K-State’s Prospects For Making The NCAA Tournament

K-State’s Prospects For Making The NCAA Tournament

K-State basketball is undefeated after two games in the Big 12 after beating West Virginia on Tuesday night. I liked what I saw from the team. They were aggressive defensively, spread the ball around on offense, and mostly hit their open shots. It was the best they have played as a team in a while. Center Will McNair was solid. He almost had a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. The game was a solid 14-point victory on the road in Morgantown.

Although the Wildcats sit tied atop the conference standings after two conference games, the only thing I can confidently say is that K-State will not finish 13th or 14th in the Big 12. Those spots will likely be reserved for K-State’s first two conference opponents, UCF and West Virginia.

According to Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketolofy, K-State is currently on the bubbleas the “next four out.” Interestingly, Jerry Palm disagrees and has K-State as a nine seed in his latest bracket. I keep waffling on whether or not this is a tournament team. They played a decent non-conference schedule, finishing 10-3, but did not beat a ranked team. USC and Miami were ranked when they played them and lost, but neither are currently in the top 25. The Big 12’s overall strength of schedule will help K-State’s prospects of making the tournament, but the Wildcats will still have to finish around .500 in the conference or better to get in.

I like to use the KenPom ratings to help predict things like this. K-State is currently 54th in his ratings. Looking at the remaining schedule, K-State is not likely to be favored to win many of the games on their schedule going forward.

K-State’s remaining schedule

at Texas Tech – 26 in KenPom
vs Baylor – 13 in KenPom
vs Oklahoma State – 102 in KenPom
at Iowa State – 17 in KenPom
at Houston – 1 in KenPom
vs Oklahoma – 20 in KenPom
at Oklahoma State – 102 in KenPom
vs Kansas – 16 in KenPom
at BYU – 11 in KenPom
vs TCU – 29 in KenPom
at Texas – 39 in KenPom
vs BYU – 11 in KenPom
vs West Virginia – 142 in KenPom
at Cincinnati – 32 in KenPom
at Kansas 16 in KenPom
vs Iowa State 17 in KenPom

Using the KenPom ratings as a guide, K-State will likely be favored to win only three of their remaining games. Of course, this is fluid and will change as the season progresses, but I can only give an opinion based on what I know today. If the favored team wins every game, K-State would finish with a 5-13 record in the Big 12. That would not put them in the tournament. The KenPom ratings are not an exact science however. It is likely that K-State will beat a couple of highly-ranked teams along the way, and who knows, they may even drop one or two unexpectedly. But to make the NCAA tournament, K-State will likely have to pull a handful of upsets down the stretch. We’ll see if they can do it. Based on how they have played thus far and the results on the court, they will be on the bubble all season long, and we will not know if they make the NCAA tournament until selection day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *