Big 12 Champs Visit No. 25 Texas on Monday
Fresh off its Big 12 regular season-clinching 67-58 win against Texas Tech on Saturday, No. 2/2 Kansas (25-4, 13-3 Big 12) will travel to No. 25/25 Texas (19-10, 10-6) for ESPN Big Monday, Feb. 29, at 8 p.m. Central time. With two games remaining in the 2016 regular season, Kansas has least a share of its mind-bogglingly 12th-straight, 16th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 59th overall conference regular-season title. Texas takes a two-game winning streak into Monday after its 76-63 win against No. 3/4 Oklahoma on Saturday.
Kansas has won nine-straight games, which is tied for third among the nation’s active winning streaks: Stephen F. Austin (15), Northern Iowa (10), KANSAS (9), Lehigh (9).
Kansas’ 12-consecutive conference titles, beginning in 2004-05 and all under head coach Bill Self, ranks second all-time on NCAA Division I list and only trails UCLA’s 13-consecutive titles as members of the then-Pac-10 Conference from 1967-79.
At 13-3, Kansas has guaranteed itself of being either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed for Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, March 9-12, at Sprint Center in Kansas City. KU’s first game will be in the quarterfinals on March 10.
LEAP YEAR CONTESTS
In the rich tradition of 118 seasons of Kansas basketball, Kansas is 3-2 in games played on Feb. 29.
Date – Opponent – Result
2/29/1912 – at Kansas State – L, 28-33
2/29/1916 – MISSOURI – W, 31-19
2/29/1924 – at Washington (Mo.) – W, 31-22
2/29/1984 – at Colorado – L, 85-89
2/29/2004 – OKLAHOMA – W, 79-58
Kansas averages 81.6 points per game and has a Big 12-leading +13.7 scoring margin and 39.8 field goal percentage defense. The Jayhawks are fourth nationally with a 42.3 3-point field goal percentage. KU pulls down an average of 37.9 rebounds per game and has a +5.0 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 15.9 assists, 6.6 steals and 4.1 blocked shots per contest.
Senior F Perry Ellis leads Kansas in scoring (16.1 ppg) and is second in rebounding (6.1 rpg). Ellis has eight games of scoring 19 or more points in Big 12 play this season, including four 20-point efforts and overall he ranks third in the league in scoring and tied for eighth in rebounding. Ellis is averaging 17.3 points and 5.8 rebounds during Big 12 play. Junior G Frank Mason III has averaged 17.0 points in his last three games, including 16 against Texas Tech (2/27), and is shooting 58.6 from the field in that span. He is averaging 13.6 points for the season, which is eighth in the league. Mason has 17 assists and four turnovers in his last four contests. Mason leads KU with 4.5 assists per contest, sixth in the Big 12 and 40 steals. Junior G Wayne Selden Jr., is a starter who scores 13.4 points per game, ninth in the conference, and leads KU with 61 3-pointers this season. His 2.1 3-pointers made per game are fifth in the league. Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham is second on the team in assists (106), steals (40) and 3-point field goals made (52). He is scoring 10.9 points per game. Graham’s 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio is a team best and fourth in the conference. Junior F Landen Lucas rounds out the KU starters. He leads Kansas in rebounding at 6.2 boards per game, which is seventh in the Big 12. Lucas has averaged 10.3 boards in his last six games. Included was his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Oklahoma State (2/15).
Junior G Brannen Greene is a regular who has made 29 3-pointers this season and scores 6.3 points per game off the bench. Sophomore G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is coming off a 17-point performance against Texas Tech (2/27) where he was 6-for-7 from the field, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range. Mykhailiuk averages 5.8 points and has made 31 3-pointers this season. Freshman F Carlton Bragg Jr. is averaging 3.9 ppg and 2.3 rpg and freshman Cheick Diallo is coming off a six-rebound outing against Texas Tech (2/27). Diallo averages 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game and his 21 blocked shots are second on the team behind senior F Jamari Traylor’s 24. Traylor is averaging 3.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. Senior F Hunter Mickelson, who has started 10 games this season, is averaging 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds and his 1.0 blocked shots per game are eighth in the Big 12.
Located in Austin, Texas, with an enrollment of 52,076, UT has won two straight after its 76-63 win against No. 3/4 Oklahoma. The Longhorns are coached by Shaka Smart who is in his first season at Texas with a 19-10 record and his seventh season overall at 182-66. Texas averages 72.6 points per game and has a +4.7 scoring margin. The Longhorns pull down 34.9 rebounds per game and average 11.6 assists, 5.1 steals and 4.4 blocked shots per game, which is second in the Big 12.
Junior G Isaiah Taylor leads Texas with a 15.5 scoring average, which ranks fourth in the Big 12. Taylor is third in the league with 5.0 assists per game and leads UT with 27 steals this season. With senior C Cameron Ridley (12.7 ppg, 10.0 ppg) out due to injury, senior G Javan Felix is next in scoring at 11.1 points per game and he is second on the team with 43 3-pointers made this season. Felix is second on the team with 65 assists and second with 24 steals. Senior F Connor Lammert is a starter who averages 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. His 44 made 3-pointers this season are tops on the team. Rounding out the UT starters from the Oklahoma game are senior C Prince Ibeh (4.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and senior G Demarcus Holland (2.6 ppg). Ibeh is second in the Big 12 in blocked shots per game at 2.0 while Holland has 14 starts this season and averages 13.3 minutes per game.
