No. 2 Seed Kansas to Face No. 7 Seed Wichita State Sunday
NCAA TOURNAMENT OVERNIGHT UPDATE
No. 2 seed Kansas (27-8, 13-5 Big 12) in the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional will take on No. 7 seed Wichita State (29-4, 17-1 MVC) in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The game will start at 4:15 p.m. (Central) and will be televised on CBS. Kansas advanced to the round of 32 with a 75-56 win against No. 15 seed New Mexico State on March 20. Wichita State won its first game of the event with an 81-76 victory against No. 10 seed Indiana.
Kansas will be taking on its second-straight conference regular-season champions when it plays Wichita State. KU’s first opponent, New Mexico State, won the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and postseason tournament. Wichita State won the Missouri Valley regular-season title.
Kansas is making its 44th NCAA Tournament appearance and its 26th-consecutive trip to the tournament, the longest active streak in the nation. KU is a No. 2 seed for the second-straight season and seventh time since seeding began in 1979. The Jayhawks were a two seed in 1990-93-96, 2002-12-14-15. In 2012, KU was a No. 2 seed, advanced to its 14th Final Four and the NCAA championship game. Kansas is 20-6 all-time as the No. 2 seed and 2-1 against the No. 7 seed. KU last faced a No. 7 seed in 1993 when it defeated BYU, 90-76, in Chicago. The Jayhawks would later advance to the 1993 NCAA Final Four in New Orleans.
KU, which is ranked No. 10 in the latest Associated Press and No. 11 USA Today Coaches polls, has won 11-straight, 15 Big 12 and an NCAA best 58 regular-season conference championships, including the 2015 title.
No. 10/11 Kansas opened tournament play with a 75-56 win against New Mexico State, ending the Aggies’ 13-game winning streak. KU won the Big 12 Conference regular-season outright on March 3 with a two-game lead and one league game remaining over nationally-ranked teams Iowa State and Oklahoma. The Jayhawks advanced to the finals of the 2015 Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, before losing to No. 13/15 Iowa State, 70-66. KU averages 71.3 points per game and has a +6.9 scoring margin. KU has outrebounded 22 of 35 opponents holds a +3.7 rebound margin. KU has outshot 25 of its 35 opponents in 2014-15.
After missing two games due to a knee injury suffered in the home season finale against West Virginia (3/3), All-Big 12 First Team selection, junior F Perry Ellis returned to the starting lineup against Baylor in the Big 12 Championship semifinal. Since his return, the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection has averaged 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds. Ellis leads KU with a 13.7 scoring average and 6.8 rebound average. All-Big 12 Second Team selection, sophomore G Frank Mason III, led KU with 17 points and tied for the team lead with nine rebounds against New Mexico State (3/20). He is second on the team in scoring at 12.5 points per game. He scored a career-high-tying 21 points at OU (3/7) in the regular-season finale. Mason leads KU with 4.0 assists and steals at 1.4 per game. His 39 three-pointers made this season are third-most on the team. Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team selection, sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., scored back-to-back 20-plus point games in the semifinals and final at the league tournament. Included was a career-high 25 points against Iowa State in the title game (3/14). Against Baylor (3/13), he had 20 points and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds. Selden averages 9.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He has made a team-high 46 three-pointers. All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honoree, freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., averaged 12.3 points in the conference tournament. Included was a career-high 25 points against TCU (3/12), which included 15 free throws made. For the season, Oubre averages 9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and is second on the team with 40 steals. Sophomore F Landen Lucas, who has 13 starts in 2014-15, rounds out the KU starters. Lucas has started the last five games and is averaging 8.6 points and 7.8 rebounds in that span and averages 3.5 points and 4.2 rebounds for the season.
Junior F Jamari Traylor has started 18 games this season. His 37 blocked shots are tied for the most on the team this season. After his eight points and five rebounds against New Mexico State (3/20), Traylor averages 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore G Brannen Greene scored eight points against NMSU (3/20), which included two three-pointers. He averages 5.8 points and is second on the team with 40 three-pointers made. He makes 41.2 percent from beyond the arc in 2014-15. Freshman G Devonte’ Graham chipped in eight points with four assists against NMSU (3/20). He is scoring 5.3 points per game and is third on the team with 58 assists. Redshirt junior F Hunter Mickelson has averaged 9.5 minutes in his last six games while playing 7.0 mpg for the season. Mickelson averages 2.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots per game this season. Freshman F Cliff Alexander (7.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 blocked shots per game, six starts) did not make the trip to Omaha as a precautionary measure after the NCAA alerted KU about issues that could affect Alexander’s eligibility.
