Kansas to open Big 12 Championship Thursday vs. Texas
Freshman forward David McCormack
|GM 32: vs. Texas // Big 12 Quarterfinals|
|8:30 p.m. (CT)|
|Sprint Center (18,972)|
|Record||23-8 (12-6)||16-15 (8-10)|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 17/18 Kansas (23-8, 12-6) is set to tip-off postseason play when it hits the court at Kansas City’s Sprint Center for the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship this week. KU enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed for the third time in the 23-year history of the league. Kansas will face No. 6 seed Texas at approximately 8:30 p.m. (CT) in the tournament quarterfinals. Kansas has won 16 conference tournament titles, including eight of the last 14 and 11 of the 22 total Big 12 Championships. Thursday’s quarterfinal contest will be broadcast on ESPN2, with Jon Sciambi (play-by-play), Robbie Hummel (analyst) and Tara Petrolino (reporter) set to call the action.
- Kansas is the No. 3 seed for the Big 12 Championship for the third time with the others being in 1999 and 2004. Kansas won the 1999 Big 12 Championship behind Most Outstanding Player Jeff Boshee. In 2004, the Jayhawks lost to Texas in the Big 12 semifinal. This year ended a 10-year run as No. 1 seed for KU. (More info on KU in Big 12 Champ. on pg. 48.)
- Kansas is defending Big 12 tournament champion and has won 15 conference postseason tourney titles and 11 in the Big 12 era which began in 1996-97. Kansas (11), Iowa State (4), Oklahoma (3) and Oklahoma State (2) are active league members with Big 12 tourney titles.
- Since the Big 12’s inception in 1996-97, Kansas 44-11 in the league tournament. KU is 20-3 in its first games, 1-0 in opening-round games, 19-3 in the quarterfinals, 13-6 in semifinals and 11-2 in finals.
- Kansas is 1-1 against Texas this season with an 80-78 win on Jan. 14 in Allen Fieldhouse and a 73-63 loss at UT on Jan. 29. KU leads the overall series with UT, 32-9, including a 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship (2-0 in Sprint Center).
- Three Jayhawks – Dedric Lawson, Devon Dotson and Marcus Garrett – earned Big 12 postseason awards announced March 10. Lawson was a unanimous selection for All-Big 12 First Team, the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and unanimous selection for the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. Dotson was All-Big 12 Third Team and a member of the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Garrett was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.
- On March 6, redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Award. KU’s Frank Mason III won the honor in 2017 as did Danny Manning in 1988.
- During the regular season, Lawson led the Big 12 in scoring at 19.1 ppg, rebounding at 10.6 rpg and double-doubles with 20, which ranks tied for seventh nationally. The last conference player to lead the league in scoring and rebounding in the same season was Blake Griffin of Oklahoma in 2008-09.
No. 17/18 Kansas is 23-8 overall and finished 12-6 in Big 12 play after its 78-70 win against Baylor March 9. In all games, Kansas ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (second at 75.6), field goal percentage (third at 46.4) and field goal percentage defense (third at 40.7). KU has a +2.0 rebound margin and also averages 7.5 3-pointers made, 13.4 assists, 6.8 steals and 3.7 blocked shots per game. In Big 12 games, KU averaged 72.3 points and led the league in defensive rebounds (28.6).
Redshirt-junior F Dedric Lawson has posted four straight double-doubles after his 23 points and 14 rebounds against Baylor (3/9). He leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.1 ppg, rebounding at 10.6 rpg and with 20 double-doubles, which ranks tied for seventh nationally. The Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team selection, Dedric Lawson has 15 games of 20 or more points and he is the only player in the league averaging a double-double. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week (11/12, 11/26, 12/26) and five-time league newcomer of the week (12/3, 12/17, 1/14, 1/28, 2/11), Lawson leads KU with 33 blocked shots and his 1.1 blocks per game are fifth in the conference. Lawson is 10th in the Big 12 with a 49.1 field goal percentage.
|NCAA DI DOUBLE-DOUBLE LEADERS|
|1||Devontae Cacok (UNC-Willmington)||33||24|
|2||Nico Carvacho (Colorado St.)||31||22|
|t3||Mike Daum (South Dakota St.)||32||21|
|t3||Jordan Murphy (Minnesota)||31||21|
|t3||Ethan Happ (Wisconsin)||31||21|
|t3||Cletrell Pope (Bethune-Cookman)||30||21|
|t7||Dedric Lawson (Kansas)||31||20|
|t7||Bruno Fernando (Maryland)||31||20|
|Through games played on March 11, 2019|
Freshman G Devon Dotson is averaged 12.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.3 spg in Big 12 play. Included was a 15-point and career-high-tying eight assists against West Virginia (2/16). Named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week on Feb. 12, Dotson ranks 15th in the Big 12 in scoring (11.7), seventh in assists (3.5), 12th in field goal percentage (47.6), eighth in steals (1.4) and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).
