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NCAA tourney prediction: Jayhawks will fly high

Senior, Frank Mason III doing what he does best at Allen Fieldhouse versus Iowa State.

Senior, Frank Mason III doing what he does best at Allen Fieldhouse versus Iowa State.

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As the March Madness basketball tournament quickly approaches, the constant bickering and tension between students closely follows.

The NCAA men’s season has been anything but consistent as underdogs continue to upset big names like Gonzaga and Kansas and the coveted #1 seed in the AP Poll has been awarded to multiple different teams during the regular season.

If you ask me who I’m rooting for in the tournament this year, my answer may not surprise you. I’m staying loyal to my future school and rooting for Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks to win the tournament this year.

I know what you may be thinking, and I agree to an extent. Kansas does have tendency to choke in March. Last year, under the leadership of senior, Perry Ellis, and then sophomore, Devonte Graham, the Jayhawks made it to the Elite Eight, losing to Villanova, the 2016 champions, by a mere five points.

This year, however, the team is back and better than ever.

With his four years of experience with this Kansas team and under head coach Self, Frank Mason III is ready to take this team to the Final Four, and this time, to the championship in Phoenix, Arizona.

This regular season, the Jayhawks won their 13th consecutive Big 12 title, all under Self. In his 14th year at Kansas, Self’s most notable stat is one that almost doesn’t seem possible. Self has more Big 12 titles (13) than home losses (10)at Allen Fieldhouse.

Although this has been another successful season for the Jayhawks, many of you may doubt their ability to make it to the Final Four due to their few notable losses this season.

One of these losses came from their Big 12 rival, the Iowa State Cyclones, at the Phog, thus snapping a 51 game win streak at home. Kansas also lost in the first round  of the Big 12 tournament to TCU. Despite this upset, my outlook for their success in the tourney is very positive.

Not only was this loss a reality check for the team, but it will motivate them right before the most important time in their season (it MIGHT also teach freshman NBA prospect, Josh Jackson, to show up to court).

Firstly, despite the home loss to Iowa State, the Jayhawks beat the #1 ranked team at the time, the Duke Blue Devils (thankfully, no one was injured by the punk better known as Grayson Allen).

The Jayhawks worked their way up from a #7 seed, to a #3 and continued to climb to the top. Other notable wins this year include beating #4 Kentucky in Rupp Arena, #2 Baylor at home, and #9 West Virginia at home, an incredibly fun game for any basketball fan.

Now let’s take a look at the other #1 seeds in the tournament. Gonzaga, Villanova, and North Carolina. All good teams, but compared to Kansas’s schedule and the competitiveness throughout the Big 12 this year, Kansas had the most competition, and thus are most prepared going into the tournament.

So look for the Jayhawks to fly south for the Final 4 and watch Frank Mason III lead his team to a championship.

 

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NCAA tourney prediction: Jayhawks will fly high