Kansas to take on Iowa State at 2013 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship Friday
March 14, 2013
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS
Big 12 Conference regular-season co-champion and No. 1 seed Kansas (27-5, 14-4) will face No. 5 seed Iowa State (22-10, 11-7) in the semifinals of the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, Friday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m. on the Big 12 Network and ESPNU. Kansas defeated No. 9 seed Texas Tech 91-63 in the Big 12 quarterfinals on March 14, while Iowa State defeated No. 4 Oklahoma 73-66.
Kansas is in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship for the 15th time in the 17-year history of the event. The Jayhawks are 9-5 in the Big 12 semifinals and 17-15 overall in its conference tournament semis. KU is looking to advance to its 10th Big 12 title game and 18th overall league tourney title tilt.
Kansas, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press and No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches’ polls released March 11, is 17-1 at home, 7-3 in road games and 3-1 on neutral courts in 2012-13. In his 10th season at KU, Bill Self holds a 296-58 record for an 83.6 winning percentage. Overall, Self won his 500th career game with a 108-96 overtime win at Iowa State (2/25) and is 503-163 in his 20th season as a head coach. KU averages 75.2 points per game and leads the Big 12 with a +13.8 scoring margin. KU also leads the league in rebounding at 39.1, rebound margin at +6.5, field goal percentage at 47.8, field goal percentage defense at 35.9, which leads the nation, and blocked shots at 6.7.
Kansas starts four seniors, including three fifth-year seniors, and one freshman. An All-Big 12 First Team and USBWA Freshman All-America selection, redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game after his 24 points against Texas Tech (3/14). His scoring average leads all Big 12 freshmen in scoring and ranks second overall in the conference. Against West Virginia McLemore broke the Kansas freshman record for points in a game with 36. The Jan. 14 Big 12 Player of the Week and three-time conference Rookie of the Week, McLemore leads the league in free throw percentage (86.7). McLemore has a team-high 66 three-pointers made and is third on the team with 36 steals. All-America candidate and two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year senior C Jeff Withey leads Kansas in rebounding (8.4 rpg) and has 12 double-doubles this season, including five in his last nine games. An All-Big 12 First Team selection and three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Withey leads the league in blocked shots at 4.0 per game, which ranks third nationally. Withey is Kansas’ and the Big 12’s all-time blocked shots leader with 292. A USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Midseason, Wooden Award Final Ballot and Naismith Award Top-30 list honoree along with McLemore, Withey is scoring 13.5 points per outing and is second in the Big 12 with a 58.6 field goal percentage. Senior G Travis Releford is third in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 57.8 percent. An All-Big 12 Second Team selection, Releford is scoring 11.7 points per contest. All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and Big 12 Player of the Week (3/4) honoree senior G Elijah Johnson has a team-high 153 assists and is second on the team with 46 three-pointers made to complement his 10.0 scoring average. Senior F Kevin Young rounds out the KU starters; he is scoring 7.7 points per contest and is second on the team with 6.6 rebounds per outing. Young scored his 1,000th career point against West Virginia (3/2) between Loyola-Marymount (658) and Kansas (369). Other KU regulars include sophomore G Naadir Tharpe (5.2 ppg, 2.8 apg), freshman F Perry Ellis (5.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg), and redshirt freshman F Jamari Traylor (2.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg).
THE KANSAS-IOWA STATE SERIES
Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State 173-59, dating back to 1908 and has won 15 of the last 16 meetings with ISU’s win coming last season in Hilton Coliseum (72-64, Jan. 28). KU holds a 5-3 advantage over ISU in conference tournament play with the last meeting being in the 2003 Big 12 quarterfinals, a KU 89-74 win in Dallas. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 28-8 against Iowa State with a 26-8 record in regular-season play and a 2-0 mark in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 18-3 all-time versus Iowa State, including 17-3 while at KU, while ISU’s Fred Hoiberg is 1-5 all-time against KU.
In the 2013 Big 12 opener for both teams (Jan. 9), Kansas overcame a six-point second-half deficit to defeat Iowa State 89-87 in overtime in Allen Fieldhouse. KU redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore scored 33 points, including the game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation, to lead the Jayhawks. KU had five players score in double figures with McLemore, Jeff Withey (15), Elijah Johnson (12), Travis Releford (12) and Kevin Young (10). Young and Withey had 12 rebounds apiece to record double-doubles for the game. Iowa State was led by Melvin Ejim with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Kansas head coach Bill Self won his 500th career game in an epic 108-96 overtime victory on ESPN Big Monday Feb. 25. KU senior G Elijah Johnson scored a career-high 39 points in the victory. Senior G Travis Releford added 19 points, while senior C Jeff Withey recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior F Kevin Young also scored 13 points. Iowa State, which made 17 threes for the game, was led by Korie Lucious with 22 points, while teammate Tyrus McGee had 22.
