Jayhawks set to meet No. 5 seed Clemson in Sweet 16
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike
|GM 37: NCAA Championship – Sweet 16|
|6:07 p.m. (CT)|
|CenturyLink Center (17,535)|
|Record||29-7, 13-5||25-9, 11-7|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Looking to punch a ticket to the Elite Eight for the third-consecutive season, No. 1 seed Kansas will take on No. 5 seed Clemson in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championship on Friday, March 23 inside Omaha’s CenturyLink Center. The Jayhawks, who are making their 10th Sweet 16 appearance in the last 15 seasons, will meet Clemson for the first time in program history. The game is set to tip-off at 6:07 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 31st NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 with an 83-79 win against Seton Hall (3/17). It is KU’s 22nd Sweet 16 since the NCAA field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
- Kansas is 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 and the Atlantic Coast Conference each have four teams in the 2018 Sweet 16, which is tied for the most among conferences.
- At 29-7, Kansas has won 29 games for the third-straight year and ninth time in the Bill Self era, which began in 2003-04.
- Kansas is playing Clemson for the first time in men’s basketball. Since Bill Self took over KU in 2003-04, the Jayhawks are 12-2 against the ACC.
- Kansas is making its 47th NCAA Tournament appearance and has a 105-45 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).
- This is the ninth-straight year that KU has earned a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. In Bill Self’s 15 seasons, KU has never been seeded lower than a four seed.
- This season, Kansas is 19-3 against the 2018 NCAA Tournament field.
- Kansas has played six games in the NCAA Tournament in Omaha with a 5-1 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. Graham ranks fourth nationally in assists per game at 7.5.
- Kansas saw all five starters named to at least one of the Big 12’s all-league teams. Bill Self was named the league’s co-Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his 15 seasons at KU and the second-straight year.
- Kansas won its NCAA-record breaking 14th straight, 18th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 61st overall conference regular-season title in 2017-18.
- In 2017-18, KU also won its 15th overall and 11th Big 12 Championship title. The Jayhawks have won eight league tournaments in the Bill Self era.
- At No. 4, Kansas holds the longest active streak for being ranked in the Associated Press polls, currently at 180 weeks.
Kansas (29-7, 13-5) 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, which is 21st nationally, and 3-point field goal percentage at 40.3, which is 11th nationally. The Jayhawks also rank among the top three in the conference in scoring offense (third at 81.4, 29th nationally), scoring margin (second at +10.5, 22nd nationally), field goal percentage (second at 49.6, 11th nationally), field goal percentage defense (third at 42.2), 3-point field goal percentage defense (third at 33.1), assists (second at 16.9, 13th nationally) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.5, 16th nationally). KU also averages 6.7 assists 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 17.4 points per game for the season, which is fourth 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 7.5, fourth nationally), assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 2.7), steals (fifth at 1.6), free throw percentage (sixth at 83.3), 3-point field goals made (fourth at 2.8) and 3-point field goal percentage (eighth 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 (45.5) and third in 3-point field goals made (3.1) as he is the only player in the conference to rank that high in both 3-point stats. Mykhailiuk is averaging 15.0 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 a 19.0 ppg. Also the 2018 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Newman is averaging 13.4 points for the season and he is pulling down 4.8 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 46-for-54 (85.2 percent) from the field in his last nine 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). Azubuike scores 13.2 points per game.
Junior G Lagerald Vick, an honorable mention all-conference honoree, scored 14 points against Penn (3/15) and 13 versus Seton Hall (3/17). He is averaging 12.1 points per game. Vick pulls down 4.8 rebounds per game and has made 54 3-pointers this season, including seven in his last three games.
Freshman G Marcus Garrett averages 4.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest. He has started seven games this season and plays 19.7 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 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Lightfoot leads KU with 16 charges taken this season. Freshman F Silvio De Sousa (3.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg) led Kansas with a 9.7 rebound average in the Big 12 Championship (March 8-10). He also averaged 10.0 points per game and shot 77.8 percent from the field in KU’s tourney title run.
Located in Clemson, South Carolina, with an enrollment of 21,957, Clemson is 25-9 on the season has won three of its last four games and five of its last seven contests. Preseason picked No. 13 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Tigers finished in a four-way tie for third in the with an 11-7 league record. Clemson is coached by Brad Brownell who is 149-112 in his eighth season at Clemson and 316-197 in his 16th season overall.
