No. 2 Seed Kansas to Face No. 10 Seed Stanford Sunday at 11:15 a.m. on CBS
NCAA TOURNAMENT THIRD ROUND
Kansas (25-9, 14-4 Big 12) advanced in the NCAA Tournament with an 80-69 win against No. 15 seed Eastern Kentucky March 21. The Jayhawks will face No. 10 seed Stanford (22-12, 10-8 Pac-12) on Sunday, March 23, at 11:15 a.m. on CBS. Stanford defeated No. 7 seed New Mexico, 58-53, on March 21 to advance to the Round of 32 against Kansas.
Kansas is making its 43rd NCAA Tournament appearance and its 25th-consecutive trip, the longest active streak in the nation. KU is a No. 2 seed for the sixth time since seeding began in 1979. The Jayhawks were a two seed in 1990-93-96 and 2002-12-14. Before this season, the last time the Jayhawks were a two-seed under head coach Bill Self was in 2012 when KU advanced to its 14th Final Four and the NCAA championship game.
KU, which is ranked No. 10 in the latest Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, has won 10-straight Big 12 regular-season championships dating back to 2005 and six conference postseason championships under Self.
No. 10/10 Kansas won its 29th NCAA Tournament first game in the last 31 years with its 80-69 win against Eastern Kentucky March 21. KU won the Big 12 regular-season championship, it’s 10th-straight, 14th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 57th all-time in 2014. KU averages 79.6 points per game and has a +9.2 scoring margin. KU has outrebounded 29 of 34 opponents, including 12 of its last 13 foes, and holds a Big-12 leading +7.8 rebound margin. KU also tops the conference, and ranks in the sixth nationally, with a 49.8 field goal percentage. In all, KU has outshot 26 of its 34 opponents in 2013-14.
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins has averaged 28.0 points in his last four games, which includes a KU freshman-record 41 against West Virginia (3/8). He is Kansas’ leading scorer at 17.4 points per game, which leads the Big 12 freshman class. A Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team selection, Wiggins leads KU with 43 three-pointers and 40 steals. A 2014 All-Big 12 First Team selection, Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Wooden Award final ballot honoree, Wiggins broke the Kansas all-time freshman scoring record with his 19 points against Eastern Kentucky to bring his season total to 593 points, surpassing former record holder Ben McLemore (589, 2013). Sophomore F Perry Ellis is coming off his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds against Eastern Kentucky (3/21). An All-Big 12 Third Team selection and two-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Ellis is KU’s second-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game. His 6.6 rebound average is second on the team, as are his 29 steals. On March 10, KU head coach Bill Self announced that freshman C Joel Embiid, KU’s third-leading scorer, would sit out the Big 12 Championship and the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, if needed, due to stress fracture in his lower back. The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Embiid has broken the KU freshman record for blocked shots, currently at 72, and his 2.6 blocked shots per game are second in the league. Embiid leads KU with 8.1 rebounds per game and averages 11.2 points per game. Stepping in for Embiid in the starting role has been senior F Tarik Black who is averaging 9.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in his last five games. Black has posted averages of 5.1 ppg and 3.8 rpg in 2013-14. His 12 rebounds against Oklahoma State (3/13) were a season high and his 10 the following day against Iowa State (3/14) were his second-most in 2013-14. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., is scoring 9.9 points per game. Selden’s 42 three-pointers are tied for second on the team and his 85 assists are also second among his teammates. Junior G Naadir Tharpe averages 8.6 ppg and a team-best 5.1 assists this season. Tharpe is tied with Selden for second on the team with 42 three-pointers made in 2013-14.
Sophomore F Jamari Traylor is coming off career-highs with 17 points and 14 rebounds in recording his first career double-double against Eastern Kentucky (3/21). Traylor leads KU with a 72.6 field goal percentage and is averaging 4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest. Freshman G Frank Mason scores 5.6 points per game and is third on the team with 70 assists. Other contributors off the bench include freshman G Brannen Greene (2.4 ppg), freshman G Conner Frankamp (2.1 ppg) and redshirt freshman F Landen Lucas (1.5 ppg). Frankamp played a career-high 25 minutes versus Eastern Kentucky and scored a career-high 10 points.
THE KANSAS-STANFORD SERIES
Kansas holds an 8-2 all-time series advantage with Stanford yet the Cardinal defeated the Jayhawks in the last meeting on Dec. 6, 2003, in Anaheim, Calif. This series dates back to 1932 and Kansas won the first four meetings. In 2002, in St. Louis, Kansas defeated Stanford 86-63 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. KU would later advance to the Final Four in Atlanta.
