Ticket punched: Kansas cements No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed

Graham Watson
The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

The first No. 1 seed has been chosen.

While it won't be official until tomorrow, Kansas' 85-73 win over Texas in the Big 12 Tournament final should have cemented the Jayhawks as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year and for the third time in the past four seasons.

Kansas probably had the No. 1 seed sewn up well before the conference tournament final, but the win could make them the No. 1 overall seed. The Jayhawks are 32-2 this season and their only losses were to Texas and Kansas State, two teams that are also tournament bound. Winning the conference tournament title, to go along with their regular season title, was merely just icing on the cake.

And they did it in grand fashion, dominating Texas in nearly every aspect of the game from start to finish. It was probably as good a game as the Jayhawks have played all season.

"If we play like that every game, it's definitely going to be hard to stop us," Kansas forward Marcus Morris said. "We had great ball movement and we had great help defense with everybody and we outrebounded them by five. I mean, it's a tough team to definitely get a lot of offensive rebounds. If we play like that, we can compete against anybody in the country."

Since 2000, Kansas has been the No. 1 seed four times; twice it has reached the final four and in 2008, it won the national championship. But as a No. 1 seed last season, with arguably a more talented team than this year, Kansas was upset in the second round to Northern Iowa. It's a fate that could befall the Jayhawks again if they can't stay focused through the rest of March.

Kansas has had stretches this season where it has fallen asleep at the wheel and allowed teams to either creep back in games or stay in it from the beginning. This was evident in the 63-62 win over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals and even at the start of Friday's semifinal game against Colorado. It's been Kansas' talent and depth that has helped them pull through some of those closer games.

Other No. 1 seeds could include Ohio State, Duke and Pittsburgh depending on what happens in the finals of the ACC and Big Ten tournaments Sunday.

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