KU Basketball: Dick Vitale Silent on Jayhawks in NCAA Tournament

ESPN commentator Dick Vitale - Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN commentator Dick Vitale - Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The KU basketball team is the number two overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, but you wouldn’t know it from legendary ESPN announcer Dick Vitale.

The Kansas Jayhawks are the number one seed in the Midwest region of the NCAA Tournament, and the second seed overall, yet Dick Vitale doesn’t seem to know that.

In an interview with Michael Collins for FanSided.com about March Madness, Vitale failed to mention the Jayhawks at all.

Despite their high seed, despite Frank Mason III, who has already been anointed the  USA Today  National Player of the Year, despite the fact the Jayhawks just won their 13th consecutive Big 12 Conference regular season championship, Kansas was not worthy of a mention from Vitale.

Maybe Vitale was turned off by the Jayhawks’ loss to the TCU Horned Frogs in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals (without Josh Jackson), or maybe he isn’t thrilled with the multitude of off-the-court issues that have surrounded Kansas this season.

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Or maybe he just doesn’t think the Jayhawks will be a factor in the tournament.

Despite all the gaudy accomplishments, Kansas does have some weaknesses. They have no inside game to speak of – offensively or defensively.

Their bench is frightfully shallow, and if they have a cold day from three-point land, it will be hard for them to overcome that in the high-stress atmosphere of March Madness.

On the plus side,  when the Kansas Jayhawks take the court on Friday in Tulsa, March 17 at 5:50 P.M. CT, they will have only played two games in the last 17 days. They should be well-rested coming into tournament play.

Of course, the Jayhawks do have Mason and head coach Bill Self. Mason has been stellar this season, becoming the first player in Kansas and Big 12 history to average 20 or more points a game and five or more assists a game for the season.

Bill Self is a master on the sideline, accumulating 413 wins in 14 seasons at Kansas and 620 in his career. He has two Final Four appearances and a National Championship. The Jayhawks have been a number one seed seven times in the last 11 years.

On the flip side, Self’s Kansas teams have failed to make it past the first weekend five times in 13 seasons and have lost in the Regional final four times.

Despite the Dick Vitale snub (full interview), the Kansas Jayhawks should be considered one of the favorites to make it to the Final Four, based on their season and their seeding, but Vitale obviously doesn’t think so. Mason’s toughness and Self’s leadership might just be enough to carry them through the field, though.

Another National Championship is more than possible!