Clemson averages 73.8 points per game and has at plus-8.3 scoring margin. The Tigers rank in the top three of the ACC in free throw percentage (second at 75.5) and scoring defense (third at 65.5). Clemson averages 35.8 rebounds per game and has a plus-2.4 rebound margin. The Tigers also average 8.3 3-point field goals made, 13.3 assists, 5.6 steals and 4.9 rebounds made per game.
Redshirt junior G Marcquise Reed leads Clemson in scoring at 15.9 points per game. He is second on the team with 66 3-pointers made and 114 assists. Reed, who pulls down 4.7 rebounds per game, has a team-best 58 steals and makes 84.5 percent from the free throw line. Clemson’s second-leading scorer is senior F Donte Grantham (14.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg) who played in only 19 games after suffering a torn ACL against Notre Dame (1/20). Senior G Gabe DeVoe is next scoring at 13.7 points per game. DeVoe has made a team-best 83 3-pointers and pulls down 4.6 rebounds per game. He also has 70 assists and 34 steals for the season.
Redshirt-junior G Shelton Mitchell leads Clemson with 117 assists. He scores 12.3 points per game and has made 49 3-pointers. Junior F Elijah Thomas leads the Tigers with 8.1 rebounds per game and 76 blocked shots. His 2.2 blocks per game are 36th nationally. Thomas scores 10.9 points per game. Freshman F Aamir Simms (4.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg) has started 12 games this season. Other Clemson regulars include graduate transfer F/C Mark Donnal (3.6 ppg), redshirt-junior F David Skara (3.1 ppg) and redshirt-freshman G Anthony (AJ) Oliver II (2.2 ppg).
THE KANSAS-CLEMSON SERIES
Kansas is playing Clemson for the first time in men’s basketball. Should the Jayhawks advance to the Elite Eight, KU would face yet another Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) foe in Duke or Syracuse. KU has played Duke 11 times, with Duke holding a 7-4 advantage. KU has played Syracuse six times, including a 76-60 KU win in the Hoophall Miami Classic on Dec. 2, in Miami, Florida, earlier this season. The KU-SU series is tied at 3-3. Since arriving at Kansas in 2003-04, KU head coach Bill Self is 12-2 against ACC teams. Before this season’s Syracuse victory, the previous Kansas versus an ACC school was a KU 77-75 win against then-No. 1 Duke on Nov. 15, 2016, in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 30-7 and give 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 … Advance KU its third-straight and 23rd all-time NCAA Tournament Elite Eight … Make Kansas 1-0 all-time against Clemson … Make KU 15-3 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Kansas 106-45 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including 21-10 in the round of 16 … Make Kansas 6-1 in NCAA Tournament games played in Omaha, all in CenturyLink Center … Make Bill Self 446-95 while at Kansas, 653-200 all-time and 46-18 in the NCAA Tournament (36-13 while at KU)… Make Kansas 2,247-848 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
End Kansas’ season at 29-8 … Make the KU-Clemson series 1-0 in favor of the Tigers … Make Kansas 15-4 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Kansas 105-46 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including 20-11 in the round of 16 … Give Kansas a 5-2 record in NCAA Tournament games played in Omaha, including its second-straight loss in CenturyLink Center … Make Bill Self 445-96 while at Kansas, 652-201 all-time and 45-19 in the NCAA Tournament (35-14 while at Kansas) … Make Kansas 2,246-849 all-time.
SETON HALL LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- The victory gave Bill Self his 35th NCAA Tournament victory at Kansas, the most ever by a KU head coach.
- Kansas improved to 14-3 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season, including 8-0 on neutral floors in 2017-18.
- In the first eight minutes of both the first and second halves, Kansas combined to outscore the Pirates 34-19, however Seton Hall held a 60-49 advantage in the final 12 minutes of both stanzas.
- After falling behind by four points, their largest deficit of the game, late in the first half, the Jayhawks closed the period on an 11-2 run to head to the locker room with a 34-29 lead.
- Kansas hit 18-of-25 (60.0 percent) of its shots in the second half, marking the 13th time the Jayhawks have been 60 percent of better from the field in a half this season.