KANSAS-TEXAS TECH LEFTOVERS
–Kansas improved to 15-2 in Big 12 Championship quarterfinal games.
–With the victory, Kansas claims its 27th win of the season, marking the seventh-straight season with at least 27 victories.
–KU is 63-24 all-time in league tournament play, including 33-8 at the Big 12 Championship.
–The Jayhawks have reached the semifinals in 15 of the 17 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships.
–KU shot a season-best 66.0 from the field which was also Kansas’ best shooting effort in the Big 12 Championship, topping the 61.4 percent effort against Texas A&M in last season’s quarterfinals. Kansas’ shooting effort was also the best by any team in Big 12 Championship history.
–KU’s 91 points were the most in the Big 12 Championship since the 94-69 win over Missouri in 2004.
–The 28-point victory was the largest margin of victory since the 90-50 win over Texas Tech in the 2002 semifinals.
–With nine threes, it was the 19th time this season Kansas has made five more threes in a game. KU is 17-2 when making five or more threes this season.
–Kansas has outrebounded 25 of 32 opponents this season and owns a 23-2 record when grabbing more boards than its foes.
–With 24 points, Ben McLemore scored in double-digits for a team-high 28th time this season, including four straight. It was also his 10th 20-point scoring game on the year.
–McLemore became the first Jayhawk to score 20 points in a Big 12 Championship game since Tyshawn Taylor’s 20-point effort against Baylor (March 9, 2012).
–Jamari Traylor posted a career-high seven points, topping his six points against Michigan State on Nov. 13, 2012.
–With two steals in the game’s first five minutes, Travis Releford has 12 games with multiple steals this season. Releford finished with two steals.
–With his three blocked shots, Jeff Withey moved into the No. 2 spot for blocks in a season in KU history with 127 rejections. He also owns the top spot with his 140 blocks last season.
–With his four threes, McLemore now has 14 threes in his last four games combined.
–Andrew White III drained a pair of threes for his fourth multiple trey game of the season.
–Rio Adams scored a career-high 11 points for his first career double-digit scoring effort. He shattered his old mark of four points against Richmond on Dec. 18, 2012.
KANSAS IN THE PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
Here are some Kansas notes heading into the conference postseason tournament:
–Kansas has won more Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships than any other school with eight. Oklahoma is next with three titles (2001-02-03). KU won the first three events in 1997-98-99, then the 2006-07-08-10-11 titles. KU is 8-1 in tourney title games having only lost the 2002 title to Oklahoma.
–Kansas is the only team to have won at least 30 games in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks are 33-8 (80.5 percent) in the event, while Oklahoma State (22-14) and Texas (22-17) are second with 22 wins each.
–With an 19-4 (82.6 percent) record, KU head coach Bill Self has the highest winning percentage in Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship history.
–Kansas has been the No. 1 seed 10 times (1997-98-2002-03-07-09-10-11-12-13), No. 2 seed four times (2001-05-06-08), No. 3 seed twice (1999-2004), and the No. 5 seed in 2000.
–Kansas has won 16 of its 17 first games in the Big 12 Championship with the 2009 loss to Baylor being its only blemish. The Jayhawks are 1-0 in opening-round games and 15-2 in quarterfinal contests.
–KU has reached the semifinals in 15 of the 17 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships. The Jayhawks did not reach the 2000 or 2009 semis.
–Kansas has won five of its eight titles as the No. 1 seed – 1997, 1998, 2007, 2010 and 2011. KU was the No. 3 seed in its 1999 title run and the No. 2 seed in 2006 and 2008. The lowest seed to win the event was a No. 3 seed: Kansas in 1999, Oklahoma in 2003 and Oklahoma State in 2005.
