Jayhawks ready for Elite Eight clash with Blue Devils
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike
|GM 38: NCAA Championship – Elite Eight|
|4:05 p.m. (CT)|
|CenturyLink Center (17,535)|
|Record||30-7, 13-5||29-7, 13-5|
OMAHA, Neb. – After advancing to its third-straight and 24th overall NCAA Elite Eight, the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks (30-7, 13-5 Big 12) will try to punch their ticket to the program’s 15th Final Four when they meet the No. 2 seed Duke Blue Devils (29-7, 13-5 ACC) on Sunday, March 25 inside CenturyLink Center. Tip-off is slated for 4:05 p.m. on CBS with Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Grant Hill (analyst), Bill Raftery (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (reporter) calling the action.
- No. 1 seed Kansas advanced to its third-straight and 24th NCAA Tournament Elite Eight with an 80-76 win against Clemson (3/23). It is KU’s 15th Elite Eight since the NCAA field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
- Kansas entered the weekend 10-1 this season versus the other 15 teams in the Sweet 16: 3-0 vs. West Virginia, 3-0 vs. Kansas State, 1-1 vs. Texas Tech, 1-0 vs. Kentucky, 1-0 vs. Syracuse and 1-0 vs. Texas A&M.
- The Big 12 has the most teams from one conference in the Elite Eight with three – Kansas, Kansas State and Texas Tech. The Atlantic Coast Conference is next with two (Duke, Florida State)
- At 30-7, Kansas has won 30 games for the third-straight year and 15th time in school history with nine in the Bill Self era, which began in 2003-04. KU’s 15 30-win seasons ties for the most in NCAA history with Kentucky.
- Kansas is playing Duke for the 12th time in men’s basketball with the Blue Devils holding a 7-4 series advantage. Kansas has won the last two meetings with Duke and three of the last four matchups dating back to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. Since Bill Self took over KU in 2003-04, the Jayhawks are 13-2 against the ACC.
- Kansas is ranked second in all-time NCAA Division I victories with 2,247, while Duke is fourth at 2,144. Kentucky is first at 2,263 and North Carolina is third at 2,236.
- Kansas is making its 47th NCAA Tournament appearance and has a 106-45 record in the event. The Jayhawks have advanced to 31 Sweet 16 contests, 14 Final Fours and three of their five national championships have been in NCAA Championship format (1952, 1988, 2008).
- KU’s 29-consecutive NCAA Championship appearances is the longest-active streak and the longest-consecutive appearances in NCAA history.
- Since seeding in the NCAA Tournament began in 1979, Kansas has been a No. 1 seed 14 times, including each of the last three seasons (’86, ’92, ’95, ’97, ’98, ’02, ’07, ’08, ’10, ’11, ’13, ’16, ’17 and ’18).
- After its win against Clemson (3/23), Kansas is 20-3 against the 2018 NCAA Tournament field.
- Kansas has played six games in the NCAA Tournament in Omaha with a 6-1 record. Two of its three trips to CenturyLink Center have led to Final Four appearances (2008 and 2012).
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham, the 2018 Big 12 Player of the Year, is the only player in NCAA Division I averaging 17.0-plus points, 7.0-plus assists, 1.6-plus steals and fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game.
Kansas (30-7, 13-5 Big 12) is ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press and No. 3 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ polls, released March 12. Kansas leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made at 10.0 and 3-point field goal percentage at 40.5. The Jayhawks also rank among the top three in the conference in scoring offense (third at 81.4), scoring margin (third at +10.4), field goal percentage (second at 49.5), 3-point field goal percentage defense (third at 33.0), assists (second at 16.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.4). KU also averages 6.6 steals and 4.2 blocked shots per game.
The 2018 Big 12 Player of the Year and on every national player of the year watch list, senior G Devonte’ Graham leads Kansas in scoring at 17.3 points per game for the season, which is third in the Big 12. An all-conference first-team selection who has been named to three All-America first teams, Graham is among the conference leaders in assists (second at 7.4), assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 2.6), steals (sixth at 1.6), free throw percentage (sixth at 83.4), 3-point field goals made (fourth at 2.8) and 3-point field goal percentage (ninth at 40.4).
Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, an all-league second-team honoree, is second in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (45.1) and third in 3-point field goals made (3.0) as he is the only player in the conference to rank that high in both 3-point stats. Mykhailiuk is averaging 14.8 points per game, which is 12th in the Big 12.
Redshirt-sophomore G Malik Newman was the 2018 Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player after averaging 24.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and making 15 3-pointers in Kansas’ title run. He leads KU in the NCAA Tournament with an 18.3 ppg. Also the 2018 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Newman is averaging 13.5 points for the season, which is 14th in the Big 12, and he is pulling down 4.9 rebounds per game.
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike, an All-Big 12 Third Team selection, leads the country in field goal percentage at 77.5 percent and is 53-for-63 (84.1 percent) from the field in his last 10 games played. Azubuike did not play in the Big 12 Championship due to a knee injury. He logged 22 minutes with 10 points and seven rebounds against Seton Hall (3/17) and posted his sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds versus Clemson (3/23). Azubuike scores 13.2 points per game.
Junior G Lagerald Vick, an honorable mention all-conference honoree, is averaging 13.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament. Vick is averaging 12.1 points per game for the season and pulls down 4.9 rebounds per game. He has made 57 3-pointers this season, including 10 in his last four games.
Freshman G Marcus Garrett averages 4.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. He has started seven games this season and plays 19.5 minutes per contest. Sophomore F Mitch Lightfoot pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds against Penn (3/15) and just missed a double-double with nine points. He second on the team with 54 blocked shots and averages 3.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Lightfoot leads KU with 16 charges taken this season. Freshman F Silvio De Sousa (3.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg) is coming off a nine-point, six-rebound game against Clemson (3/23). De Sousa led Kansas with a 9.7 rebound average in the Big 12 Championship (March 8-10).
Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is 29-7 on the season after its 69-65 win against Syracuse in the Sweet 16 on March 23. The Blue Devils are coached by Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski who is 1,027-278 while at Duke and 1,100-337 overall. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 9 by the Associated Press and No. 6 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ polls. Duke averages 84.4 points per game and has a plus-15.3 scoring margin. The Blue Devils also dominate the boards with a 41.4 rebound average and a plus-8.8 rebound margin. Duke makes 8.4 3-pointers per game and averages 17.6 assists, 7.4 steals and 5.1 blocked shots per contest.
Freshman F Marvin Bagley III averages a double-double and leads Duke at 21.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He is shoots 61.5 percent from the field and is second on the team with 29 blocked shots. Senior G Grayson Allen leads Duke with 60 steals and 100 3-pointers made. Allen averages 15.6 points per game. Freshman G Gary Trent Jr. is second on the team with 95 3-pointers made and he averages 14.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Freshman F Wendell Carter Jr. is second on the team with 9.3 rebounds per outing. Carter scores 13.6 points per game and has a team-high 75 blocked shots. Freshman G Trevon Duval is the fifth Blue Devil to average in double figures in scoring 10.0 ppg. He is second on the team with 52 steals. Other Duke regulars include sophomore C Marques Bolden (3.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg), sophomore F Javin DeLaurier (3.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg).
THE KANSAS-DUKE SERIES
Although it only started in 1985, Kansas and Duke have shared a high-stakes series. Duke leads, 7-4, but Kansas has won the last two and three of the last four meetings, including the last match-up, a 77-75 win in the 2016 Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Nine of the 11 match-ups have been on neutral floors while five of the games have been NCAA Tournament battles, including three Final Fours and one NCAA title game.
