Take a break from all the budget problems in Topeka, the speculation on whether Gov. Sam Brownback will join the Trump administration, and the latest brouhaha in Washington, D.C., and celebrate that Kansas has three teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
As Brownback tweeted Sunday, Kansas is “one of the best basketball states in America.”
The University of Kansas is a No. 1 seed – again. Though the Jayhawks lost their opening game in the Big 12 tournament last week, they have been a top-ranked team the entire season and won their 13th straight conference title. The team opens Friday against either North Carolina Central or UC Davis.
Wichita State University is both happy about returning to the NCAA tournament and irritated that it received a No. 10 seed. The 30-4 Shockers have won 15 straight games, including dominating the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Expect coach Gregg Marshall to use the lower-than-deserved seeding as motivation when the Shockers play Dayton Friday.
Kansas State University was on the bubble. But strong play during the Big 12 tournament, including a win against Baylor, helped make the case that K-State deserved to be in the tournament. The No. 11 seeded Wildcats open Tuesday against Wake Forest.
Congratulations also to the K-State women’s team, which plays Drake Saturday in the NCAA women’s tournament, as well as to other area teams that did well or are still competing in post-season tournaments, including Emporia State University women, Friends University women, Tabor College men and women, and Hutchinson Community College men and women.
Yes, it’s only a game. But given all the depressing problems facing our state, nation and world, basketball is a welcome diversion.