Kansas Falls to TCU in Big 12 Tournament
We don’t know how often the regular season champion fails to win their conference tournament in college basketball, but it seems pretty common, especially in deep conferences. What is still surprising though, is when one of the top teams loses to an unheralded opponent especially early on in the tournament.
The most recent example of this is the March 9th quarterfinal game in the Big 12 Tournament involving 28-3 Kansas, the #1 seed in the tournament and the #1 ranked team in the country, and unranked and 8th seed TCU (19-14). TCU lost twice to Kansas during the regular season, but came back from a late four point deficit to pull off the upset 85-82. Kansas was without freshman guard Josh Jackson, who was serving a one game suspension. Jackson was to return for the Jayhawks next game, but he’ll get a little more rest as Kansas’ next game will be in the NCAA tournament.
Speaking of the NCAAs , Kansas had been projected as a #1 seed in one of the regionals, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with that. The selection committee takes the entire season into consideration, and while losing the conference tournament doesn’t help, it doesn’t always hurt either. But losing to an unranked opponent this early may factor in with the committee, as will the results of other conference tournaments. The Jayhawks will probably still make it as a #1 seed, but all they can do is watch and wait until the field is set early Sunday evening March 12th.