KANSAS CITY, Mo. — College basketball is entering the last few weeks of the regular season.
With only a few more games to go until the conference tournament, teams that are virtual locks are strengthening themsevles before the NCAA tournament while bubble teams are looking to cement their status in The Big Dance.
Here are how the men’s and women’s teams of the Kansas City metro area are predicted to be seeded.
The defending national champions in men’s basketball are poised to make another tournament run.
The Jayhawks are 23-5, first place in the Big 12 and firmly locked in as a number one seed again this year by many projections.
Kansas started the year 16-1 with their lone loss to ranked Tennessee then dropped three straight Big 12 games in late January to Kansas State, TCU and Baylor. They have since won the next seven of eight and avenged all of those losses.
On the women’s side, KU is 16-9, seventh in the Big 12 and is predicted to be a nine seed.
Big 12 competition has rocked the Jayhawks; they have only won two of their last seven games including a Wednesday night loss to Kansas State.
The Wildcats men’s basketball team has been one of the greatest stories of the season.
First-year head coach Jerome Tang is lining coach of the year awards around the country with his performance. K-State is 21-7, third in the Big 12 and is projected as a 3 seed by several outlets.
Tang also did this with only two Wildcats returning to Manhattan from last year’s squad.
Kansas State had a tough stretch to start February losing four of five to start the month but back-to-back wins against Iowa State and Baylor at home bolstered their resume.
On the women’s side, they could have a tough time securing an at-large bid.
At 15-12, the Wildcats are eight in the Big 12 and on the bubble for the tournament. One outlet has the Wildcats as a 12 seed among the last few teams in. The women only produced one win in the month of January but wins over Iowa State and Baylor in February helped their resume.
With a NET ranking of 70, a win over Kansas combined with at least one win against West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas could push them into the tournament.
Mizzou men’s head coach Dennis Gates is also up for coach of the year honors for the turnaround the Tigers have had under their first-year coach.
Missouri is 20-8, seventh in the SEC and have won three of their last five including a win over sixth-ranked Tennessee.
While a weaker nonconference schedule gave Mizzou a 9-0 record to start the season until they got mopped by Kansas, key wins over ranked teams (at the time) like Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas and Iowa State along with collecting SEC wins has them projected to be a 10 seed.
A crucial home win over Mississippi State helped the Tigers halt a back-to-back losing streak the hands of Auburn and Texas A&M.
The women have a more challenging battle to climb even with a NET ranking of 52.
Mizzou women are 17-10, eighth in the SEC after winning their last two.
The Tigers started the calendar year with two wins but failed to muster another one until the beginning of February. Two Quadrant 1 wins don’t help their case either as no major outlets project them in the NCAA tournament.
Even a win against 20-7 Ole Miss to close the season may not be enough to get them an at-large bid. Winning the SEC tournament could be Mizzou’s only way to avoid another WNIT berth.