The first meeting came in the 1985 Preseason NIT championship game in Madison Square Garden, which Duke won 92-86. The same two teams met in Dallas in the Final Four semifinal later that season, a game which was the first-ever game between two 30-win teams. Duke won that contest, 71-67. In 1988, Duke traveled to Lawrence for a February non-conference game and came away with a 74-70 overtime victory in Allen Fieldhouse. Later that season the teams met again, this time in the Final Four semifinal, with Kansas defeating Duke, 66-59, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. The national title was on the line in the 1991 meeting, a Duke 72-65 win in Indianapolis. The Blue Devils ended the Jayhawks’ season in the second round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament in Winston Salem, North Carolina, while KU returned the favor in the 2003 Sweet 16 in Anaheim, California, en route to its Final Four run. Duke won the 2011 Maui Invitational title defeating KU, 68-61, in the championship game.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 31-7 and give KU 31 victories for the third-straight season, ninth time in the 15-year career of head coach Bill Self and 15th time in KU history … Advance KU its 15th all-time Final Four, its first since 2012 … Give Kansas its third-straight win against Duke and make the series 7-5 in favor of the Blue Devils … Make KU 17-4 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season, and 10-0 at neutral sites … Make Kansas 107-45 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including 14-9 in the round of eight … Make Kansas 7-1 in NCAA Tournament games played in Omaha, all in CenturyLink Center … Make Bill Self 447-95 while at Kansas, 654-200 all-time and 47-18 in the NCAA Tournament (37-13 while at KU)… Make Kansas 2,248-848 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
End Kansas’ season at 30-8 … Make the KU-Duke series 8-4 in favor of the Blue Devils … Make Kansas 16-5 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Kansas 106-46 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including 14-10 in the round of eight … Give Kansas a 6-2 record in NCAA Tournament games played in Omaha … Make Bill Self 446-96 while at Kansas, 653-201 all-time and 46-19 in the NCAA Tournament (36-14 while at Kansas) … Make Kansas 2,247-849 all-time.
CLEMSON LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- The win made Kansas 30-7 and gives KU 30 victories for the third-straight season, ninth time in the 15-year career of head coach Bill Self and 15th time in KU history.
- Kansas advanced to its third-straight and 23rd all-time NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
- Kansas is now 15-3 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season, including 9-0 in neutral site games.
- Kansas improved to 106-45 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including 21-10 in the round of 16.
- Kansas was whistled for 22 fouls, the most by the Jayhawks this season. KU is 11-4 this season in when it has more fouls than its opponent.
- The Jayhawks posted a better shooting percentage than its opponent for the 27th time this season. KU is 26-1 in those instances and 416-34 in Bill Self’s 15 seasons.
- KU’s 10 3-pointers marked the 18th time in 2017-18 the Jayhawks hit 10 or more treys. KU is 16-2 this season when hitting double-digit 3-pointers.
- Clemson’s Gabe Devoe’s 31 points were the most by a Jayhawk opponent this season.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham has 273 assists this season. He just six helpers shy from breaking Cedric Hunter’s single-season program record of 278 set in 1986.
- With his 35 minutes, Graham extended his single-season program record of minutes played to 1,390 minutes logged.
- In KU’s six postseason games (Big 12/NCAA), RS-Sophomore G Malik Newman has scored 127 points (21.2 ppg), is 44-of-77 from the field (57.1 percent), 18-of-39 (46.2 percent) from 3-point range and has pulled down 4.8 rebounds per game.
- Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike tallied his sixth double-double of the year and seventh of his career with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
- Azubuike continued his efficient shooting, going 7-of-9 from the field. He has now hit 75 percent or better in 24 of his 34 games in 2017-18.
- Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s 3-pointer at the 8:11 mark of the first half pulled him into a tie with Terry Brown for KU’s single-season 3-point record, now with 111 on the year.
- Junior G Lagerald Vick went 3-of-6 from 3-point range and has now hit 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) from three in the NCAA Championship. From the field, he is shooting 51.9 percent (14-of-27) in his three NCAA tournament outings.
SELF CLAIMS MOST NCAA WINS IN KU HISTORY
With Kansas’ win over Seton Hall in the second round March 17, Bill Self claimed his 35th victory in the NCAA Tournament as the head coach of the Jayhawks. That number passed Roy Williams, who notched 34 NCAA tourney wins as the head man of Kansas. Earlier this season, Self passed Williams as the second-winningest coach in KU history. Self’s 445 victories trail Phog Allen who picked up 590 wins in his 39 years in Lawrence.
