Big 12 Champs travel south to face Longhorns on Saturday
Coming off a historic night in which No. 3/3 Kansas (25-3, 13-2) won at least a share of the 2016-17 Big 12 regular-season title, KU heads to Texas (10-18, 4-11) Saturday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m., on ESPN. KU defeated TCU, 87-68, on Feb. 22 with the victory giving KU at least a share of its 13th-straight, 17th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 60th all-time conference regular-season title. Texas is looking to end a four-game losing streak after its 77-62 loss at No. 12/13 West Virginia on Feb. 20.
Heading into the weekend, at 13-2 in Big 12 play Kansas has a three-game lead on Baylor, West Virginia and Iowa State with three games to play. A Kansas win would win the Jayhawks the regular-season outright. Only one of the other three schools could tie Kansas as all three play each other down the stretch.
Kansas enters the weekend with the No. 1 Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) in NCAA Division I. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is sixth nationally. Kansas is 8-1 in true road games this season and 12-2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas averages 83.0 points per game and has a +11.0 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 and is 17th nationally with a 48.6 field goal percentage. KU leads the league with a 40.8 3-point field goal percentage, which is ninth in NCAA Division I. KU averages 39.2 rebounds per contest, which also leads the Big 12. KU has a +4.1 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.5 assists, 7.1 steals and 4.8 blocked shots per contest.
On the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list and one of 10 watch list finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, senior G Frank Mason III is having a national player of the year season. The two-time Big 12 Player of the Week leads the conference in scoring with a 20.3 average and his 20.8 points per game in league play are also tops in the Big 12. He is the only conference player averaging 20 points or more this season. Mason has 16 games of 20 points or more, including his last three and five of his last six contests. Mason has led Kansas in scoring in 20 games this season. Mason also leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 51.2 percent after his 4-for-6 game against TCU (2/22). Also on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list and a six-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week in 2016-17, freshman G Josh Jackson is second on the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game, which is fifth in the Big 12. The two-time Big 12 Player of the Week has six double-doubles in his last eight outings after his 15 points and 11 rebounds against TCU (2/22). Jackson’s 7.1 rebounds per game are sixth in the conference and he leads KU with 48 steals and 32 blocked shots. Junior G Devonte’ Graham is coming off a 17-point, seven assist game versus TCU (2/22) and he is 14th in the Big 12 with a 13.1 scoring average. Graham has made multiple 3-pointers in nine of his last 10 games and drained 27 treys in that span. He leads KU with 69 3-pointers and is second on the team in assists with 124 and steals with 42. Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk averages 10.0 points per game and has made 58 3-pointers for the season. He is sixth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 41.4 percent and seventh in 3-pointers made at 2.1. Senior C Landen Lucas pulled down six offensive rebounds at Baylor (2/18), to mark the fourth time this season he has had six or more offensive caroms. Lucas has pulled down 10 or more rebounds 10 times this season with all 10 in KU’s last 17 games. Lucas is second the Big 12 in league games in rebounding at 10.5 rpg and is one rebound behind Johnathan Motley of Baylor. Overall, Lucas is fourth in the Big 12 in rebounds with an 8.3 average and is scoring 7.6 points per game.
Sophomore G Lagerald Vick scored 14 against West Virginia (2/13) and eight at Baylor (2/18). He has made multiple 3-pointers in six games this season, including two versus WVU. Vick has started five times in 2016-17 and is averaging 7.2 points per contest. He averages 23.7 minutes per game and has made 26 3-pointers. Sophomore F Carlton Bragg Jr., tied his career high with 15 points against TCU (2/22) while his seven boards against the Horned Frogs were his second most in conference play this season. Bragg is averaging 14.8 minutes, 5.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season. Freshman F Mitch Lightfoot has come off the bench in eight of the last nine games. He averages 4.4 minutes, 0.9 points and 1.2 rebounds in 21 games played this season. Junior F Dwight Coleby had a dunk against West Virginia (2/13) and a bucket versus TCU (2/22). He has appeared in 16 games this season and averages 1.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest.
Located in Austin, Texas, with an enrollment of 51,334, Texas is 10-18 on the season and 4-11 in Big 12 play. The Longhorns are coached by Shaka Smart who is 193-87 in his eighth season overall, including a 30-31 record in his second year at UT. Texas is 10-5 in home games this season. Texas averages 68.3 points per game and allows 69.2 per outing. The Longhorns are second the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 31.9 percent, while Kansas leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage at 40.8 percent. Texas averages 34.7 rebounds, 11.5 assists, 5.7 steals and 4.5 blocked shots per game.
Freshman F Jarrett Allen leads Texas in scoring at 13.3 points per game, which is 12th in the Big 12. His 8.3 rebounds per game are third in the conference and he has a team-high 43 blocked shots. Freshman G Andrew Jones has started 19 games this season and scores 11.3 points per contest. Jones is leads the team with 37 3-pointers made and is second on the team with 36 steals. Sophomore G Kerwin Roach Jr., has a team-high 103 assists and 42 steals for the Longhorns. Roach averages 10.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and has made 17 3-pointers. Senior F Shaquille Cleare is tied for second on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game to complement his 8.1 scoring average. Other UT regulars include sophomore G Eric Davis Jr. (8.0 ppg, 35 3-pointers, 18 starts), senior G Kendal Yancy (5.1 ppg), freshman G Jacob Young (3.3 ppg) and freshman C James Banks (1.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg).
