After the last two NCAA tournament runs by the Kansas Jayhawks ended in disappointment to inferior opponents, the eight-time defending Big 12 regular season champions will hope to get back to the championship game for the first time since their triumph in 2008.
Kansas has been a No. 1 seed four of the last five seasons, but the Jayhawks don't need a top seed to progress deep in this tournament. As it is, they're a No. 2 seed in this year's tournament and will start in the Midwest Region.
The Jayhawks are as good defensively as they've been in quite some time, and they are well coached by The Sporting News' coach of the year Bill Self.
Let's look at five keys to the Jayhawks' 2012 NCAA tournament run.