KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Despite the result of Saturday’s game, many bracket experts still have Kansas State where they did prior to the Big 12 Championship, as a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and Sports Illustrated’s Andy Glockner have the Wildcats with the most favorable draw, in terms of location, returning to the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Lunardi has the Wildcats facing Bucknell in the second round, with the winner of that game playing the winner of Saint Louis, and either Boise State or Ole Miss.
Glockner has K-State opening with Valparaiso in the second round. The winner would face the winner of UCLA and Bucknell, in his opinion.
Both bracket experts have the Wildcats playing in the West Region of the tournament, which hosts its regional in Los Angeles. The NCAA field will be announced tonight.
K-State coach Bruce Weber said there would be some obvious advantages to playing that closely to home.
“You’re going to have more fans and you’re in a little bit of a comfort zone,” he said. “If you’ve played in the gym, just mentally you’ve got to feel good. There’s no guarantee. You’ve got to play well.”
CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm sees things different for K-State, having the Cats travel to Austin, Texas, and playing New Mexico State. The winner of that game would play the winner of UNLV, and either Villanova and Massachusetts.
Palm put the Wildcats in his Midwest Regional, which hosts its regional round in Indianapolis.
One consistent thing t for the bracket experts is that Kansas will be a No. 2 seed, and it will open play at the Sprint Center. Each bracketologist also had Wichita State making the tournament, meaning all three Division I teams in Kansas should make it in.
This year’s Final Four is in Atlanta.
Weber said if the Wildcats play as well as they have shown they can this season, anything is possible.
“I think we’ve shown we’re capable of beating anybody, but we have to play well,” he said. “You’ve got to be playing well at the right time and hope you get some good matchups and good bounces and advance one day at a time.”