ABOUT WICHITA STATE
Located in Wichita, Kansas, with an enrollment of 15,003, No. 14/13 Wichita State (29-4, 17-1 MVC) advanced to the round of 32 with an 81-76 win against Indiana (3/20). WSU is coached by Gregg Marshall who is 203-75 in his eighth season at WSU and 397-158 in his 17th season overall. The Shockers won their ninth Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title in 2014-15, going 17-1, and have been ranked as high as No. 8 during the season. WSU averages 70.1 points per game and has a +13.6 scoring margin. The Shockers pull down 35.7 rebounds per game and have a +5.2 rebound margin. Wichita State forces 13.3 turnovers per game and have a +4.0 turnover margin. WSU also makes 6.8 three-pointers per game.
Redshirt junior F Ron Baker leads WSU in scoring at 15.0 points per game. He is second on the team with a 4.5 rebound average and has made a team-best 76 three-point field goals. Baker is also second on the team with 45 steals and is tied for the team lead with 26 blocked shots. Junior F Fred VanVleet is next in scoring at 13.1 points per game. He has a team-high 60 steals and 174 assists. His 38 threes are second to Baker’s 76 and he leads the team with 119 free throws made at 79.9 percent. Senior F Darius Carter leads WSU with 5.4 rebounds per game this season to complement his 11.1 scoring average. Carter is shooting 51.8 percent from the field. Senior F Tekele Cotton and redshirt junior G Evan Wessel round out the WSU starters. Cotton scores 9.6 points per game and pulls down 4.1 rebounds per contest. He has made 32 three-pointers and has 43 steals. Wessel averages 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He has made 27 threes.
Redshirt freshman F Shaquille Morris is tied with Baker for the team lead with 26 blocked shots in 2014-15. Morris scores 5.0 points per game and makes 55.0 percent from the field. Other WSU regulars include freshman F Zach Brown (3.2 ppg, 11 points vs. Indiana) and freshman F Rashard Kelly (3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg).
THE WICHITA STATE SERIES
Kansas leads the all-time series with Wichita State 12-2 and has won the last five meetings. The last Jayhawk-Shocker clash was Jan. 6, 1993, with Kansas winning 103-54 in Allen Fieldhouse. This series dates back to 1908 where KU won the first four meetings, all in Wichita. WSU’s first win in the series was 66-65 in the NCAA Midwest Regional in New Orleans. Its other win was 54-49 on Jan. 6, 1987, in Wichita. This will be the fourth meeting between Kansas and Wichita State on a neutral court, and first time when both teams were ranked at tip. Bill Self is 2-1 all-time against Wichita State but has yet to face the Shockers while at Kansas.
- Kansas has outrebounded three of its last four opponents and 22 of 35 opponents this season, compiling a 20-2 record in those contests. Seven of those games have been by double figures.
- Kansas has averaged 7.2 steals in its last six games, which includes seven steals against New Mexico State (3/20). Kansas averages 6.5 steals for the season.
- Sophomore G Frank Mason III has led KU in scoring eight times this season, including three of his last six games. He was the only Jayhawk in double figures against New Mexico State (3/20) with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Mason had two steals against NMSU (3/20) and has seven swipes in his last four games.
- Sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., is 21-for-33 (63.6 percent) from the field in his last four games. He is scoring 14.5 points in that span. Selden led KU with a 17.3 scoring averaging in the Big 12 Championship in earning all-tournament team honors. He has four 20-point games this season, including two of his last three outings.
- Freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., has averaged 12.3 points in his last eight games. Included was his career-high 25 points against TCU (3/12) in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals. It was his third 20-point effort of the season. Oubre, who averages 9.3 points for the season.
- Junior F Perry Ellis scored 11 points and pulled down six rebounds against Baylor (3/13) in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained knee. In the Big 12 title game against Iowa State (3/14), he pulled down nine rebounds and scored seven points. Ellis has recorded nine or more boards 12 times this season.
- Sophomore F Landen Lucas is 18-for-23 (78.3 percent) in his last five games. Against New Mexico State (3/20) he was 2-for-3 from the field, scoring seven points and pulling down nine rebounds. Lucas has pulled down five or more rebounds in each of his last six games and is averaging 7.5 boards in that span. Lucas averages 3.5 points and 4.2 rebounds for the season.
