Here are 10 things to remember about the 2011 NCAA tournament bracket (and here's your printable NCAA bracket) with the Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Missouri Tigers and other Big 12 teams.
10. Another case of the Killer B's. Of course Kansas had to play a team whose name starts with a B. Bill Self acknowledged in a post-selection Sunday press conference that he would likely be asked about the B. That stands for Bucknell and Bradley, two of the bigger NCAA tourney upsets in KU's history the last few years. This year, it's Boston. I wonder if the selection committee are Mizzou fans?
9. KU's second round game could be fun. If KU beats Boston Univ, the next opponent will be UNLV or Illinois. The Illini of course are Self's former team. Now that would be an interesting matchup, even if KU would be heavily favored.
8. Kansas playing close to home. The Jayhawks will play in Tulsa for round one which is only about four hours from Kansas City. That's significantly closer to both Mizzou and K-State. The Tigers will head to Washington, D.C. while the Wildcats will go to Tuscon. I expect those Jayhawkers to travel well.
7. Five Big 12 teams make it in. Kansas, Texas, Kansas State, Texas A&M and Missouri all made it in. The highest seed in that group is the No. 1 Jayhawks while the Tigers slipped in as an 11 seed. The big story though is the Big 12 team that didn't get in...
6. Colorado was snubbed! Wow! They beat Kansas State, a fifth seed, three times this year including in the Big 12 tournament en route to the semifinals. They beat Texas, a fourth seed. They beat Missouri, an 11th seed. Colorado, with a conference player of the year candidate in Alec Burks, needs to be in the NCAA tournament. They are considered by many to be the biggest snub this year and one of the bigger all-time. I was writing on Saturday and Sunday as if Colorado would be in because I felt that confident.
5. I don't think KU's bracket is too bad. I'd feel fairly confident in just about every matchup for the Jayhawks. Notre Dame is the second seed in this bracket and Purdue is a third seed. KU is the second ranked team in the country so they should beat most everyone but I don't see any major obstacles for KU.
4. Missouri could face Texas. Sure, they'd have to get to the elite eight, but it could happen. Those two are in the same bracket, as is Kansas and Texas A&M. Those are the only two pairs of Big 12 teams in the same bracket. So those dreams of a KU-KSU game? It'll have to wait for the Final Four.
3. Missouri was one of the last at-large bids. Mizzou was close to a play-in game like UAB-Clemson or USC-VCU. Considering Mizzou was at one point a top 10 team in the country that'd be disappointing. Alas, they'll play the Cincinnati Bearcats instead.
2. Kansas State can make a run. I'll write about this more in-depth at some point but K-State can make a serious run in this tournament. I would love to see them shock some teams en route to stringing together a few wins. With Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly playing well, along with the underrated Rodney McGruder, this team can make life miserable for some teams. They'll play the winner of No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 13 Belmont and, from there, they could have a shot at No. 1 Pittsburgh.
1. Kansas is my pick to win it all. Yeah, risky pick, huh? I've watched this team all year and they're that good. They're deep, talented and well coached. They have the Big 12 player and coach of the year and their bench would start on most teams in the country. I'd be surprised if the Jayhawks aren't at least in the Final Four.
For more on the game, check out our Kansas blog, Rock Chalk Talk, our K-State blog, Bring On The Cats, and our Mizzou blog, Rock M Nation.