As expected, five teams from the Big 12 had their name called on Selection Sunday and are among the 68 teams that comprise the field for the 2013 NCAA Basketball Championship, otherwise known as March Madness.
Big 12 Tournament champion Kansas is on the one line in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last five seasons. The Jayhawks join Louisville, the tournament’s overall top seed, Indiana and Gonzaga as this year’s four No. 1 seeds. In terms of the top four seeds, Kansas was rated right behind Louisville as the No. 2overall seed, then Indiana, and Gonzaga was slotted in the final No. 1 spot and the pole sitter in the West Region.
Kansas, 29-5 on the season, is the top seed in the South Region and draws the No. 16 seed Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (20-15), champions of the Sub Belt Conference, in its opening-round game on Friday, to be played at the Sprint Center in Kanasa City, the same floor on which the Jayhawks won their ninth Big 12 Tournament title on Saturday.
Big 12 Tournament runner-up Kansas State (27-7) and regular-season co-champion also will play in Kansas City on opening weekend of NCAA Tournament action, as one of the Friday games. The Wildcats, seeded No. 4 in the West Region, get the winner of a play-in game on Wednesday between Boise State (21-10) the lowest seed of the five teams from the Mountain West Conference to receive a bid to this year’s NCAA Tournament, and LaSalle (21-9), the fifth-place finisher in the Atlantic 10.
Iowa State (22-11) is the 10 seed in the West and will go up against the No. 7 seed in the West Region, Notre Dame (25-9), which finished fifth this season in the Big East.
Oklahoma (20-11), one of the suprise teams in the Big 12 this season returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years. The Sooners are the 10 seed in the South Region and are matched up with the San Diego State Aztecs (22-10), the fourth-place team in the Mountain West, and will play Friday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Oklahoma State is the only one of the five NCAA tourney-bound Big 12 teams that will be playing at a Thursday-Saturday site. The Cowboys (24-8) are the fifth seed in the Midwest Region and will open their NCAA Torunament run in a Thursday game in San Jose, Calif., against the 12th-seeded Oregon Ducks (26-8), Pac 12 Tournament champions. Several college basketball experts were critical of the 12 seed assigned to Oregon by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, saying that it is lower than the Ducks deserve.
The times of all the opening games for the five Big 12 teams going to the 2013 NCAA Tournament are still to be announced.
The Baylor Bears were left out of the NCAA Torunament field this year after going 18-14 this season and finishing sixth in the Big 12 standings. The Bears will be playing in the postseason, however. They are the No, 2 overall seed in the National Invitation Tournament and are scheduled to play Long Beach State in an opening-round game on Wednesday at the Ferrell Center in Waco.