- Freshman G Devonte’ Graham has three or more assists in 13 games this season after his four dimes against New Mexico State (3/20). Graham, who scores 5.3 points for the season, has averaged 7.5 points in his last two games.
- Redshirt junior F Hunter Mickelson has at least one blocked shot in each of KU’s last seven games played and that includes one block in only two minutes against New Mexico State (3/20). Mickelson has 10 blocks in the last seven games and averages 1.0 blocks for the season.
KANSAS VS. THE NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
It is well documented Kansas had the toughest schedule in 2014-15 and there is more proof in the fact KU has faced 12 teams in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. In all, Kansas has played 18 games against 11 teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament field with an 14-5 record: Baylor (3-0), Georgetown (1-0), Iowa State (1-2), Kentucky (0-1), Lafayette (1-0), Michigan State (1-0), New Mexico State (1-0), Oklahoma (1-1), Oklahoma State (1-1), Texas (2-0), Utah (1-0) and West Virginia (1-1).
Kansas is the No. 2 seed for the seventh time since the NCAA Tournament started seeding in 1979: 1990-93-96-2003-12-13-15. This is the third time KU has been a No. 2 seed under Bill Self (2012-13-15). Kansas is 20-6 as a No. 2 seed, has won all seven of first-round games and has advanced to three Final Fours (1993, 2003 and 2012) as the No. 2 seed. KU’s 26 games played as a No. 2 seed only trails its 39 contests as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. KU has been a No. 1 seed 11 times, which is followed by the seven stints as the No. 2 seed.
Kansas is 2-1 versus the No. 7 seed with its last meeting versus BYU in 1993, a KU 90-76 win in Chicago. No. 6 seed KU defeated No. 7 seed Vanderbilt, 77-64, in the 1988 Sweet 16 in Pontiac, Michigan, en route to the NCAA Tournament titles. Two years later, No. 7 seed UCLA defeated No. 2 seed Kansas, 71-70, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Atlanta.
KANSAS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
- This year marks Kansas’ 44th NCAA Tournament appearance.
- Kansas’ 26-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, from 1990-2015, is the nation’s longest active streak and ranks second-best all time. North Carolina had 27-straight appearances from 1975-2001.
- Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 27-10 (73.0 percent) in the NCAA Tournament with seven Sweet 16s, five Elite Eights, two Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship and one NCAA runner-up finish.
- In the last 14 NCAA Tournaments, including 2015, Kansas has a 36-12 (75.0 percent) record with one NCAA National Championship (2008), four Final Four (2002-03-08-12) and seven Elite Eight (2002-03-04-07-08-11-12) appearances.
- Kansas’ 44 NCAA Tournament appearances are fourth nationally, behind only Kentucky (53), North Carolina (46) and UCLA (45).
- Kansas sports an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 97-42. The Jayhawks’ 97 wins trail only Kentucky (117), North Carolina (111) Duke (100) and UCLA (98).
- The Jayhawks will play their 141st NCAA Tournament game on Sunday. The Jayhawks’ 140 games in the event rank third all-time in NCAA history, behind Kentucky (164) and North Carolina (154).
- Kansas coach Bill Self is making his 17th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, which is tied for fifth-best consecutive string in tourney history by a head coach: 23 Dean Smith (1975-97), 20 Roy Williams (1990-2009), 20 Mike Krzyzewski, (1996-2015), 18 Tom Izzo (1998-2015), 17 Rick Barnes (1996-2012) and 17 Bill Self (1999-2015). Self, Krzyzewski and Izzo are the only active streaks.
- KU is one of eight schools that has won at least three NCAA Championships. The Jayhawks won the NCAA crown in 1952, 1988 and 2008. The other schools: UCLA (11), Kentucky (8), Indiana (5), North Carolina (5), Duke (4), Connecticut (4) and Louisville (3).
- Kansas has appeared in the Final Four 14 times, making KU one of just seven schools to reach the Final Four 10-plus times: North Carolina (18), UCLA (17), Kentucky (16), Duke (15), Ohio State (11) and Louisville (10).
- Kansas has won 12 games in the Final Four, which is tied for fifth best all-time: UCLA (25), Kentucky (20), Duke (15), North Carolina (15) and Indiana (12).