KANSAS VS THE NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
Kansas has faced 15 NCAA Tournament teams in 2017-18 with a 20-3 record. Those include No. 3 seed Texas Tech (1-1), No. 5 seed West Virginia (3-0), No. 5 seed Clemson (1-0), No. 5 seed Kentucky (1-0), No. 6 TCU (2-0), No. 7 seed Texas A&M (1-0), No. 8 seed Seton Hall (1-0), No. 9 seed Kansas State (3-0), No. 10 seed Texas (2-0), No. 10 seed Oklahoma (1-1), No. 11 seed Arizona State (0-1), No. 11 seed Syracuse (1-0), No. 12 seed South Dakota State (1-0), No. 16 seed Texas Southern (1-0) and No. 16 Penn (1-0).
Kansas is the No. 1 seed for the 14th time since the NCAA Championship started seeding in 1979: 1986-92-95-97-98-2002-07-08-10-11-13-16-17-18. This is the third straight and eighth time KU has been a No. 1 seed under Bill Self. KU is 38-12 as a No. 1 seed, has won all 14 of its No. 1 seed first-round games and has advanced to three Final Fours (1986, 2002 and 2008) as the No. 1 seed. KU’s 50 games played as a No. 1 seed are its most in the NCAA Championship. Its No. 2 seed is next with 27 games.
KANSAS IN OMAHA FOR THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The 2018 NCAA Tournament is the fourth time in Kansas men’s basketball history the Jayhawks will have played in the event in Omaha, Nebraska, and the fourth time in the CenturyLink Center with a 6-1 record in the venue. Kansas has had good fortunes in the NCAA Tournament in Omaha. In 2008, Kansas played its opening rounds in Omaha and went on to win the NCAA National Championship. In 2012 KU also started in Omaha and advanced to the school’s 14th Final Four, finishing runner-up. In 2008, Kansas was a No. 1 seed and defeated Portland (85-61) and UNLV (75-61), then played its regional in Detroit and the Final Four in San Antonio. In 2012, KU defeated Detroit (65-50) and Purdue (63-60) to advance to the regional in St. Louis, then the Final Four in New Orleans. Kansas last played in Omaha in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, defeating New Mexico State (75-56) and losing to Wichita State (78-65) in the second round.
KANSAS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
- This year marks Kansas’ 47th NCAA Tournament appearance.
- Kansas’ 29-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, from 1990-2018, is the nation’s longest active streak and the best all time. North Carolina is second with 27 straight from 1975-2001.
- Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 36-13 (73.5 percent) in the NCAA Tournament with 10 Sweet 16s, eight Elite Eights, two Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship and one NCAA runner-up finish.
- The average seed under Self is 1.9 with eight No. 1 seeds, three No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds and two No. 4 seeds. Kansas has been a No. 1 seed in the last three NCAA Tournaments and has been a 1 or 2 seed each of the last nine events, starting in 2010.
- In the last 16 NCAA Tournaments, Kansas has a 45-15 (75.0 percent) record with one NCAA National Championship (2008), four Final Four (2002-03-08-12) and 10 Elite Eight (2002-03-04-07-08-11-12-16-17-18) appearances.
- Kansas’ 47 NCAA Tournament appearances are tied for third nationally: Kentucky (56), North Carolina (49), UCLA (47).
- Kansas sports an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 106-45. Entering the 2018 event, the Jayhawks’ 103 wins trail only Kentucky (124), North Carolina (123) and Duke (108).
- The Jayhawks will play their 152nd NCAA Tournament game on Sunday. Entering the 2018 event, the Jayhawks’ 148 games in the event rank third all-time in NCAA history, behind Kentucky (174) and North Carolina (168).
- Entering the 2018 event, KU’s NCAA Tournament winning percentage of 69.6 percent ranks sixth all-time for a minimum of 20 games played.
- Kansas coach Bill Self is making his 20th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, which is fifth-best consecutive string in tourney history by a head coach: 23 Dean Smith (1975-97), 23 Mike Krzyzewski, (1996-2018), 21 Tom Izzo (1998-2018), 20 Bill Self (1999-2018), 20 Roy Williams (1990-2009), 17 Rick Barnes (1996-2012). Self, Krzyzewski and Izzo are the only active streaks.
- KU is one of eight schools that have won at least three NCAA Tournaments. The Jayhawks won the NCAA crown in 1952, 1988 and 2008. The other schools are: UCLA (11), Kentucky (8), North Carolina (6), Indiana (5), Duke (4), Connecticut (4) and Louisville (3).
