Jayhawks, Wildcats take different road on tourney travel

Posted at 12:41 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 13:42:16-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The University of Kansas and Kansas State University are separated by roughly 85 miles.

They both have pretty good men's basketball teams.

But when it comes to playing in the NCAA Tournament, one team travels many more miles than the other.

It's been 10 years since the Jayhawks won the National Championship. Since then, the team has made the NCAA Tournament every year, advancing deep into the tournament several years.

During the last 10 years, the team has played 39 tournament games (including Friday's Sweet 16 game against Clemson). During those games, the team has traveled roughly 13,121 miles to attend the various venues.

In the same time period, the Wildcats have made the tournament eight times. They've made a couple deep runs into the tournament, including an Elite 8 appearance in 2010. But generally speaking, the team doesn't make it as far into the tournament, and combined with not making the tournament every year, the team has played 17 games during the last 10 years.

To play those 17 games, the team has traveled roughly 14,360 miles.

That's right: The Wildcats have played 22 fewer NCAA Tournament games since 2008 but have traveled 1,200 miles more than their in-state rival.

The travel difference is intentional.

The NCAA Tournament rewards better teams with games closer to home. That allows more of the fan's teams to attend the games. It also gives a small home-court advantage to the already better team.

So the next time KU fans have any gripes about having to travel to attend a tournament game, they need to remember they've had it pretty good.