No. 2/2 Kansas to Face Villanova in Semifinals of Battle 4 Atlantis Friday
Battle 4 Atlantis OVERNIGHT UPDATE – ku vs. villanova (11.29.13)
No. 2/2 Kansas (5-0) continues through the winners bracket of the Battle 4 Atlantis when it faces Villanova (5-0) on Friday, Nov. 29, at 8:30 p.m. (Central) at at Imperial Arena in Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network. The Jayhawks opened bracket play in the Battle 4 Atlantis with an 87-78 win against previously undefeated Wake Forest on Thanksgiving Day. Kansas is 5-0 for the fifth time in the Bill Self era.
Villanova improved to 5-0 with a 94-79 win against USC in the first game of the day in the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thanksgiving Day. The Wildcats’ victory was its first non-home win of their season.
Battle 4 Atlantis * Imperial Arena (Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas)
Thursday, Nov. 28
Game 1: Villanova 94, USC 79
Game 2: KANSAS 87, Wake Forest 78
Game 3: Iowa 77, Xavier 74 (ot)
Game 4: UTEP 78, Tennessee 70
Friday, Nov. 29
Game 5: Xavier vs. Tennessee (12 p.m. CT, AXS TV)
Game 6: USC vs. Wake Forest (2:30 p.m. CT, AXS TV)
Game 7: Iowa vs. UTEP (6 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network)
Game 8: KANSAS vs. Villanova (8:30 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network)
Saturday, Nov. 30
7th-8th Place: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser (12 p.m. CT, AXS TV)
5th-6th Place: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (2:30 p.m. CT, AXS TV)
3rd-4th Place: Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser (6 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network)
1st-2nd Place: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner (8:30 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network)
Kansas averages 87.0 points and has a plus-17.4 scoring margin through five games. The Jayhawks have been equally dominant on the boards, averaging 38.8 per game for a plus-10.8 rebounding margin. KU is also winning the efficiency battle, having outshot its three opponents 54.5 percent to 43.2 percent. Kansas entered the Battle 4 Atlantis leading the nation in field goal percentage (56.8) yet shot 46.8 percent against Wake Forest. Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage (56.8) and rebound defense (28.0). KU has shown its depth with 10 players averaging nearly 10 or more minutes per game. After its 41 bench points against Wake Forest, KU’s bench averages 35.6 points per contest.
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads KU in scoring at 16.8 points per game after his team-high 17 points against Wake Forest. Wiggins also leads Kansas in steals with eight and his 5.8 rebounds per game are third on the team. Sophomore F Perry Ellis is next in scoring at 15.2 points per game. He is second on the team with 7.0 rebounds per contest and second in field goal percentage at 63.6 percent. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., averages 10.0 points per game and joins Wiggins and Ellis in the starting lineup along with junior G Naadir Tharpe (5.5 ppg, team-best 22 assists) and senior F Tarik Black (4.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg). Freshman C Joel Embiid lead Kansas in rebounds with a 7.6 average, blocked shots with nine and field goal percentage at 70.8. Joining Embiid from the bench includes freshman G Frank Mason (9.2 ppg, 17 assists), sophomore G Andrew White III (7.4 ppg, team-best seven threes), sophomore F Jamari Traylor (3.6 ppg) and freshman G Conner Frankamp (3.4 ppg).
Kansas leads 3-1 with the first meeting in the 1968 NIT, 55-49, in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City. KU won 86-79 in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 2, 2004. Villanova ended KU’s 20-0 win streak to start the 2004-05 season with an 83-62 win in Philadelphia. KU defeated Villanova 72-57 in the Sweet 16 of the 2008 NCAA Tournament in Detroit, Mich., en route to the national championship.
Kansas will play its third-round game in the Bahamas on Nov. 30 and will face either Iowa or UTEP. KU will then go on the road to Colorado (Dec. 7) and Florida (Dec. 10). Kansas will play New Mexico on Dec. 14 in the Kansas City Shootout at the Sprint Center and return to Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 21 against national power Georgetown.