- Kansas has appeared in the Final Four 14 times, making KU one of just six schools to reach the Final Four 10-plus times: North Carolina (20), UCLA (17), Kentucky (17), Duke (16), KANSAS (14) and Ohio State (11).
- Kansas has won 12 games in the Final Four, which is tied for fifth best all-time: UCLA (25), Kentucky (20), North Carolina (18), Duke (17), KANSAS (12) and Indiana (12).
- 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 two other teams has won the tournament with a lower seed – Villanova in 1985 as an eight seed and Connecticut as a No. 7 seed in 2014. 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.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 6-2 all-time on March 25
March 25, 1952: Senior Clyde Lovellette led all scorers with 33 points as Kansas cruised to a 74-55 victory over Santa Clara in its first game of the 1952 Final Four in Seattle, Wash. The game was never close, as KU led by as many as 18 points in the second quarter. Kansas advanced to play St. John’s in the national championship the next day, which KU won by a score of 80-63, marking the Jayhawks’ third national championship and the first in the NCAA Tournament after it was established in 1939. Kansas finished the season with a 28-3 record, including an 11-1 mark in conference play to win the Big Seven title.
CRADLE OF TOURNAMENT COACHING LEGENDS
There are 11 head coaches who have advanced to the NCAA Tournament who graduated from the University of Kansas. In fact, the 126 combined NCAA Tournament wins by those coaches are easily the most by graduates of any one school: Phog Allen (KU 1906, 10-3), Tad Boyle (KU 1985, 1-4), Tim Carter (KU 1979, 0-2), Frosty Cox (KU 1930, 2-4), Jerod Haase (KU 1997, 1-1), Dick Harp (KU 1940, 4-2), Danny Manning (KU 1991, 0-1), Ralph Miller (KU 1942, 5-11), Adolph Rupp (KU 1922, 30-18), Dean Smith (KU 1953, 65-27) and Mark Turgeon (KU 1987, 8-8).
JAYHAWKS WELL REPRESENTED ON ALL-BIG 12 TEAMS
Highlighted by Big 12 Player of the Year Devonte’ Graham, conference regular-season champion Kansas is well represented on the men’s basketball 2017-18 All-Big 12 Team selected by the conference coaches, the league announced March 4.
Graham was the unanimous selection for Big 12 Player of the Year, while redshirt sophomore Malik Newman is the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Bill Self the co-Big 12 Coach of the Year, along with Chris Beard of Texas Tech. Graham was an All-Big 12 First Team selection, while senior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is a second team honoree. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike is third team and junior Lagerald Vick honorable mention. Newman was also named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
Historically, Graham is the 12th Jayhawk to be named his conference’s player of the year. This is the ninth time a Kansas student-athlete has earned the distinction in the 22-year history of the Big 12 Conference. With Frank Mason III winning the 2017 honor, this is the seventh time in league history a school has been named the Big 12 player of the year in consecutive seasons with Kansas holding four of those occasions.
Newman is the ninth Jayhawk to be named his conferences’ newcomer of the year and the first in the Big 12 era. Mykhailiuk, Azubuike and Vick are appearing on the All-Big 12 Team for the first time in their career.
Kansas has now won 18 of the 22 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last 14, which is an NCAA record. Kansas’ 61 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 54 and Penn third at 37 (pre-2017-18). KU’s 14-straight league titles, all under head coach Bill Self, is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the longest streak in school history.
KANSAS CONFERENCE REGULAR-SEASON TITLES
61 (*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 (18) – 1997-98-2002-03-05*-06*-07-08*-09-10-11-12-13*-14-15-16-17-18
Here are some “nuggets” from the current Kansas conference regular-season championship streak:
- Kansas has won the title outright 10 times and shared it four times (2005, 2006, 2008 and 2013). Overall, Kansas has won 18 of the 22 Big 12 regular-season titles, with those four being the only ties.
- In the current 14-year streak, including the four ties and the two-game edge in 2018, Kansas has won the Big 12 regular-season title by an average of 1.4 games. Twice, in 2009-10 and 2016-17, Kansas won the Big 12 regular-season title by four games.
