Kansas and Iowa State went to overtime twice this season with both, one very controversial, ended with the Jayhawks pulling out the win. In the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament, Kansas only needed the minimum 40 minutes to top Iowa State, 88-73 in Kansas City to advance to the Big 12 title game. Perry Ellis was the hero for Kansas, leading the way with a game-high 23 points and six boards
Ellis’ performance lifted Kansas into the title game, but also could have provided much more. With the win for the Jayhawks, they may have moved into a No. 1 seed after Duke and Michigan were eliminated in their tournament quarterfinals while Georgetown was taken down by Syracuse in the Big East semifinal.
Duke didn’t win the ACC regular season title and now won’t have a chance to win the conference title. It’s the same story for Michigan. Indiana is in position to win the regular season and conference title, which will help lock up a No. 1 seed to go along with top-ranked Gonzaga. Louisville is still alive in the Big East, rolling with eight straight wins since the five overtime loss to Notre Dame. The Cardinals, if they leave Madison Square Garden with a conference tournament title, there are three No. 1 spots already taken
It’s unclear whether or not Kansas winning the Big 12 tournament is enough to secure a No. 1 seed?
The Jayhawks have played great ball, especially on the offensive end, since the three-game losing streak in the beginning of February, but as Rob Dauster points out, it may not be enough to take the last remaining top spot from Duke. Although Duke was horrible on the defensive end in its second loss to Maryland on the season, it’s still only the Blue Devils first loss with Ryan Kelly in the lineup. The way Duke plays will Kelly will have to be taken into consideration when the four top seeds are decided.
With Kelly on the floor, Duke proved worthy of a No. 1 seed especially in the early part of the season and then reaffirmed it when Kelly returned to the floor for 36 points against Miami on Mar. 2.
Kansas could end up winning the conference title Saturday and still end up as high as a No. 2 seed.
The loser of Saturday’s semifinal, Iowa State has the resume of a tournament team with a pair of top 15 wins, but a third loss to Kansas, albeit that two of them went to overtime (one of them controversial), however, Iowa State hurt its resume with losses to Texas and Texas Tech.
The Cyclones were projected as a a First Four participant in the latest bracket and had a chance to lock up a spot with a win against Kansas on Saturday. Unable to top the Jayhawks for the third time and Iowa State should now feel uneasy during Selection Sunday.