Western Kentucky's tournament travel plans will be a little less hectic this time around, avoiding the play-in game at Dayton while receiving a 16-seed and being matched up against the 1-seed Kansas Jayhawks in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday.
Yes, it's true. A 16 seed has never, never, never, never defeated a 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history. Yes, it will take a gigantic effort of hot-shooting, precision passing, minimal turnovers, and zebra bribery for the Tops to pull off the biggest upset in March Madness history.
This miracle has come close to happening in the past. Back in 1989, loveable 16 seeds East Tennessee State and Princeton came up just one point short of upsetting 1 seeds Oklahoma and Georgetown. Then, in 1990, our old pals Murray State took Michigan State to overtime, the Racers eventually lost by four points but it was the first 1-16 game to head to an extra session.
Just goes to show, all it takes is a night of cold shooting by the heavy favorites and a large dose of effort and determination by the underdogs. That's why they play the games and that's why it's called March Madness.
The Jayhawks will be in their backyard and at their second home court at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri where they are 6-0 on the season. They've acquired wins over Washington State, Saint Louis, and Oregon State during the regular season while eliminating Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Kansas State on their way to claiming the Big 12 tournament title.
Kansas did have a bad three-game stretch at the beginning of February, losing to Oklahoma State at home, followed by road losses to an atrocious TCU team and Boomer-Sooner capped off the losing streak.
Despite that stretch, it's been another typical successful year for the Rock Chalk crew led by Ben McLemore (16.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Jeff Withey (13.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 129 blocks), and Travis Releford (11.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg).
The Hilltopper front-court will have their hands full with Jayhawk seven-footer Jeff Withey. George Fant will have to stay out of foul trouble in order for WKU to survive down low.
Jamal Crook and T.J. Price will have their hands full matching up with the outstanding guard trio of McLemore, Releford, and Elijah Johnson (the Jayhawks assist leader).
Is anyone picking WKU to win this game? No.
Are the Hilltoppers overmatched in every way possible? Yes.
Welcome to March Madness, where experts are proven wrong and Western Kentucky is looking to pull off the biggest miracle of all-time.