Kansas basketball: The Big 12 Tournament is becoming more important

Kansas basketball (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
Kansas basketball (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

With how rapidly things are changing due to the coronavirus, Kansas basketball may want to put more emphasis on the Big 12 Tournament.

It seems like if you put your phone down for even five minutes you may miss some news. In just one day, the NBA suspended its season indefinitely, almost every conference basketball tournament will be played without fans, and the NCAA Tournament will be played without fans too. There’s a real possibility that the NCAA Tournament is canceled, and if that’s the case, it’d be a nightmare for Kansas basketball.

The Jayhawks have had an incredible season. They’re 28-3, the favorite to win the championship, and all around the consensus best team in the country. If they don’t get a chance to hang a banner, it may become one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory.

Obviously shutting the tournament down is the nuclear option, but if the NBA can just stop its season, nothing is off the table at this point. All it will take is one confirmed case on a team.

The good news is that Kansas basketball may still have a few games left. The Big 12 Conference Tournament is still a go (albeit without fans), and the Jayhawks are the favorite to win it. Here’s what head coach Bill Self had to say about the tournament on March 8:

"“It’s not a win-at-all-costs tournament. Even though if you play you’ve got to win, but I’m not going to go into it thinking that we’ve got to grind to win this one. Let’s play and hopefully get some guys a chance to play.” via KUSports"

March 8 was just four days ago, but for how rapidly COVID-19 has developed this quote may as well have been four weeks ago. Self was obviously of the opinion that the Jayhawks are a lock for a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament, which is reasonable. Given that there’s a real chance that there’s no NCAA Tournament this season, it’s important that the Jayhawks win the Big 12 Tournament.

In the event that the big dance doesn’t happen, the national champion this season could end up being the leader in the polls, similar to the way college football used to work. If that happens, the Jayhawks would likely become the de facto national champion assuming they win the conference tournament.

Another possibility is that the tournament could be played with just four teams, almost like the college football playoff system. Making the number one seeds skip straight to the Final Four would be tough, but screening four teams for the virus instead of 60+ would certainly be easier.

Related Story. Three keys to winning the Big 12 Tournament. light

The Jayhawks have had a dream season this year, and it’d be a shame to not see them in Atlanta for the Final Four. Unfortunately, the decisions that impact the future of their season are not in their hands; however, Kansas can still go out and win these Big 12 games.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.