Final thoughts on March Madness

OK, so maybe KU, WSU and KSU didn’t make the Final Four this year, but two former K-State coaches (Dana Altman and Frank Martin) and former KU coach Roy Williams had teams in the Final Four (Oregon, South Carolina and North Carolina).

• It’s difficult to please KU fans. The following tweet appeared on Twitter minutes after the Jayhawks disposed of Purdue, 98-66, in a Sweet 16 game: “The storyline I’m not seeing after KU stomped talented Purdue is that nothing but the title will now suffice. F4 ain’t enough. All or zip.”

It turned out to be zip, I guess, as KU was beaten by Oregon in an Elite Eight game. Some KU fans are so spoiled that anything less than a Final Four appearance isn’t good enough.

• So guess which Kansas basketball team last played in a Final Four? That would be Wichita State.

• Fortunately, Bill Self has a national championship in his pocket. His teams make regular appearances in Elite Eight games, which is very good. Since the 2003-04 season, Self’s first at Kansas, he is tied with Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski for the most losses to lower-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament, with 10, according to ESPN Stats & Informa­tion. Six of those losses came when the Jayhawks were a No. 1 seed.

Self is 2-7 in Elite Eight games at Kansas. Only Adolph Rupp, with eight, has lost more. Being talked about in the same breath as Adolph Rupp isn’t a bad thing, though.

• Even the Lawrence Police Department took a jab at the team’s Elite Eight woes this year: “Well, at least we have a lot of experience dealing with fans after an #Elite8 loss. Get home safely, Jayhawk fans. #DriveSober”

• It’s one thing to quibble about how teams are seeded in March. It’s another to be left on the outside looking in. Illinois State finished as co-champions to WSU in the Missouri Valley Conference and finished second to Wichita State in the Valley tournament. Their 27-7 overall record and 39 RPI resulted in an NIT appearance.

Some NCAA tournament teams had a worse RPI, such as at-large teams Wake Forest at No. 43, K-State at No. 52 and Providence at No. 61.

No matter what criteria the tournament committee uses to pick the at-large teams, there are always some winners and losers in the process. This year though, the main complaints centered around how teams were seeded.

• CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm was among the minority who felt that Wichita State had to win the conference tournament to get into the NCAA tournament. This, in spite of the Shockers being ranked No. 21 in the country.

Marshall pointed out that Palm is ranked No. 61 out of 88 bracketologists. Matt Yoder wrote, “While that may sound like a random claim that’s pulled out of thin air to try to discredit him (Palm), it’s actually true. The website Bracket Matrix has a ranking of 88 bracketologists with a five-year average score and Palm does indeed rank in the bottom third at #61. Maybe the lesson here is that bracketology isn’t the exact science we’ve all believed it to be.”

• Of the 50 states, a college football or men’s basketball coach was the highest-paid state employee in 39 of them in 2016. Kansas coach Bill Self would top the charts of the highest paid public employee with a $4.8 million salary. His salary is 90 percent above the Big 12 average of coaching salaries. It would take 92 people earning a median household Kansas income of $52,200 to earn as much as Self does in one year.

• But Self still has a ways to go to reach Kentucky coach John Calipari status. Calipari earns $7.1 million a year. The annual median household income in Kentucky is a little more than $43,700. So 162 is the number of median income people it would take in Ken­tucky to make Calipari’s salary in a year.

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