- Kansas has scored 80 or more points in nine of its last 112 games. The Jayhawks have six games of 90 or more points this season. In 19 of KU’s 25 victories, the Jayhawks scored at least 80 points. KU is 19-3 when scoring 80 points or more in 2013-14.
- After shooting 60.4 percent against Eastern Kentucky (3/21), Kansas is 18-1 when shooting 50 percent or better in the game and has eclipsed the 50 percent field goal percentage in nine of its last 17 games.
- KU has outrebounded 29 of 34 opponents this season. KU has 16 games with a +10 rebound advantage, including a season-best 43-19 advantage against Eastern Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament (3/21).
- Kansas is 22-2 when leading at half this season, including 14-2 against Big 12 competition. KU led at Oklahoma State 26-25 (3/1) and 48-46 against Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship semifinals (3/14) for the only losses.
- KU has held all but three opponents under 50 percent shooting in 2013-14.
- Freshman G Andrew Wiggins has scored 112 points in his last four games. Included were a Kansas freshman-record 41 points at West Virginia (3/8), 30 points versus Oklahoma State (3/13) and 22 points against Iowa State (3/14). In his last four games, Wiggins is averaging 28.0 points on 50.7 percent shooting with 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.8 blocked shots per game.
- Wiggins’ 17.4 scoring average for the season would break the KU freshman record (15.9 ppg by Ben McLemore in 2013). Wiggins has 11 games of 20-plus points, including seven against Big 12 competition.
- Sophomore F Perry Ellis recorded his fifth double-double of the season, sixth of his career with 14 points and 13 rebounds against Eastern Kentucky (3/21). This came after a 30-point effort against Iowa State (3/14) in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship (3/14). His 30 points versus the Cyclones were two shy of his career-high 32 set against TCU (2/15/14).
- In his last six games, Ellis is averaging 15.1 points with a 66.0 field goal percentage and 79.2 free throw percentage.
- After his 11-for-12 effort against Iowa State (3/14), Ellis has shot 60 percent or better in 14 games this season. The Jayhawks are 13-1 when Ellis shoots 60 percent or better this season.
- Senior F Tarik Black was 6-for-6 against Eastern Kentucky (3/21) and is 21-for-28 (75.0 percent) from the field in his last five games, since stepping back into the starting lineup. In that span his has averaged 9.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
- Black’s 12 rebounds versus Oklahoma State (3/13) were a KU career high and his 10 boards the following day against Iowa State were his second-most as a Jayhawk.
- Sophomore F Jamari Traylor set career-highs with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Eastern Kentucky (3/21). He was 7-for-8 from the field against the Colonels for career-high in shots made and shot attempts.
- In his last four games, Traylor is averaging 8.8 ppg and 8.0 rpg. He is averaging 4.9 ppg and 4.1 rpg for the season.
- Traylor missed only 10 shots in 18 conference games, going 33-for-43 (76.7 percent) in Big 12 play in 2013-14.
- Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr.’s 14 points against Oklahoma State (3/13) in the Big 12 quarterfinals were his most in three games. Selden has 14 games with 10-plus points, including three of his last six outings. Selden has three 20-point efforts this season.
- Freshman C Joel Embiid has 72 blocked shots this year, which is the KU freshman record. He has blocked at least one shot in each of his last 22 games played.
- Embiid is 22-for-33 (66.7 percent) from the field in his last six games played but has missed the last four games due to a back injury.
KANSAS VS. THE NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
It is well documented Kansas had the toughest schedule in 2013-14 and there is more proof in the fact KU has faced 12 teams invited to play in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Prior to the 2014 event, the average seed of KU’s 12 NCAA Tournament opponents was 5.3 with no seed higher than a No. 9. In all, Kansas played 20 games against 12 teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament field with a 12-8 record: Baylor (2-0), Colorado (0-1), Duke (1-0), Florida (0-1), Iowa State (2-1), Kansas State (1-1), New Mexico (1-0), Oklahoma (2-0), Oklahoma State (2-1), San Diego State (0-1), Texas (1-1) and Villanova (0-1).
Kansas is the No. 2 seed for the sixth time since the NCAA Tournament started seeding in 1979: 1990-93-96-2003-12-14. This is the second time KU has been a No. 2 seed under Bill Self (2012). Kansas is 19-5 as a No. 2 seed, has won all six of its first-round games and has advanced to three Final Fours (1993, 2003 and 2012) in that seed line. KU’s 24 games played as a No. 2 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 six stints as the No. 2 seed.
