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Sunday NCAA Open Thread: Is Kansas Skurred?!

The field is narrowed to 16 today. Alabama has beaten one of the teams already in - UCLA; while another, NC State, is led by some guys you may be familiar with: Mark Gottfried, and the Wolfpack's leading scorer, Trevor Lacey. Feel free to lament that in the comments.

Damn, you don't have to rub it in, Trevor.
Damn, you don't have to rub it in, Trevor.
Jared Wickerham

Here's your schedule for the day, but, a preliminary note:

Kansas absolutely refuses to play Wichita State. There has been serious shade thrown between the two schools for the past four years, as Gregg Marshall and Bill Self up the ante every time they open their mouth. That's great for us, because s***-talking is a lot of fun. While you have some time before the tip, read this article from CBS Sports. Here's a teaser, as Bill Self says what I've been saying about Auburn for decades:

The one thing about being in coaching a long time and coaching at different schools and different levels is the fact that you understand that coaches schedule what's in the best interest of their program," Self said. "Nowhere does it say that they are obligated to schedule in the best interest of somebody else's program that wants to play them.

FWIW, I agree with KU on this one: There is nothing for KU to gain by traveling to Wichita every other year, nor is hosting an in-state, up-and-comer in the Jayhawks' best interests. The funny thing about aristocracy is that you don't have to dignify every upstart and give them a chance to ascend to your level. The Notre Dames and Alabamas in football, the Kentuckys and Dukes in hoops, don't have to whore themselves for the South Alabamas of the world, nor should they. And, yes, Alabama should have told Auburn the same thing sixty years ago. Fortunately, the UA administration later got it right by refusing to bolster the Troy and UAB programs (as well as give them those schools the opportunity for a potential program-defining win.)

In any event, whether you frame it as "ducking the Shockers," and I do not, or "doing what's best for your program," the two schools finally meet today. On behalf of the oligarchs, I, for one, hope Kansas kicks the ever-living hell out of Wichita State -- sometimes, you absolutely deserve what you have asked for.