- Seton Hall senior C Carlos Delgado’s 23 rebounds were the most by a KU opponent since the 1988-89 season and the most in an NCAA Tournament game. The previous opponent high in the NCAA tourney was 19 by Western Kentucky’s Jim McDaniels in 1971.
- Seton Hall senior G Khadeen Carrington’s 26 second-half points were the most by an opposing player since Texas’ J’Covan Braon had 29 in the second half against KU on March 3, 2012.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham scored eight points and became the 13th player in school history to hit the 1,700-career point plateau.
- After logging 39 minutes, Graham moved past former teammate Frank Mason III for No. 2 on KU’s all-time minutes played list, now with 4,379 minutes.
- Graham has now tallied 1,355 minutes in 2017-18, the most ever by a Jayhawk in a single season.
- RS-sophomore G Malik Newman scored 20 or more points for the fourth time his last five outings. He has also led KU in scoring in four times in that span after leading the Jayhawks in scoring just twice in their first 31 games this season.
- Newman tallied 18 of his 28 points in the final 9:42 of regulation.
- During the postseason (five games), Newman has gone 38-of-52 (73 percent) from the field, including a 19-of-32 (59.4 percent) clip from 3-point range.
- Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s two threes pulled him into a tie with Jeff Boschee for second on KU’s single-season 3-point list, now with 110 treys on the year. He needs just one more 3-pointer to tie Terry Brown’s single-season record of 111 set in 1990-91.
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 14 NCAA Tournament teams in 2017-18 with a 19-3 record. Those include No. 3 seed Texas Tech (1-1), No. 5 seed West Virginia (3-0), 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 37-12 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 49 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 will be 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 5-1 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 35-13 (72.9 percent) in the NCAA Tournament with 10 Sweet 16s, seven 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 44-15 (74.5 percent) record with one NCAA National Championship (2008), four Final Four (2002-03-08-12) and nine Elite Eight (2002-03-04-07-08-11-12-16-17) 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 105-45. Entering the 2018 event, the Jayhawks’ 103 wins trail only Kentucky (124), North Carolina (123) and Duke (108).
- The Jayhawks will play their 151st NCAA Tournament game on Friday. 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.
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.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 6-5 all-time on March 23
March 23, 1986: Kansas defeated North Carolina State, 75-67, in the Midwest Regional final at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, to advance to the Final Four for the first time in the Larry Brown era. Sophomore Danny Manning led all scorers with 22 points, while senior center Greg Dreiling grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. KU trailed, 57-52, with 8:53 remaining, but Manning scored 12-straight points to put KU up for good. The Jayhawks dropped their next game against Duke, 71-67, to end their season with a 35-4 record, including 13-1 mark in Big Eight play to win the conference crown.
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 361. The previous record was 318 set by last year’s squad. KU also surpassed the 3-point field goals attempted mark, currently at 895.
- Senior Svi Mykhailiuk recently became the 60th player in KU history to score 1,000 points, currently at 1,151, which is 44th. He is the 15th player in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at Kansas to reach the milestone.
- Mykhailiuk is tied for second on the KU single-season 3-point field goals made list with 110. He is tied with Jeff Boschee (2001-02) and is one from “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 1,700 and is 68 points from the top 10. 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 287. 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 First Team All-American
- 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-American First Team
- Citizen Naismith Trophy Finalist (1 of 4)
- NABC District 8 First Team
- NABC First Team All-American
KANSAS VS TOP-25 TEAMS
Kansas has posted a 6-3 against ranked foes this season. Under Bill Self, Kansas is 88-44 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 33-15 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 40.3. Kansas has made 10 or more 3-pointers in eight conference games and 17 total in 2017-18. For the season, the Jayhawks are 15-2 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, 361, and attempted, 895, 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 211 of KU’s 361 3-pointers, which is 58.4 percent of the team’s threes. Mykhailiuk is tied for second on the KU single-season 3-point field goals made at 110 and Graham is fifth at 101. 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 287, while Mykhailiuk is tied for fifth at 232.
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 487 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 41.6 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 Clemson, the Jayhawks would advance to their third straight and 23rd NCAA Elite Eight. It would be the eighth Elite Eight for Kansas under head coach Bill Self. KU would play the winner of No. 2 seed Duke versus No. 11 seed Syracuse game on Sunday, March 25 at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
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