- Five different Jayhawks have been named NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, including B.H. Born in 1953 and Wilt Chamberlain in 1957, who both won the award even though KU lost in the title game. Clyde Lovellette (1952) and Danny Manning (1988) also won the honor. Mario Chalmers won the Most Outstanding Player Award for the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
- 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 NOTABLES
- In 2007-08, Kansas became the fourth school to win a BCS game, and then play in the Final Four the same academic year. The 2007 KU football team won the FedEx Orange Bowl and the men’s basketball team captured the NCAA National Championship. Other schools to accomplish the feat include Ohio State (1999), Wisconsin (2000) and Florida (2007).
- In 1993, Kansas became the first 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. McGuire’s 1957 North Carolina team defeated Kansas for the championship in triple overtime.
- Brown is the only man to coach teams to the NCAA Championship (Kansas in 1988) and the NBA Championship (Detroit in 2004).
- When Phog Allen’s 1952 team won the NCAA title, Allen was 66 years old. That was the oldest age for the head coach of a championship team until Jim Calhoun (68) of Connecticut won in 2011. Allen became the fourth coach to win the NCAA National Championship at his alma mater, a feat that has been accomplished 14 times.
- Kansas won the NCAA Tournament in 1988 as a No. 6 seed. Jim Valvano’s 1983 N.C. State team also won the tournament as a No. 6 seed. Only two other teams has won the tournament with a lower seed – Villanova in 1985 as an eighth seed and Connecticut as a No. 7 seed in 2014. 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
With Jerod Haase advancing UAB to the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, there are 11 head coaches who have advanced to the NCAA Tournament that graduated from the University of Kansas. In fact, the 123 combined NCAA Tournament wins by those men are easily the most by graduates of any one school: Phog Allen (KU 1906, 10-3), Tad Boyle (KU 1985, 1-3), Tim Carter (KU 1979, 0-2), Frosty Cox (KU 1930, 2-4), Jerod Haase (KU 1997, 1-0), Dick Harp (KU 1940, 4-2), Danny Manning (KU 1991, 0-1), Ralph Miller (KU 1942, 5-11), Adolph Rupp (KU 1922, 30-18), Dean Smith (KU 1953, 65-27) and Mark Turgeon (KU 1987, 5-5).
KANSAS IN OMAHA FOR THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The 2015 NCAA Tournament will be the third time in Kansas men’s basketball history the Jayhawks will have played in the event in Omaha, Nebraska, and the third time in the CenturyLink Center. Kansas has had good fortunes when starting the NCAA Tournament in Omaha. In 2008, Kansas went on to win the NCAA National Championship and in 2012 KU advanced to the school’s 14th Final Four, finishing runner-up. In 2008, Kansas was a No. 1 seed and defeated Portland (85-61) and UNLV (75-61), then played its regional in Detroit and the Final Four in San Antonio. In 2012, KU defeated Detroit (65-50) and Purdue (63-60) to advance to the regional in St. Louis, then the Final Four in New Orleans.
IN THE POLLS
In the March 16 national polls, Kansas is No. 10 in the Associated Press (AP) and No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches’ polls. The AP poll is the final poll of the 2014-15 season while the coaches have one last poll following the Final Four. This season, the Jayhawks have been ranked in the top 10 in the AP and coaches’ poll 14 and 12 weeks, respectively. The Jayhawks have been ranked in each of the last 123 Associated Press polls dating back to the 2008-09 season, including in the top five 50 times. In the coaches’ poll, the Jayhawks have been ranked in each of the past 129 polls and in the top five on 54 occasions.
VERSUS RANKED TEAMS
With its 70-66 loss to No. 13 Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship title game, March 14, Kansas dropped to 10-5 against Associated Press nationally-ranked teams at tip this season. The 10 wins are the most in a season for Kansas, surpassing the 9-1 record in the 1996-97 season. The 15 games versus AP-ranked foes are also the most in KU history. The previous high was 12 battles versus ranked foes in three different seasons (1994-95, 2002-03 and 2011-12). In each of the last five seasons, the Jayhawks have a winning record versus AP-ranked opponents, which included a 7-3 mark in 2013-14. Since the 2009-10 season, KU is 41-17 against AP-ranked teams.
A Kansas victory against Wichita State would advance the Jayhawks to their 31st Sweet 16 appearance. The Midwest Regional Sweet 16 will be played in Cleveland, March 26, with the regional final on March 28, at Quicken Loans Arena.
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