Year-in and year-out, the Kansas-Texas battles are some of the best in the Big 12, and nationally, in a series that dates back to 1938. Kansas leads the all-time series 28-8, including an 8-6 record in games in Austin with all 14 played in the Frank Erwin Center. KU has won six straight, 11 of the last 12 meetings, and 14 of the last 16 matchups, starting with the 2008 Big 12 Championship title game. KU and UT have met in four of the last nine Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title games with KU claiming all four match-ups: 80-68 in Dallas in 2006, 88-84 in overtime in Oklahoma City in 2007, 84-74 in Kansas City in 2008 and 85-73 in Kansas City in 2011. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas holds a 24-7 record against Texas with a 20-6 mark in regular-season play and 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 18-8 all-time against Texas, including 18-6 while at KU. Texas head coach Shaka Smart is 1-3 versus Kansas, including 0-3 while at UT. Smart’s 2011 VCU team defeated Kansas, 71-61, in the NCAA Tournament Southwest Region championship game in San Antonio.
Earlier this season, Kansas junior Devonte’ Graham scored 18 points, while senior Frank Mason III added 17 in KU’s 79-67 win over Texas in Allen Filedhouse on Jan. 21. Freshman guard Josh Jackson had 15 points and four steals, while senior center Landen Lucas pulled down 14 rebounds. The win was Kansas’ 18th straight and its 53rd-consecutive home victory. KU led 41-33 at halftime and outrebounded UT 40-33 for the game. Texas freshman Jarrett Allen posted a double-double with 22 points and 19 rebounds for the game.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD …
Give Kansas the 2016-17 Big 12 regular-season championship outright … Make KU 26-3 overall, giving KU 26 wins for the third-straight season and the 10th time in the 14 seasons under Bill Self … Give KU 14 league wins for the second-straight year and ninth time under Self … Give KU its seventh-straight win against Texas … Make the KU-UT series 29-8 in favor of Kansas, including a 9-6 record in Austin with all 15 matchups played in the Frank Erwin Center … Make Kansas 9-1 in true road games this season and 13-2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse … Improve Selfto 411-86 at KU and 618-191 overall … Make KU 2,212-839 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD …
Make Kansas 25-4 overall and 13-3 in Big 12 play … End Kansas’ six-game winning streak against Texas, marking the Longhorns’ first win versus the Jayhawks since Feb. 1, 2014 … Make the KU-UT series 28-9 in favor of Kansas, including 8-7 in games played in Austin … Make Kansas 8-2 in true road games this season and 12-3 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse … Make Bill Self 410-87 while at KU and 617-192 overall … Make KU 2,211-840 all-time.
• The win gave Kansas at least a share of the 2016-17 Big 12 regular-season championship which is its 13th-straight, 17th Big 12 and 60th overall league regular-season title.
• The victory gave KU 13 league wins for the 12th-straight season, starting in 2005-06.
• Kansas trailed in the rebound battle at halftime 26-18, however reversed that trend in the second half, outrebounding the visitors 25-12. KU ended the game with a 43-38 advantage on the boards, marking the 14th time the Jayhawks have won the rebounding battle this season.
• The Jayhawks shot 70 percent (19-of-27) at the free throw line, marking the ninth Big 12 game KU has been 70 percent or better from the charity stripe.
•The Jayhawks’ 22 bench points were their most since the KU bench also tallied 22 points in the first meeting with TCU on Dec. 30. The Kansas bench has now outscored its opponents’ bench in five-straight games.
• Kansas’ 19-point victory was its largest in Big 12 play this season. Ten of KU’s 15 Big 12 games have been decided by six points or fewer, including each of its seven contests prior to Wednesday.
• Senior G Frank Mason III converted from beyond the 3-point arc for the 25th-straight game, ending his night with a 4-of-6 clip from 3-point range. He has now made 53.6 percent (37-for-69) of his 3-point attempts in Big 12 play.
• Mason’s 20 points pulled his career total to 1,701, which puts him in the 12th position on the all-time Kansas scoring list.
• Mason has now led KU in scoring in 20 of 28 games this season, including 10 of the last 14 contests. Mason has 16 games of 20 or more points, including six of his last eight outings.
• Junior G Devonte’ Graham had seven assists and one turnover. In his last four outings he is boasting an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.6:1.
• Graham has now made multiple 3-pointers in each of his last nine games and 13 of his last 14 outings.
• Freshman G Josh Jackson’s 11 rebounds moved him from 10th to sixth on the Kansas freshman rebounds list. He now has pulled down 198 rebounds this season.
• Jackson has six double-doubles in his last eight games and 10 double-doubles on the season.
