No. 2/2 Kansas to Face UTEP in Bahamas Saturday in Men's Hoops
Battle 4 Atlantis OVERNIGHT UPDATE – KU vs. UTEP (11.30.13)
No. 2/2 Kansas (5-1) looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season when it plays UTEP (4-3) in the third-fourth game of Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena in Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, at 6 p.m. (Central). 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 and fell to Villanova 63-59 in the semifinals on Nov. 29.
UTEP defeated Tennessee, 78-70, in its first-round game in the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thanksgiving Day. The Miners lost to Iowa in the semifinals, 89-53, on Friday.
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: Tennessee 64, Xavier 49
Game 6: Wake Forest 77, USC 63
Game 7: Iowa 89, UTEP 53
Game 8: Villanova 63, KANSAS 59
Saturday, Nov. 30
7th-8th Place: Xavier vs. USC (12 p.m. CT, AXS TV)
5th-6th Place: Tennessee vs. Wake Forest (2:30 p.m. CT, AXS TV)
3rd-4th Place: KANSAS vs. UTEP (6 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network)
1st-2nd Place: Iowa vs. Villanova (8:30 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network)
Kansas averages 82.3 points and has a plus-13.8 scoring margin through six games. The Jayhawks have outrebounded five of six opponents, average 38.0 per boards per game and have a plus-7.5 rebound margin. KU is also winning the efficiency battle, having outshot its six opponents 52.0 percent to 41.9 percent. Kansas entered the Battle 4 Atlantis leading the nation in field goal percentage (56.8) yet shot 46.8 percent against Wake Forest and 38.9 percent versus Villanova. KU has shown its depth with 10 players averaging nearly nine or more minutes per game. KU’s bench has outscored every opponent this season and averages 33.8 points per contest.
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads KU in scoring at 15.7 points per game. Wiggins also leads Kansas in steals with nine and his 5.3 rebounds per game are third on the team. Sophomore F Perry Ellis is next in scoring at 14.5 points per game. He is second on the team with 6.5 rebounds per contest and is shooting 59.6 percent from the field. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., averages 8.7 points per game and joins Wiggins and Ellis in the starting lineup along with junior G Naadir Tharpe (5.4 ppg, team-best 26 assists) and senior F Tarik Black (4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg). Freshman C Joel Embiid lead Kansas in rebounds with a 7.2 average, blocked shots with nine and field goal percentage at 70.0. Joining Embiid from the bench includes freshman G Frank Mason (9.7 ppg, 17 assists), sophomore G Andrew White III (6.2 ppg, team-best seven threes), sophomore F Jamari Traylor (3.0 ppg) and freshman G Conner Frankamp (2.8 ppg).
UTEP leads 3-0. This series started with one of the most historic games in KU basketball history as UTEP defeated KU 81-80 in double overtime the 1966 NCAA Midwest Region Finals in Lubbock, Texas. KU’s JoJo White was called out of bounds late in the game in which he made the shot that would have won the game of KU. The Miners defeated Kansas the next season 71-67 in Chicago and 66-60 in the 1992 NCAA Midwest Sub-Regional in Dayton, Ohio.
NEUTRAL COURTS AND IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT TITLES UNDER BILL SELF
Kansas is 69-25 (73.4 percent) on neutral courts under Bill Self, including a 94-83 win against then-No. 4 Duke on Nov. 12 in the Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago and the 87-78 win versus Wake Forest Thanksgiving Day. Under Self, Kansas won the Las Vegas Invitational twice in 2006 and 2010 and the CBE Classic last season.
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is ranked No. 2 by the Associated Press and No. 2 in the USA Today Coaches’ poll released Nov. 25. In the Bill Self era, this is the 154th week Kansas has been ranked in the AP top 25, 111th time in the top 10 and 72nd time in the top five. KU has been ranked in each of the last 88 polls dating back to the 2008-09 season. In the coaches’ poll, Kansas has been ranked 181 times, including 136 in the top 10 and 92 in the top five in the Self era. KU has been in each of the last 92 coaches’ polls.
After the Battle 4 Atlantis, Kansas 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.
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