Conflicting Items Regarding KU's Tourney Chances

John Gasaway (Big Ten Wonk) mentioned KU yesterday in response to some reader mail about efficiency margin:

Additional note: last year Michigan State had a beautiful EM but no one noticed or cared because they lost to Iowa in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. This year, one potential Michigan State would appear to be Kansas. Of course, would-be Michigan States still need help from the brackets--anyone in the neighborhood of Connecticut is unlikely to live long enough to be hailed as a surprise. Still, keep an eye on the Jayhawks.

Kyle Whelliston (The Mid-majority) ranked Kansas as the fifth most desired first-round opponent for a 12-seed.

On behalf of Bucknell, thanks again. But that was last year -- we Davids would like to sling one more rock and chalk up another win over the Jayhawks. And yes, I know about their nails-tough defense (.849 PA per defensive possession, best in D-I), but they do turn over the ball more than a good team should (21.8 percent of the time) on the offensive end -- that's probably why they didn't get a Big 12 co-champion trophy. All a feisty mid-major would have to do is hang tough until the final minutes; since Kansas is in the nation's bottom 100 in free-throw shooting (67.2 percent, 234th nationally), I like our chances in a down-to-the-wire foul-off.

Being the reckless prognosticator I am, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I haven't found (doesn't mean such a team doesn't exist/might mean I'm way behind in my analytical preparations for the tournament) a potential 12-seed I'm worried about Kansas facing and I have a hard time imaging the Jayhawks reaching the Final Four.

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