Men's Basketball to Take on Bucknell in NCAA Tournament
March 15, 2005
Kansas has put up some impressive numbers the last three seasons in the NCAA Tournament. In that span the Jayhawks have sported a 12-3 (80 percent) record with two Final Four and one Elite Eight appearance heading into its 2005 NCAA Tournament first-round game against Bucknell, Friday, March 18, at approximately 8:50 p.m. at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Kansas (23-6 overall) earned the No. 3 seed in the Syracuse Region after claiming a share of its fifth Big 12 and 48th overall league title. This is KU’s 34th overall NCAA Tournament appearance and third trip to Oklahoma City for the event. Its last trip to OKC was the start of KU’s run to the NCAA Tournament championship game in 2003. Bucknell owns a 22-9 record after winning the Patriot League tournament last week. The Bison went 10-4 in league play, defeating Colgate (60-59), Lafayette (53-35) and Holy Cross (61-57) in the league tournament.
Kansas is coming off its eighth semifinal appearance in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament. The Jayhawks tied for the 2005 Big 12 regular-season championship with Oklahoma posting a 12-4 record and have won three of their last five outings heading into the NCAA Tournament. Big 12 Player of the Year and first-team All-American Wayne Simien leads Kansas with 20.2 ppg and 11.1 rpg. Named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team last Sunday, Simien is averaging 26.4 points and 12.4 rebounds in his last five games. He has 15 double-doubles on the season and two 30-point efforts in his last five games. Second-team All-Big 12 selection Keith Langford will be looking to bounce back from the first two games he has missed in his four-year KU career. Langford battled a sprained ankle and the stomach flu last week but should be at full strength for the NCAA Tournament. He is averaging 14.7 ppg this season. Senior Aaron Miles has crushed every KU and Big 12 assists record and was named second-team All-Big 12 by Associated Press and third team by the league coaches. He is averaging a league-best 7.31 assists per game which ranks in the top 10 nationally and is scoring 9.5 points per contest. Miles’ 950 assists are tied for eighth in NCAA Division I history. Sophomore J.R. Giddens is third in scoring on the team with 10.3 ppg and leads KU with 63 three-point field goals. Junior Christian Moody is another starter who is averaging 5.8 ppg and is second on the team with 4.6 rpg. Moody has pulled down six or more rebounds 10 times this season. Senior Michael Lee (4.3 ppg) has started the last four games for KU and averaged seven points and 7.5 rebounds at the Big 12 Tournament.
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
Kansas coach Bill Self won his fifth league title as a head coach against Kansas State March 2. He won two titles at Tulsa, two at Illinois and a share of the 2005 Big 12 title at Kansas. Self recorded his 250th career win at Kansas State on Feb. 9. His win against Colorado on Feb. 12 marked his seventh straight 20-win season as a head coach and eighth overall. He is 47-15 in his second season at KU and 254-120 in his 12th season overall. Last year, KU posted a 24-9 record and finished tied for second in the Big 12 race at 12-4. KU advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year, falling to Georgia Tech in overtime, 79-71. Self’s 24 victories tied Dick Harp for the most wins by a KU coach in his debut season at Kansas. Prior to KU, Self led Illinois to two Big Ten titles and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Before Illinois, he guided Tulsa to two WAC championships in 1999 and 2000 and was The Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000. A four-time Naismith Coach of the Year Award finalist, Self began his coaching career at KU in 1985-86 and was an assistant at his alma mater – Oklahoma State – from 1986 until 1993. His first head coaching stint was at Oral Roberts where he guided the Golden Eagles to the NIT in 1996-97, their first postseason appearance since 1983-84. Self is 13-6 in the NCAA Tournament.
Bucknell (22-9) brings a four game winning streak into its match up with Kansas. The Bison have won five of their last six and eight of their last 11 including the Patriot League Tournament championship. Bucknell finishedsecond in the Patriot league regular-season race behind Holy Cross with 10-4 conference record. The Bison are led by junior guard Kevin Bettencourt who averages 12.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. Bucknell is coached by Pat Flannery who is 171-145 in his 11th year at his alma mater and 266-188 in his 16th season overall. Flannery starred as a point guard during his playing days at Bucknell. He was a two-year co-captain, led the team to a 20-win season as a senior in 1979-80, and ranks third on Bucknell’s all-time assists list (505). After serving as an assistant coach at Bucknell, Drexel and William & Mary in the 1980s, Flannery was the head coach at Division III Lebanon Valley College for five years, leading that team to its first-ever national championship in 1994. This is Bucknell’s third appearance in the NCAA Men’s Basketball championships (1987 and 1989). The Bison are 0-2 all-time in NCAA tourney games. In 1987, the Bison lost to Georgetown 75-53 at The Omni in Atlanta, and in 1989 they fell to Syracuse 104-81 at Reunion Arena in Dallas.
KU-Bucknell Series History
Kansas has never faced Bucknell on the basketball court.