Freshman G Eric Davis Jr., comes off the bench and scores 7.9 points per game. He is third on the team with 39 3-pointers made this season. Freshman G Kerwin Roach Jr., scores 7.1 points per contest and is third on the team with 23 steals and 38 assists. Freshman G/F Tevin Mack scores 5.5 points per contest and has made 32 3-pointers, while junior F Shaquille Cleare averages 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per outing. Junior G Kendal Yancy (3.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg) rounds out the UT regulars.
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 26-8, including an 7-6 record in games played in Austin with all 13 meetings at the Erwin Center. KU has won four straight, nine of the last 10 meetings, and 12 of the last 14 matchups, starting with the 2008 Big 12 Championship title game. KU and UT have met in four of the last eight 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 22-7 record against Texas with an 18-6 mark in regular-season play and 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 16-8 all-time against Texas, including 16-6 while at KU. Texas head coach Shaka Smart is 1-1 versus Kansas. Smart’s 2011 VCU team defeated Kansas, 71-61, in the NCAA Tournament Southwest Region championship game in San Antonio.
Earlier this season, then-No. 3/3 Kansas defeated Texas 76-67 on Jan. 23 in Allen Fieldhouse. KU senior Perry Ellis led all scorers with 26 points, while Wayne Selden Jr., added 19. Jayhawk sophomore Devonte’ Graham scored 14 points with six assists. Junior Frank Mason III added 13 points and junior Landen Lucas pulled down a game high 10 rebounds in his first start of the season. Texas led 35-30 at half but the Jayhawks outscored the Longhorns 46-32 in after intermission.
• Kansas’ nine-game winning streak is tied for the third longest active streak in NCAA Division I – Stephen F. Austin (15), Northern Iowa (10), KANSAS (9), Lehigh (9).
• With Texas’ loss to Baylor at home Feb. 20, Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 with an undefeated league record at home (8-0) in 2015-16.
• Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring margin at +13.7 and field goal percentage defense (39.8). KU also ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (second at 81.6), field goal percentage (second at 48.9), 3-point field goal percentage (second at 42.3), 3-point field goals made (third at 8.4), assists (third at 15.9), rebound margin (third at +5.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (third at 1.3).
• Kansas and Iowa State are the only two teams to have three players rank in the top 10 in the Big 12 in scoring.
• Kansas’ 81.6 scoring average tied for the best in the Bill Self era (81.6 in 2009-10) which is the highest since a 90.9 scoring average in 2001-02.
• Out of its 25 victories this season, Kansas has won by 10 or more points in 15 of those wins, including four of the last eight games. Five KU wins have been by 30 points or more.
• KU has out-shot 25 of 29 opponents, including each of their last eight opponents. KU is shooting 50.0 percent from the field in its last eight games.
• Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in six of its last eight games, eight Big 12 contests and 14 times overall this season.
• The Jayhawks have out-rebounded 21 of 29 foes, including eight of the last 10 contests. KU had a +18 rebound advantage against Oklahoma State (2/15), +21 at TCU (2/6) and +11 (42-31) versus Kentucky (1/30).
• Kansas has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range in 20 of its 29 games, including five of the last six contests.
• The KU bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 18 of 29 games this season and is 18-1 in those contests.
• KU has made seven or more 3-pointers in 22 of 29 games this season, including seven of the last nine battles. KU has made 10 or more 3-pointers 10 times, including 15 threes vs. No. Colorado (11/13) and Chaminade (11/23), which were one off the school record.
• When guards Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden Jr. and Devonte’ Graham each score 10-plus points in the same game, KU is 13-0, including 7-0 in Big 12 play.
• Senior F Perry Ellis is one of two players in the Big 12 to rank in the top eight in scoring (third at 16.4 ppg) and rebounding (tied for eighth at 6.1). The other is Georges Niang of Iowa State.
• Ellis has pulled down nine or more rebounds in eight games this season.
• Ellis has led KU in scoring in seven of 15 Big 12 games, averaging 17.3 points per Big 12 contest (16.1 ppg overall).
• Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham is 28-for-56 (50.0 percent) from the field in his last seven games. Graham is also 13-for-14 from the free throw line in that span.
• Junior G Wayne Selden Jr., is fifth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made per game at 2.1 and eighth in 3-point field goal percentage at .409 for all games. Selden has made three or more 3-pointers in 13 games this season, including four versus Oklahoma State (2/15).
• Kansas’ 39-game winning streak in Allen Fieldhouse is the fourth longest in school history. In that span, KU has defeated 14 nationally-ranked opponents during the streak.
• Kansas is 32-6 when following a conference loss under Self with only one of those losses coming in Allen Fieldhouse (Feb. 19, 2005 vs. Iowa State).