KANSAS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
- This year marks Kansas’ 43rd NCAA Tournament appearance.
- Kansas’ 25-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, from 1990-2014, is the nation’s longest active streak and ranks second-best all time. North Carolina had 27 straight from 1975-2001.
- Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 26-9 (74.3 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 12 NCAA Tournaments, Kansas has a 35-11 (76.1 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’ 43 NCAA Tournament appearances are fourth nationally behind only Kentucky (52), North Carolina (45) and UCLA (44).
- Prior to 2014, Kansas sported an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 95-41. The Jayhawks’ 95 wins entering 2014 are tied for fourth with UCLA and trail Kentucky (111), North Carolina (109) and Duke (99).
- The Jayhawks will play their 138th NCAA Tournament game on Sunday. The Jayhawks’ 137 games in the event rank fourth all-time in NCAA history: Kentucky (158), North Carolina (152) and UCLA (142).
- Heading into the 2014 event, KU’s NCAA Tournament winning percentage of 69.9 percent ranked sixth all-time for a minimum of 20 games played.
- Kansas coach Bill Self is making his 16th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, which is the sixth-best consecutive string in tourney history by a head coach: 23 Dean Smith (1975-97), 21 Roy Williams (1990-2009), 19 Mike Krzyzewski, (1996-2014), 17 Rick Barnes (1996-2012), 17 Tom Izzo (1998-2014) and 16 Bill Self (1999-2014). Self, Krzyzewski and Izzo are the only active streaks.
- Kansas 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 are: UCLA (11), Kentucky (8), Indiana (5), North Carolina (5), Duke (4), Connecticut (3) 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), Duke (15), Kentucky (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 (19), 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 finals. 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 one team has won the tournament with a lower seed – Villanova in 1985 as an eighth 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
With Danny Manning at Tulsa in 2014, 10 head coaches have advanced to the NCAA Tournament who have graduated from the University of Kansas. In fact, the 122 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, 1-2), Tim Carter (KU 1979, 0-2), Frosty Cox (KU 1930, 2-4), Dick Harp (KU 1940, 4-2), Danny Manning (KU 1991, 0-0), 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 ST. LOUIS FOR THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The 2014 NCAA Tournament is the fifth time in Kansas men’s basketball history the Jayhawks will have played in the event in St. Louis, Mo., and the first time in the Scottrade Center. KU is 8-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament contests in St. Louis with its last appearance in the 2012 Midwest Regional semifinals and finals at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis has been a good location for Kansas as the Jayhawks have advanced to the Final Four in three of the previous four visits to the city for the NCAA Tournament (1993, 2002 and 2012). The lone non-Final Four run was Bill Self’s first season at KU when the Jayhawks fell to Georgia Tech, 79-71 in overtime, in the St. Louis Regional final, i.e. the Elite Eight.
For the third time in the last five years the Kansas Jayhawks have been crowned the champions of Inside Higher Ed’s NCAA Academic Tournament, the publication’s annual academic showdown. KU’s men’s basketball team has reached the final four in each of the last five seasons and has been to the title game in four of the last five seasons, including additional crowns in 2012 and 2010.
The publication uses the actual NCAA Tournament bracket and declares winners based on the schools’ Academic Progress Rates (APR). KU’s men’s basketball team boasts a perfect multiyear APR of 1,000, as it has for the past seven years. The Jayhawks beat Eastern Kentucky, New Mexico, Dayton and Florida to reach the 2014 “Final Four,” then topped Memphis and Texas to win the championship.
The APR rewards teams whose players stay in good academic standing and remain enrolled from semester to semester. Inside Higher Ed broke ties by using the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a variation of the graduation rate that considers transfers and does not punish teams whose athletes leave college before graduation if they leave in good academic standing. If a further tiebreaker is needed, the publication uses the Federal Graduation Rate, which deducts points when student-athletes, for any reason, do not graduate from the school at which he originally enrolled.
The NCAA tweeted this week that KU is the only team in the NCAA Tournament field of 68 with a perfect APR and a 100 percent Graduation Success Rate. Last year KU was one of only three schools in the tournament field (Belmont, Notre Dame) to achieve those numbers; no other tournament teams have accomplished that feat in the five years the NCAA has tracked those statistics.
A Kansas victory against Stanford would advance the Jayhawks to play the winner of the (3) Syracuse-(11) Dayton contest on Thursday, March 27 in Memphis.