- In the 14-year streak, the Jayhawks have clinched at least a share of the title six times on the road – 2006 (at Kansas State), 2008 (at Texas A&M), 2009 (at Texas Tech, though it was a loss), 2011 (at Missouri), 2013 (at Baylor, though it was a loss) and 2018 (at Texas Tech).
- When the streak began in 2004-05, current senior Devonte’ Graham was nine years old, while fellow senior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was six.
- In 2005, George W. Bush was beginning his second term as the 43rd President of the United States. Barrack Obama, the 44th President, would serve two terms and current Commander-In-Chief, Donald Trump, the 45th President, recently completed his first year in office, giving the streak three sitting U.S. commanders.
BIG 12 RUN NO CAKEWALK
Kansas once again finds itself near the top of the nation in the latest NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI). In Self’s first 14 seasons, KU has finished fifth or higher in the final RPI 10 times, including each of the last eight years. This season the strength of the Big 12 is quite prevalent. Kansas leads the league in RPI at fifth nationally and in strength of schedule at No. 2 (through games of March 11).
RECORD BOOK REVIEW
Here are some things to keep an eye on as several Jayhawks continue to make an impact on the career and single-season KU record books:
- This year’s KU team has crushed the single-season 3-point record, currently at 371. The previous record was 318 set by last year’s squad. KU also surpassed the 3-point field goals attempted mark, currently at 917.
- Senior Svi Mykhailiuk recently became the 60th player in KU history to score 1,000 points, currently at 1,160, which is 42nd. He is the 15th player in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at Kansas to reach the milestone.
- Mykhailiuk is tied for first on the KU single-season 3-point field goals made list with 111. He is tied with “Downtown” Terry Brown KU single-season record with 111 treys in 1990-91.
- Against Seton Hall (3/17), senior Devonte’ Graham became the 13th player in KU history to record 1,700 career points. He currently sits 13th at 1,716 points. Graham is the third player in school history to tally 1,700 points, 600 assists and 190 steals in a career. Darnell Valentine and Kirk Hinrich are the only other Jayhawks to hit those numbers.
- In the Oklahoma contest (2/19), Graham moved into second on the KU career 3-point field goals made list, currently at 289. Jeff Boschee (1999-2002) holds the career record at 338.
- Sophomore Udoka Azubuike is primed to become the most-efficient shooting Jayhawk in a single season. His 77.5 shooting clip is more than 12 percentage points better than Mark Randall’s record mark of 64.6 percent in 1988-89.
KANSAS CLAIMS 300TH BIG 12 WIN
Kansas’ win against Oklahoma (Feb. 19) gave KU its 300th Big 12 regular-season victory. In 22 seasons, the Jayhawks have amassed a record of 302-63 for an 82.7 win percentage. Only Texas (225) and Oklahoma (213) have claimed more than 200 victories in the Big 12 since the league’s inception in 1996-97. Now in its 22nd year as a Big 12 member, Kansas has won 18 regular-season league championships and has never finished lower than fifth in the final standings.
POSTSEASON ACCOLADES ROLLING IN FOR GRAHAM
Kansas senior Devonte’ Graham has begun to collect a wide variety of postseason honors as the 2017-18 season is in the midst of its final month. The senior made the first two steps in becoming Kansas’ 23rd player to be a consensus First Team All-American, earning a spot on The Sporting News’ All-America First Team and the USBWA All-America First Team. Below is the ever-growing list for Graham’s postseason honors attained after the conclusion of the regular season:
- Big 12 Player of the Year (Big 12, Associated Press)
- All-Big 12 First Team (Big 12, Associated Press)
- Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Finalist (1 of 5)
- The Sporting News All-America First Team
- USA TODAY All-America First Team
- USBWA District VI Player of the Year
- USBWA All-District VI Team
- NCAA.com First Team
- Big 12 All-Tournament Team
- USBWA All-America First Team
- Citizen Naismith Trophy Finalist (1 of 4)
- NABC District 8 First Team
- NABC All-America First Team
KANSAS VS TOP-25 TEAMS
Kansas has posted a 7-3 against ranked foes this season. Under Bill Self, Kansas is 89-44 against AP-ranked opponents. In his 15 seasons at KU, Self’s Jayhawks have collected four wins or more over top-25 ranked foes in 12 of those seasons, which includes a 34-15 record from 2014-present.
