation to cease, bubbles to burst and March Madness to truly sink in.
The NCAA selection committee has been huddled up to determine who’s in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, who didn’t make the cut, and what seeds are assigned to the 68 teams that will vie for this year’s championship on Final Four weekend in Atlanta.
So get that bracket ready. The entire field will be announced this evening beginning at 5 p.m. on CBS.
Will Kansas get a No. 1 seed? Coach Bill Self says seeding doesn’t really matter — “It’s more about the matchups,” he said last night after the Jayhawks trimmed the Sprint Center nets after beating K-State for their ninth Big 12 tourney title (sixth under Self).
Will K-State be a No. 4 seed? Is that undervaluing the Wildcats’ accomplishments, which included a shared conference title — their first since 1977, and first under first-year head coach Bruce Weber?
Where will Mizzou be seeded? The Tigers bowed out in the Southeastern Conference quarterfinals against Mississippi on Friday, but with one more victory in 2013, MU coach Frank Haith would join Tigers legend Norm Stewart as the only Missouri coaches to win 24 games in a season twice.
And encompassing all these questions, which eight teams will be assigned to games at the Sprint Center this weekend? Games Friday and Sunday will determine two Sweet 16 teams and continue what’s already been an amazing March in Kansas City. Attendance at the Sprint Center reached a Big 12 Tournament record 19,160 on Friday, when Kansas played Iowa State (followed by K-State’s win over Oklahoma State), and was topped Saturday night when 19,256 showed up to see KU beat K-State.
There’s a chance, perhaps small, that KU and MU could meet on the court once more. That might be the tastiest intrigue of all. Mizzou’s been sent far from Columbia to open the tournament four straight years. Playing Kansas here might remove the Jayhawks’ earned homecourt advantage, though, and dissuade the committee from enabling such a scenario.
It’ll all become clear in a couple of hours.
And we can’t wait.