Kansas Boasts a Sterling NCAA Tournament History
Kansas, which has 12 Final Four appearances and two NCAA championships to its credit, boasts an impressive NCAA Tournament history:
–The Jayhawks’ 34 NCAA Tournament appearances rank fourth nationally behind only Kentucky (47), UCLA (39) and North Carolina (37).
–Kansas sports an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 73-33 and the Jayhawks’ 73 wins ranks fifth in the nation.
–The ‘Hawks will play their 107th NCAA Tournament game on Friday, which ranks fourth all-time in NCAA history.
–KU’s NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.689) ranks seventh all-time.
–Kansas’ 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances ranks second among active streaks.
–The Jayhawks have appeared in the Final Four 12 times — making KU one of just five schools to reach the Final Four 10-plus times.
–Kansas has won nine games in the Final Four.
–KU is one of 12 schools that has won at least two NCAA championships. The ‘Hawks won the NCAA crown in 1952 and 1988.
–Kansas coach Bill Self is making his seventh appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach. Four different Jayhawks have been named NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, including two — B.H. Born in 1953 and Wilt Chamberlain in 1957 — who won the award even though KU lost in the finals. Clyde Lovellette (1952) and Danny Manning (1988) also won the honor.
–Former Jayhawk player and coach Dick Harp is the only person to play in the Final Four and later coach his alma mater in the Final Four.
NCAA Tournament Tid-Bits
–In 1993, Kansas became the only school in NCAA history to make a Final Four appearance, a College World Series appearance and win a bowl game in the same year.
–Larry Brown is one of two coaches to take two different teams to the NCAA Championship game (UCLA, 1980 and Kansas, 1988). Frank McGuire took St. John’s in 1952 and North Carolina in 1957. Brown attended North Carolina. McGuire’s 1957 North Carolina team defeated Kansas for the championship in three overtimes.
–Kansas’ 88 points against Maryland in the 2002 Final Four ranks fourth on the list of most points by a losing team in a national semifinal game.
–Jeff Boschee’s 13 three-point attempts in the 2002 Final Four against Maryland tied for the third-most three-point attempts in a national semifinal game.
–When Phog Allen’s 1952 team won the NCAA title, Allen was 66 years, four months and eight days old. That is still the oldest age for the head coach of a championship team.
–Adonis Jordan’s 5-of-7 three-point shooting performance in the 1993 national semifinal game against North Carolina is tied for the highest percentage ever in an NCAA Final Four game. Donald Williams of UNC accomplished the feat twice, both times in 1993.
–Danny Manning’s six blocked shots in the 1988 national semifinal game against Duke stood as the most blocks in an NCAA Final Four game for eight years until Massachusetts’ Marcus Camby blocked six shots against Kentucky to tie it.
–In 1988, Kansas blocked nine Duke shots to tie the record for most blocks in an NCAA Final Four game. Maryland also blocked nine Jayhawk shots in the 2002 Final Four.
–In the 1988 championship game versus Oklahoma, the Jayhawks and Sooners set an NCAA record for most combined points in a first half of a championship game, with a 50-50 halftime score.
–Kansas owns the record for fewest three-point field goal attempts in a championship game. The Jayhawks fired just six three-point attempts the entire 1988 game.
–When Kansas won the NCAA Tournament in 1988 as a No. 6 seed, only one team had won the tournament with a lower seed — the Villanova Wildcats, who won in 1985 as an eighth seed. Jim Valvano’s 1983 N.C. State team also won the tournament as a No. 6 seed. In the 1990s, the lowest seed to win the tournament was the 1997 Arizona team which captured the title as a No. 4 seed. The Wildcats upset Kansas, the top seed, in the Sweet 16.
KU is the Cradle of Tournament Coaching Legends
Six head coaches who enjoyed outstanding NCAA Tournament success graduated from the University of Kansas. In fact, the 116 combined NCAA Tournament wins by those six men are easily the most by graduates of any one school. Dean Smith (KU `53), Adolph Rupp (KU `22), Phog Allen (KU `06), Ralph Miller (KU `42), Dick Harp (KU `40) and Frosty Cox (KU `30) collectively compiled a record of 116-65 in NCAA Tournament play. Smith’s North Carolina teams went 65-27 in 27 years of NCAA Tournament action.
Kansas’ No. 3 seed marks the third No. 3 seed in its 34 tournament appearances. The Jayhawks went 1-1 as the No. 3 seed in 1985 with a win over Ohio and a loss to Auburn. In 1991, the Jayhawks went 5-1 with wins over New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Indiana, Arkansas and North Carolina, before falling to Duke in the national championship game.
KU in OKC
The Jayhawks will play in Oklahoma City for the third time in their 34th NCAA appearance. KU’s run to the 2003 title game started with a 2-0 record at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City when KU defeated Utah State, 64-61, and Arizona State, 108-76, in the first and second rounds (West Regional). Kansas also played at the Myriad Convention Center – across the street from the Ford Center in the 1998 NCAA first/second rounds and went 1-1. That year, KU defeated Prairie View A&M, 110-52, in the first round, before falling to Rhode Island, 80-75, in the second round (Midwest Regional). The Ford Center will play host to the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2007.