Kansas’ record against top-10 ranked opponents is even more impressive. KU is 15-3 against foes ranked inside the top-10 of the AP poll since 2013-14. This number includes the Jayhawks’ victories over Kentucky, at West Virginia and at Texas Tech this season. Since Bill Self’s first season, the Jayhawks are 13-2 against AP top-10 teams inside Allen Fieldhouse, which includes KU’s current streak of nine-straight home victories against top-10 foes.
KU FROM DOWNTOWN
Kansas leads the Big 12 with 10.0 3-point field goals made per game and 3-point field goal percentage at 40.5. Kansas has made 10 or more 3-pointers in eight conference games and 18 total in 2017-18. For the season, the Jayhawks are 16-2 in games where they have made 10 or more threes.
This season’s team is the third KU squad to make 300 3-pointers in a season and the current Jayhawks have crushed the single-season school record for 3-pointers made, 371, and attempted, 917, surpassing last year’s record-setting marks of 318 made and 787 attempted. Three of the last eight Jayhawk squads have averaged more than seven treys per game, with both of the last two KU teams hitting an average of eight or more threes per contest.
DEVONTE’ + SVI = THREES
The senior pairing of Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has established itself as one of the top long-range shooting duos in KU history. This year, the two Jayhawk guards have combined for 214 of KU’s 371 3-pointers, which is 57.7 percent of the team’s threes. Mykhailiuk is tied for first on the KU single-season 3-point field goals made at 111 and Graham is fifth at 103. It marks the first time two Jayhawks have made 100 threes during the same season. Graham is No. 2 on the KU career 3-point field goals made list, currently at 289, while Mykhailiuk is fifth at 233.
Since the advent of the 3-point line prior to the 1986-87 season, no other Kansas duo has tallied more threes over a three-year stretch than the 490 that Graham and Mykhailiuk have combined for since the 2015-16 season. At Oklahoma (1/23), Graham and Mykhailiuk passed Jeff Boschee and Kirk Hinrich as the most prolific 3-point shooting twosome in school history. Boschee and Hinrich amassed 405 treys while they played together from 2000-02.
Graham and Mykhailiuk are also among the most-accurate Jayhawk pairs. They have teamed up to shoot 41.5 percent from beyond the arc in that same three-year span, the third-best mark among KU teammates who have combined for 700 or more attempts. Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers boast the best combined percentage with a 42.7 percent (385-of-901) clip coming during their three seasons in Lawrence from 2006-08.
Udoka Azubuike ranks first in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.5 percent and he is the only player shooting 70 percent or better with a minimum of five shots made per game. Azubuike is on pace to break the Big 12 single-season record of 69.3 percent, set by Ricardo Ratliffe of Missouri in 2011-12.
History has shown that it isn’t easy to lead the nation in a statistic. In fact, checking the NCAA Records Book of annual leaders, only twice has a Jayhawk led the country in a season stat and both were KU All-Americans. KU legend Clyde Lovellette led the NCAA in scoring average in 1951-52 at 28.6 points per game. More recently, Thomas Robinson led the country in double-doubles with 27 during the 2011-12 season. Under Lovellette’s leadership KU won the 1952 NCAA National Championship, while Robinson led the Jayhawks to a runner-up finish in 2012.
With a minimum of 175 attempts, the Kansas single-season field goal percentage record is 64.6 percent by Mark Randall in 1988-89. Last year, Landen Lucas shot 63.1 percent from the field, which ranks fourth on the KU single-season list. On the NCAA level, with a minimum of five makes per game, there have been only 12 players who have shot 70 percent or better in a season, with the most recent being Devontae Cacok of UNC-Wilmington, who set the NCAA record last season (2016-17) at 80.0 percent.
Should Kansas defeat Duke the Jayhawks would advance to its 15th all-time Final Four. KU would be playing its second Final Four in San Antonio with the other in 2008 when it won its last NCAA National Championship. KU’s last Final Four was in 2012 in New Orleans where it finished runner-up to Kentucky.
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