• Kansas is 56-20 all-time on ESPN Big Monday(33-1 at home, 23-19 on the road), including 37-12 under head coach Bill Self (22-0 at home, 15-12 on the road).
The Ellis-Mason-Selden-Graham combination is carrying the load for Kansas. All average 29-plus minutes per game and 10-plus points per game. KU’s next closest player is 16.5 minutes per game (Landen Lucas) and 6.3 points per game (Brannen Greene). The group of four combines for 34 35-plus minute games this season, while the rest of the team has none.
QUITE THE COMPARISON
In Kansas’ 25 victories this season, the Jayhawks have won by an average of 17.8 points per game. In its four losses, KU lost by 12.2 points per game. Here is a breakdown of statistics when the Jayhawks win compared to when they lose.
• Senior F Perry Ellis is only the 13th Jayhawk to reach the 1,600 point plateau, reaching the milestone at Kansas State (2/20). Ellis has 1,625 career points, which is 13th on the KU career scoring list. Earlier this season, Ellis became the 16th player in KU history to reach 700 career rebounds, currently 13th at 788. Ellis is the seventh player in KU history to rank in the top 13 in both career points and career rebounds: Danny Manning (2,951 points/1,187 rebounds), Nick Collison (2,097 points/1,143 rebounds), Raef LaFrentz (2,066 points/1,186 rebounds), Clyde Lovellette (1,979 points/839 rebounds), Dave Robisch (1,754 points/815 rebounds) and Mark Randall (1,627 points/723 rebounds).
• Junior G Wayne Selden Jr., had 33 points against Kentucky (1/30) and in the process became the 57th Jayhawk to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He is 43rd on the KU scoring list at 1,069 points and ranks 13th on the KU career 3-pointers made list at 149 and 12th on the 3-pointers attempted list at 403.
• Junior G Frank Mason III surpassed the 1,000 points mark at Kansas State (2/20) and is the 58th Jayhawk to accomplish the feat. He is 51st at 1,036 career points. Mason ranks 17th on the KU career assists list, currently at 345.
ONLY THE SIXTH TIME
When junior G Frank Mason III surpassed the 1,000-points plateau, currently at 1,036, he joined teammates Perry Ellis (1,625) and Wayne Selden Jr. (1,069) who have also reached the milestone. Historically, this is only the sixth time in KU history there have been three or more 1,000-point scorers on the same floor with all three having scored 1,000 points at that time and the first since 2004-05. Kansas and Oklahoma are the only two Big 12 schools that have three active players with 1,000 points or more. OU has senior Buddy Hield, senior Isaiah Cousins and junior Jordan Woodard.
KANSAS vs. RANKED OPPONENTS
With its 66-60 win at No. 19/13 Baylor, Kansas improved to 7-3 against nationally-ranked opponents in 2015-16, including 3-0 versus top-10 foes. Seven of those 10 contests have been versus Big 12 members with KU having a 5-2 record. In the Bill Self era, Kansas is 71-37 against ranked opponents and has had a winning record against ranked foes each of the last 11 seasons. In 2014-15 KU played an all-time high 16 games vs. ranked foes and its 10 wins last year were also a season best.
Kansas is making 42.3 percent from 3-point range which is fourth nationally and second in the Big 12. At their current percentage pace, the 2015-16 Jayhawks would finish second on the school’s single-season 3-point field goal percentage list. Additionally, Kansas’ 244 3-pointers made this season are currently third most in school history for a season ranking behind the 271 in 2010-11 and 262 in 2009-10.
In Bill Self’s previous 12 seasons at Kansas, the Jayhawks have led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense eight times and finished no lower than fourth. Nationally, Self-coached Jayhawks have ranked eighth or higher in all but two seasons in field goal percentage defense and have ranked in the top five on eight occasions, including first in 2005-06 and 2011-12.
Including the 2015-16 title, Kansas has won 16 of the 20 Big 12 regular-season championship (includes ties), including the last 12, which ranks second on the NCAA all-time consecutive list. Kansas’ 59 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 52 and Penn third at 37. KU’s 12-straight league titles are the longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the longest streak in school history.
BIG 12 RUN NO CAKEWALK
Kansas currently ranks No. 1 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI), through games of Feb. 27 and its strength of schedule is 11th nationally. KU ended 2014-15 ranked No. 5 in the RPI and No. 1 in strength of schedule. Following the 2013-14 season, for the second time in the Bill Self era, Kansas ranked first in strength of schedule, according to data from RPIratings.com. KU was also tops in Self’s second season, 2004-05. Prior to 2015-16, in Self’s 12 seasons, KU has ranked fifth or higher in the final RPI eight times, including each of the last six years. Kansas was fourth in the final RPI in 2013-14, its highest since 2010-11 when it ranked first.
Kansas will host Iowa State on Saturday, March 5, at 3 p.m. on ESPN to close out the regular season. Kansas has won a mind-bogglingly 32-straight home finales, including 31 consecutive Senior Nights, dating back to the 1983-84 season. In 2006-07, Kansas did not have a senior on its roster. At 13-3, Kansas has guaranteed itself of being either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, March 9-12, at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas’ first game will be in the quarterfinals on March 10.
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