Nate’s Notes: the best case tourney scenario may not be the best seeding

Freshman forward, Levi Stockard III, cheers on his teammates during the men's basketball game against Baylor in Bramlage Coliseum on Mar. 3, 2018. The Wildcats defeated the Bears 77-67. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The NCAA Tournament is coming up, and the Kansas State men’s basketball team seems to have a tournament berth locked up.

The Wildcats are likely out of contention for any seed better than an eight. Unless they run through Kansas City, Missouri, and are victorious in the Big 12 Championship while beating the next possible seed by a large margin in each game and slip into a seven.

K-State will want to avoid the eight v.s. nine game because that sets the team up with an almost certain date with a top seed. A tenth seed is optimal for K-State, realistically.

Most bracketologists, including Bracket Matrix’s top-rated bracket, Bracketville, have K-State already in the No. 10 spot. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi also gave K-State a tenth seed.

Here are the best and worst case scenarios for K-State in March of this year.

Best case scenario:

For K-State to lock up that tenth spot, it will likely need to beat TCU in the first round of Big 12 Tournament and then have a respectable showing in the semi-finals against probably Kansas.

Location is next, and since the Wildcats are a tenth seed in this situation, that location is mostly luck. Kansas will likely get one of the two pods in Wichita, Kansas, so K-State will have to hope it is a one seed and that the two seed in K-State’s pod is a team close to Wichita. That seems unlikely.

Worst case scenarios:

I’ve got two possibilities here: the “K-State plays super well” one and the “K-State completely falls off the wagon” one.

For “K-State plays super well,” this is where K-State manages to somehow slide into a nine seed. K-State will likely have to at least play in the Big 12 Championship game for this scenario to happen.

K-State would not get any rest in that situation going into a match-up with an eight seed and then possibly a date with the likes of Virginia. This scenario may be exciting this week, but come NCAA Tournament time, it is pretty much a guarantee of a second-round loss.

For the “K-State completely falls off the wagon” scenario, the Wildcats will need to get blown out by TCU in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, by 20 or more points.

If that happens, K-State could end up right back in Dayton, Ohio, like last year or even worse, out of the field altogether.

Missing the tournament is a real possibility despite finishing fourth in the conference because of the awful non-conference schedule. It is very unlikely, though.

My prediction is that K-State winds up with a tenth seed, and honestly, I am OK with that.

Nathan Enserro is the assistant sports editor for the Collegian and a sophomore in public relations. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to

Nathan Enserro
Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, a graduate student from Olathe, Kansas, working on a Masters in Mass Communication. I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. This is my fourth year covering K-State sports for the Collegian.