• With his six field goals, Jackson is now fourth on KU’s freshman field goals made list with 176. He trails Danny Manning, who holds the Kansas freshman field goals made record, by 33.
•Jackson is 17-for-32 (53.1 percent) from 3-point range in his last 10 games.
• Sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr.’s 15 points tied a season and career high.
• Bragg converted 7-of-10 field goal attempts on the night. His seven field goals were a career high.
• Bragg’s three blocks also tied his career and season highs. He previously posted three rejections against Oklahoma on Jan. 10.
• Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk hit 2-of-4 from 3-point range, marking his 20th game this season converting on two or more 3-pointers.
• Kansas leads the Big 12 in won-loss percentage at 89.3 percent, field goal percentage at 48.6 percent, 3-point field goal percentage at 40.8 percent and rebounding at 39.2 per game. Additionally, KU ranks in the upper half in the Big 12 in scoring (third at 83.0), scoring margin (second at +11.0), field goal percentage defense (second at 41.7), rebound margin (second at +4.1), assists (third at 16.5), assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.3) and blocked shots (second at 4.8).
• The Jayhawks are 35-for-47 (74.5 percent) from the free throw line in their last two games. KU is now shooting 70.8 percent at the charity stripe in Big 12 play. In nonconference games KU had a 58.9 free throw percentage.
• Senior G Frank Mason III leads the Big 12 in scoring at 20.3 points per game and 3-point field goal percentage (51.2). He is fourth in assists (5.0), sixth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3), ninth in field goal percentage (49.2) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0).
• Mason is 57-for-66 (86.4 percent) from the free throw line in his last seven games, making 8.1 charity shots per contest in that span.
• Mason is making 53.6 percent (37-for-69) from 3-point range and 2.5 treys per game in Big 12 play.
• Mason has led KU in scoring in 20 of 28 games this season, including 10 of the last 14 contests. Mason has 16 games of 20 or more points, including his last three and five of his last six outings.
• Freshman G Josh Jackson has six double-doubles in his last eight games. His 10 double-doubles on the season, seven against Big 12 foes, rank tied for second in the conference.
• Jackson is 17-for-33 (51.5 percent) from 3-point range in his last 10 games.
• Jackson is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.5 ppg, which leads the conference freshman class. His 7.1 rebounds per game are sixth in the league and he is seventh with 1.7 steals per game. Included were a career-high five steals against West Virginia (2/13). Jackson has 13 steals in his last six games.
• Senior C Landen Lucas is second in the Big 12 in league games with an 10.5 rebound average. Overall, Lucas’ 8.3 rpg are fourth in the Big 12.
• Lucas leads KU with a 61.8 percent field goal percentage for all games and is making a team-best 60.7 percent in conference games.
• Junior G Devonte’ Graham’s five 3-pointers against West Virginia (2/13) were one shy of his career high. He has made multiple 3-pointers in nine of his last 10 games and 13 of his last 15 outings.
• Graham is 14th in the Big 12 in scoring (13.1), fifth in assists (4.4), 10th in steals (1.5), fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.5), 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (.379) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5).
• Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has made multiple 3-pointers in eight of his last 11 contests.
• Mykhailiuk is seventh in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made at 2.1 per game and sixth in 3-point field goal percentage at 41.4.
Including 2016-17, Kansas has won 17 of the 21 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last 13, which ranks tied for first on the NCAA all-time consecutive list with UCLA (1967-79). Kansas’ 60 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 47 and Penn third at 37. UCLA’s run was under three coaches, while Kansas’ current run has been under head coach Bill Self.
Kansas Conference Regular-Season Titles
60 (*Tied for the championship)
Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (13) – 1908-09-10-11-12*-14*-15-22*-23-24-25-26-27
Big Six (12) – 1931-32-33-34-36-37*-38-40*-41*-42*-43-46
Big Seven (5) – 1950*-52-53-54*-57
Big Eight (13) – 1960*-66-67-71-74-75-78-86-91*-92-93-95-96
Big 12 (17) – 1997-98-2002-03-05*-06*-07-08*-09-10-11-12-13*-14-15-16-17*
THIS DATE IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 20-5 all-time on Feb. 25.
Feb. 25, 1952: Senior center Clyde Lovellette topped all scorers with 29 points to lead Kansas to a 65-54 victory against Missouri. Senior guard Bill Hougland added 15 points for the Jayhawks. KU eventually claimed the conference title with an 11-1 record. The Jayhawks won their third national title that season, and their first NCAA Tournament Championship after defeating St. John’s, 80-63, in the NCAA Final in Seattle. Kansas finished the season with a 28-3 record after winning its final 13 games of the year.
Kansas will host Oklahoma for Senior Night on ESPN Big Monday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. Kansas has won a mind-boggling 33-straight home finales, including 32-consecutive Senior Days, dating back to the 1983-84 season. In 2006-07, Kansas did not have a senior on its roster. KU concludes the regular season at Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 4 at 5 p.m., on ESPN. Kansas will then play in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Big 12 Championship with Jayhawks’ first game on March 9 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
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