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LJWorld.com weblogs All Eyes on KU

Kansas already in discussion for No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament

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Fact: There are 13 games left on the regular-season schedule for Kansas University's No. 8-ranked men's basketball team.

Fact No. 2: The Jayhawks could play as many as three more games in the Big 12 Tournament March 13-15 at Sprint Center, in Kansas City, Mo.

Here's the thing. We all like looking ahead. Who doesn't?

Along those lines, you might want to know that Kansas is on the No. 1 seed line on "Bracket Brad's Big Board" over at Yahoo Sports.

With KU at 14-4, the Jayhawks not only have more losses than fellow projected No. 1 seeds Arizona, Syracuse and Michigan State, but also No. 2s Wisconsin, Villanova, Wichita State and Florida. Kentucky, also at 14-4, is the only other team on the top three seed lines with more than two losses.

Kansas gets the benefit of the doubt with its defeats, due to the weight of a brutal schedule and the No. 1 RPI spot.

For those more concerned with the here and now:

Embiid moving past competition

Kansas center Joel Embiid rejects a shot from Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. Also pictured is Kansas forward Perry Ellis.

Kansas center Joel Embiid rejects a shot from Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. Also pictured is Kansas forward Perry Ellis. by Nick Krug

Yahoo's Pat Forde led off his latest "Forde Minutes" installment discussing how a pair of once less heralded freshmen — Kansas center Joel Embiid and Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis — have caught up with the ballyhooed freshman stars the college hoops world raved about before the season began:

Embiid is drawing the kind of raves once reserved for Anthony Davis, Greg Oden, Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon – the can’t-miss-big-man kind of raves. Of course, Oden did miss (injuries), and Davis is not yet a transformative player, and the sample-size people are basing the grandiose Embiid projections on all of 18 collegiate games. But the lithe athleticism, deft footwork, great hands, soft touch, sharp timing and sheer size are intoxicating ingredients.


As Forde references in the piece, DraftExpress.com currently has Embiid as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

FYI, the mock draft also includes a pair of the big man's freshman classmates: Andrew Wiggins at No. 2 and Wayne Selden at No. 21.

O'Neil on the Jayhawks

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins pulls up for a shot before Baylor forward Rico Gathers during the second half on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins pulls up for a shot before Baylor forward Rico Gathers during the second half on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil visited Lawrence for the Jayhawks' home wins over Oklahoma State and Baylor, and had no shortage of topics to hit.

In a blog that followed KU's Big Monday victory, O'Neil said KU is beyond worrying about an off night or two from Wiggins:

As Kansas collects its fifth win a row, its fourth against ranked opponents, the story is less and less about Wiggins. The draw isn’t so much to see what the kid can do, but rather what the Jayhawks are doing.


In O'Neil's interview with KU's 7-foot freshman, Embiid, the phenom whose name is on the lips of almost anyone talking about the top pick in the 2014 NBA draft offered an interesting comment on the possibility of playing at the next level:

"I don't know," he said. "I think it would be too overwhelming for me right now. I'm not sure I'm ready."


Check out O'Neil's video interview with Embiid, which accompanied her story.


O'Neil also wrote about how Kansas went from struggling in December to elite in January.

Twitter talk

The biggest question surrounding KU basketball these days seems to be: Who from the Big 12 is going to beat the Jayhawks first? CBS/SI college hoops specialist Seth Davis offered up his theory:

None by Seth Davis

Davis also had this to say about Embiid, whose NBA stock comes up constantly these days:

None by Seth Davis

None by Seth Davis

Hey, not everything CBS analyst Doug Gottlieb says/tweets will enrage Kansas basketball fans (unless this does):

None by Doug Gottlieb

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