The Kansas Jayhawks have a 1-seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket and their road to the Final Four, if seeds mean anything, won't be too hard. KU basketball plays 12-seed Richmond on Friday night and if they win they'll play the winner of 10-seed Florida State and 11-seed VCU.
The Jayhawks are a 10.5 point favorite over Richmond, which isn't much of a surprise. Frankly, I'm almost a little surprised they weren't bigger favorites. That's the largest line in the Sweet 16 with Duke's nine point spread over Arizona following.
It's obvious why KU is a heavy favorite. The simple explanation is that they're really, really good. The (barely) longer explanation is that not many teams, if any, have the size to compete with Marcus and Markieff Morris in the paint. To stop them, you'll need to give the extra attention with some help defense. Once you do that, guys like Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed are left open and someone like Tyshawn Taylor or Elijah Johnson will cut through the defense. They'll play any way you want -- fast, slow, low-tempo, high-tempo -- and probably beat you that way, too.
Stranger things have happened to Kansas but I don't see them losing this game. One of the keys will be coming out with high energy as they did against Illinois (and didn't do against Boston). From there, they need to maintain that energy because, when they're playing hard, a smaller school like Richmond isn't going to beat them. The only way KU loses is if they make some mistakes and Richmond turns in the game of their lives (which is possible).
For more on Kansas and the game against Richmond, check out Rock Chalk Talk.