For all the talk about seedings, the most important thing in the NCAA Tournament is location. Location, location, location. In the Big 12 in 2009, that means Kansas City.
Two Big 12 teams can be placed in KC’s Sprint Center for games next week, although the NCAA committee might decide to send Memphis there, which would cut to just one the number of Big 12 big boys in Kansas City.
Kansas, Missouri and OU all would like to play in Kansas City, because of travel convenience and fan support. Missouri’s Big 12 Tournament title gives the Tigers a strong case, but the Sooners could be be the highest-seeded Big 12 team. They are highest in most of the NCAA’s criteria, including RPI, road record, record against RPI top-100, etc.
Kansas suffered the most damage in the Big 12 Tournament, losing to Baylor in the first round.
Because of the NCAA’s pod system, in which two regionals can be represented at a first-round site, two Big 12 teams could be in KC.
Some say the committee will take a hard look at geography, because of the economy. If so, that’s good news for KU and Mizzou.
A good way to watch the Selection Show at 5 p.m. tonight is this. If KC doesn’t come up early, watch where other schools are placed. Memphis, OU, Kansas and Missouri. Every time one of those is sent elsewhere, it’s good news for the other Kansas City-hopefuls.