For Kansas, it is a pretty simple recipe. Simply beat - at best - a No. 10 seed and you'll be on your way to the 2011 Final Four. Kansas is, on paper at least, the beneficiary of the craziness that is the Southwest Region.
After beating the No. 16-seed Boston University in the 2nd Round, the Jayhawks beat No. 9 seed Illinois to earn a spot in the Sweet 16. Up next for the Jayhawks is No. 12-seed Richmond. A win, and Kansas would meet the winner of a 10-11 matchup in the Regional Final. It has happened twice before - in 2001(Michigan State) and 1991(North Carolina). Talk about fortunate.
I doubt Kansas coach Bill Self would think so. The Jayhawks are one year removed from their shocking loss to Northern Iowa in the 2010 Tournament and always seem to struggle in contests against 'mid-majors'. Richmond fits that mold perfectly, and the Spiders have plenty of talent to do the job.
They also have history on their side. We all know the story of Richmond in the Tournament back in the 1980's. They have also shocked the Jayhawks, beating Kansas in 2004 to break a 52-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents.
"I think everyone is confident," Richmond guard Cedric Martel said. "We've shown in the past we can compete with bigger teams. It's a great experience to play a number one seed in the tournament. We're trying to make history."
As the lowest seed still remaining, a win over Kansas would surely do that.
MY PICK: I really want to pick Richmond in this spot. Kansas can be so erratic when playing smaller schools. In the end, I can't.
KANSAS 68 - RICHMOND - 60