It seems clear that the cases for and against Kansas University’s women’s basketball team being included in the NCAA Tournament field are pretty equal.
“I think we’ve shown that if you look at the talent and depth of this league, get us all out of here and put us in the tournament and we’ll all win,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “If you put us in the NCAA Tournament, we’ll all win games. There’s no doubt about that.”
The Jayhawks, who lost to No. 3 seed Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo., finished the regular season in sixth place in the 10-team Big 12. KU, Texas and Oklahoma State each piled up 8-10 league records, but the Jayhawks won the tiebreaker because they beat UT and OSU three of the four times they played them.
“We earned a sixth seed,” she said. “It wasn’t a coin flip. In the tiebreaker, we won the pool.”
The principle strengths of KU’s argument go like this: five league road wins, a quality victory at Oklahoma on the final day of the regular season and a sixth-place finish in the conference.
The argument against Kansas is made up of: a 4-10 record to close the season, late home losses to Missouri and Oklahoma State and no Carolyn Davis, who was injured in mid-February and watched her team go 2-6 without her.
All of the debate and waiting will come to a close tonight, when the women’s bracket is revealed at 6 p.m. The Jayhawks, who are seeking their first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 2000, will watch the announcement together in private and have no plans to talk to the media.
“I’m not sure what it will be like, but I feel like we deserve to go to the tournament,” junior point guard Angel Goodrich said. “We’re in one of the toughest leagues in the country. We went 8-10. I feel like we built our resume pretty strong.”
If the Jayhawks are left out, they likely will compete in the WNIT for the fifth straight season.