KANSAS IN KANSAS CITY
Kansas City has been a second home of sorts for Kansas over the years. KU’s first-ever game — a 16-5 loss to Kansas City YMCA on Feb. 3, 1899 — was played in Kansas City. The 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship semifinal game will mark KU’s 282nd game played all-time in Kansas City, and its 23rdd in Sprint Center. KU is 18-4 in Sprint Center including winning the 2008, 2010 and 2011 Big 12 Championships in the venue. In 2009-10 and 2010-11, Kansas went 4-0 in Sprint Center. In 2008-09, KU went 1-2 in the venue. In 2007-08, Kansas went 4-0 in the venue, including winning the Big 12 Championship en route to its NCAA National Championship. Kansas is 4-0 in the Sprint Center this season having won the CBE Classic (78-41 vs. Washington State 11/19 and 73-59 vs. St. Louis 11/20), defeating Oregon State 84-78 in the BMO Harris Bank Kansas City Shootout (11/30) and defeating Texas Tech 91-63 in the Big 12 quarterfinals. KU played 106 games in Kemper Arena with an 81-25 record. KU is 203-78 in games played in Kansas City.
MORE NOTES ON THE JAYHAWKS IN KC
–Kansas went 26-4 in Kemper Arena from 1997 until 2006, when it played its last game in the venue. Included in that run were Big 12 Championship titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
–Kemper Arena was the host of the 1988 NCAA Final Four when the Jayhawks won the national championship.
–With the Nov. 30 contest against Oregon State, Kansas has played at least one regular-season game in Kansas City in 23 of the last 25 seasons, including every year Sprint Center has existed.
KANSAS TEAM NOTABLES
–Kansas leads the NCAA Division I in field goal percentage defense at 35.9 percent and is third nationally in blocked shots at 6.7 per game. Both stats lead the Big 12 and KU also leads the conference in scoring margin (+13.8), field goal percentage (47.8), rebounding (39.1) and rebound margin (+6.5). The Jayhawks also rank in the top four of the Big 12 in scoring (second, 75.2), free throw percentage (fourth, 72.8), rebound defense (third, 32.6), assists (third, 15.5), steals (fourth, 7.3), assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth, 1.1) and three-point field goals made (fourth, 6.0).
–Kansas has held a double-digit lead in all but seven contests this season. KU has held the lead in all but one game in 2012-13.
–Out of its 32 games, Kansas has held 18 of its opponents to 60 points or less, including nine conference foes.
–KU has outrebounded 25 of 32 opponents this season, including 21 of its last 26 foes. KU has had seven games with 10-plus rebounds over its opponent. Kansas’ 50 rebounds at Oklahoma State (2/20) were a season high and its +22 against Texas Tech (3/4) was its widest margin of 2012-13.
–KU has out shot all but five opponents in 2012-13. Additionally, KU has shot 50 percent or better in 12 games this season. Kansas has shot 53.3 percent or better in three of its last five games, including a 66.0 percent versus Texas Tech (3/14).
–Kansas has held a 40-plus point lead in four different games this season.
–Kansas has had four players score in double figures in 10 times this season, including five against Iowa State (1/9).
–Senior C Jeff Withey has five double-doubles in his last eight games. His 12 DDs are second most in the Big 12.
–In his last three games, Withey is averaging 14.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 5.7 blocks and is 18-for-20 (90.0 percent) from the field.
After shooting its season-best 66.0 percent against Texas Tech (3/14), Kansas is shooting 53.3 percent from the field in its last five games. The Jayhawks have out shot all but five opponents in 2012-13 and have shot 50 percent or better from the field in 13 games, including four of the last five contests. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 47.8 percent. Individually, senior C Jeff Withey is second in the Big 12 and senior G Travis Releford third in field goal percentage at 58.6 and 57.8, respectively. Withey is 21-for-23 (91.3 percent) from the field in his last four games, while Releford has shot 70 percent or better in 13 games. Withey has shot 50 percent or better in 26 of 32 games this season, including 16 games of 62.5 percent or better. Redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore is 16-for-28 (57.1 percent) from the field in his last two games. He has eight games of 60 percent or better shooting this season. He shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in nine conference games. Senior F Kevin Young is 20-for-27 (74.1 percent) in his last six games and has 14 games of shooting 60.0 percent or better. Senior G Elijah Johnson has shot 45.7 percent (37-for-81) in his last eight games and is shooting 39.1 percent for the season. Freshman F Perry Ellis is 15-for-28 (53.6 percent) from the field in his last six games.
Should Kansas win on March 15, the Jayhawks would play the winner of the No. 2 Kansas State vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State game on Saturday, March 16 at 5 p.m. (Central) in the finals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City. The championship contest will be televised on ESPN.