Kansas’ 2011 Bracket Breakdown

The 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket was announced about an hour ago. Here is a breakdown of KU’s region of the bracket.

Kansas plays Boston University in the first round.

Boston University:

21-13 of the America East Conference (15-4)

RPI: 129

SOS: 216

vs. Top 50 RPI:  0-3 (Villanova, Kentucky, Harvard)

KenPom: 170

Good wins: Vermont (x2)

Bad losses: Maine, Maryland Baltimore City, Hartford, New Hampshire

Boston isn’t a very experienced team and they really won’t be a problem for the Jayhawks. No No. 16 team has beaten a No. 1. So there’s no need to worry here. Phog Blog has a little write-up on them right here.

Second round potential match-up: No 9. Illinois or No. 8 UNLV

Illinois

19-13 of Big 10 conference (9-10)

RPI: 47

SOS:  19

vs. Top 50 RPI:  5-10

KenPom:  20

Good wins:  North Carolina, Gonzaga, Oakland, Northern Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn St, Michigan, Minnesota

Bad losses: Illinois-Chicago, Indiana

UNLV

24-8 of Mountain West conference (12-6)

RPI: 26

SOS: 33

vs. Top 50 RPI: 3-7

KenPom: 22

Good wins: Wisconsin, Kansas State,

Bad losses: UCSB

Illinois or UNLV thoughts: Either one of these teams will be a hard draw for KU in the second round. Both are battled tested as they’ve faced tough schedules.

Sweet 16 potential match-ups: No. 4 Louisville or No. 5 Vanderbilt

Louisville

25-9 of Big East conference (14-7)

RPI: 17

SOS: 13

vs. Top 50 RPI: 9-7

KenPom: 12

Good wins: Butler, UNLV, St. John’s, UConn (x2), Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame.

Bad losses: Providence, Drexel

Louisville is going to be a very hard match-up for the Jayhawks if they face in off in the Sweet 16. Rick Pitino is one of the greatest coaches of all time and they had a very good year in the Big East. Don’t be fooled with their record. Seven of those losses are in the RPI Top 50. Four of those are in the top 15 RPI.

Vanderbilt

23-10 of SEC (11-8)

RPI: 27

SOS: 18

vs. Top 50 RPI:  6-8

KenPom: 32

Good wins: North Carolina, Belmont, Marquette, St. Mary’s, Georgia (x2), Kentucky.

Bad losses: South Carolina, Arkansas

A look at some of their losses: West Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee (x2), Florida (x3), Kentucky. Those are all losses to teams in the tournament. All of which could advance in their first game. Vanderbilt would  be another tough draw for KU, but Louisville would be much more difficult.

Elite 8 potential match-ups: No. 6 Georgetown, No. 3 Purdue, No. 7 Texas A&M or No. 2 Notre Dame

Georgetown

RPI: 13

SOS: 1

vs. Top 50 RPI: 8-10

KenPom: 31

Purdue

RPI: 12

SOS: 23

vs. Top 50 RPI: 9-5

KenPom:  7

Texas A&M

RPI: 29

SOS: 44

vs. Top 50 RPI:  5-4

KenPom: 44

Notre Dame

RPI: 8

SOS: 20

vs. Top 50 RPI: 11-5

KenPom: 10

The most likely candidate to make it out of this group is Notre Dame. I’d also say they’re probably the hardest No. 2 seed match-up. Good thing for KU fans is that some of these other teams will have a chance to knock them off.  I think the least likely team to face Kansas in the Elite Eight is Texas A&M.