Freshman G Ochai Agbaji is coming off an eight-rebound effort against Baylor, which were his most in seven games. He has seven games of 10 or more points, including three 20-point efforts. Agbaji has five games with multiple 3-pointers. Agbaji pulled his redshirt prior to the TCU game (1/9) and averages 9.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest.
Freshman G Quentin Grimes is 11-for-21 (52.4 percent) from 3-point range in his last four contests after his 3-for-4 effort from beyond the arc against Baylor (3/9). He is second on the team with 45 3-pointers made this season and he has made 14 treys in his last four games and multiple threes in six of his last 10 games. He averages 7.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per contest.
After missing five games with a sprained ankle, sophomore G Marcus Garrett has been back the last four KU contests. In that span, Garrett is 14-for-28 (50.0 percent) from the field. Garrett ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 1.6 steals per contest. He scored 8.8 points in Big 12 play and overall averages 7.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game and has 50 assists.
Other KU regulars include freshman F David McCormack (3.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg), redshirt-sophomore G K.J. Lawson (3.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg), redshirt-sophomore G Charlie Moore (3.1 ppg, 19 3-pointers) and junior F Mitch Lightfoot (2.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg). McCormack has started each of the last eight games and has averaged 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in his last two games. Lightfoot has averaged 5.0 rebounds in his last nine games.
Located in Austin, Texas, with an enrollment of 51,334, Texas is 16-15 on the season and finished sixth in the Big 12 with an 8-10 league record. The Longhorns look to end a two-game losing streak after their 69-59 loss to TCU on March 9. Texas is coached by Shaka Smart who is 66-65 in his fourth season at UT and 229-121 in his 10th year overall. Texas is 2-1 on neutral courts this season.
Texas averages 71.2 points per game with a +4.1 scoring margin. The Longhorns rank in the top three in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made (second at 8.5). UT averages 33.8 rebounds per game and also averages 12.9 assists, 6.0 steals and 4.1 blocked shots per contest.
Senior G Kerwin Roach II leads Texas in scoring at 15.0 points per game which is sixth in the Big 12. Roach’s 45 3-pointers made are third-most on the team, as are his 74 assists. He pulls down 4.5 rebounds per game and has 31 steals. Freshman F Jaxson Hayes is a starter who leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 73.2 percent. He ranks third in the league in blocked shots at 2.3 per contest. Hayes scores 10.3 points and pulls down 5.1 rebounds per game.
Sophomore G Matt Coleman III leads Texas with 114 assists and he scores 10.2 points per game. Coleman has made 35 3-pointers this season. Senior F Dylan Osetkowski is third in the Big 12 in rebounds per game at 7.4. He leads UT in steals with 36 and scores 10.2 points per contest.
Sophomore G Jase Febres has 16 starts this season and he leads UT with 73 3-pointers made while his 2.4 threes per outing are third in the league. Febres averages 8.7 points per contest. Junior G Elijah Mitrou-Long is third on the team with 28 steals. He averages 6.0 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Other UT regulars include freshman G Courtney Ramey (8.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg), sophomore F Jericho Sims (3.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg), sophomore F Royce Hamm Jr. (2.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg) and freshman F Kamaka Hepa (2.0 ppg). Ramey’s 46 3-pointers are second most on the team.
In a series that dates back to 1938, Kansas leads Texas 32-9, including a 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship with the last meeting a KU 85-73 win in the 2011 championship game. The two teams split the 2019 regular season with Kansas winning 80-78 on Jan. 14 in Allen Fieldhouse and Texas claiming victory, 73-63 on Jan. 29 in Austin. KU has won 10 of the last 11 meetings, 15 of the last 17 battles and 18 of the last 21 matchups, starting with the 2008 Big 12 Championship title game. Before Texas’ 73-63 on Jan. 29, 2019, in Austin, KU’s 10-straight series wins began Feb. 22, 2014, with an 85-54 win in Allen Fieldhouse.
Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas holds a 28-8 record against Texas with a 24-7 mark in regular-season play and 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 22-9 all-time against Texas, including 22-7 while at KU. Texas head coach Shaka Smart is 2-7 versus Kansas, including 1-7 while at UT. Smart’s 2011 VCU team defeated Kansas, 71-61, in the NCAA Tournament Southwest Region championship game in San Antonio.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 24-8 give KU 24 victories for the 14th-consecutive season, beginning in 2005-06 … Make KU 4-0 in neutral-site games this season and 14-1 over the last two seasons … Make Kansas 21-3 in Big 12 Championship first games (1-0 in first round, 20-3 in quarterfinals) … Advance KU to the conference tourney semifinals for the 20th time in Big 12 history and 38th time overall … Improve Kansas to 75-27 in league tournament play and 45-11 at the Big 12 Championship … Make Kansas 40-9 all-time in Sprint Center, including 2-0 this season … Make the Kansas-Texas series 33-9 in favor of the Jayhawks, including 5-1 in Big 12 Championship history … Make Bill Self 471-104 while at Kansas, 678-209 overall, 23-9 all-time versus Texas (23-7 while at KU) and 40-12 all-time in conference tournaments (31-7 while at KU) … Make Kansas 2,272-857 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
Make Kansas 23-9 … Make Kansas 20-4 in Big 12 Championship first games (1-0 in first round, 19-4 in quarterfinals) … Hand KU its first neutral-site loss this season and just its second neutral site loss in 15 games over the last two seasons … Drop Kansas to 74-27 in league tournament play, including 44-12 in the Big 12 Championship … Make Kansas 39-10 all-time in Sprint Center, including 1-1 this season … Give Texas two-consecutive series wins against Kansas for only the second time in the series with the other in the 2003-04 season … Make the KU-UT series 32-10 in favor of the Jayhawks … Make Bill Self 470-105 while at Kansas, 677-210 overall, 22-10 all-time versus Texas (22-8 while at KU) and 39-13 all-time in conference tournaments (30-8 while at KU) … Make Kansas 2,271-858 all-time.
LAST TIME OUT
For the 20th time in its history, Kansas posted an unbeaten record at Allen Fieldhouse as the No. 13/14 Jayhawks closed out the regular-season campaign with a 78-70 win over Baylor March 9. Redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson collected his 20th double-double of the year in scoring a team-high 23 points and 14 rebounds as the Jayhawks collected their 12th league win for the 19th-straight season.
The opening half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team able to gain an advantage of more than five points. Freshman David McCormack was a force the Baylor defense had difficulty stopping over the first 20 minutes. The freshman forward poured in 10 of his 12 points on the day in the opening half, including three-straight field goals to help KU build a 22-18 lead with just under eight minutes to play in first frame.
Kansas jumped on the Bears in the minutes following the intermission. Devon Dotson and McCormack each converted on lay-ups before Lawson tallied a pair of buckets to push the KU lead to 40-29 less than three minutes into the second half.
Kansas kept the visitors at arm’s length from there as Lawson’s prowess from the free throw line and a pair of 3-pointers from Quentin Grimes. Grimes’ triple at the 11:18 mark put the Jayhawks ahead 54-40.
Lawson led the team in scoring for the fifth-straight game, scoring 23 points, which included an 11-of-12 clip from the charity stripe. Dotson added 15 points to go along with three rebounds and a pair of steals, while McCormack finished with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting as well as pulling down five rebounds.
BAYLOR LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- The win gave Kansas 23 victories for the 30th-consecutive season, beginning in 1989-90.
- The victory also gave KU 12 league victories for the 19th-straight year, beginning in 2000-01.
- Kansas has now won 36-straight home season finale wins, a streak which started in 1983-84.
- The win also concluded Kansas’ 20th undefeated season in Allen Fieldhouse and its first since going 16-0 in 2015-16.
- KU went 17-0 at home this season and extended its home court winning streak to 21 games, 20 in Allen Fieldhouse
- Since Texas Tech (Feb. 23) shot 61.5 percent from beyond the arc, the Jayhawks have not allowed an opponent to shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point range in the four games since.
- Baylor’s 22 second-chance points were the most by a KU opponent this season, and the most since Oklahoma State tallied 26 points off offensive boards on Feb. 3, 2018.
- Redshirt-junior F Dedric Lawson tallied his 20th double-double of the season and the 56th of his career as he scored 23 points and hauled in 14 rebounds. He is now in sole possession of fifth place on Kansas’ single-season double-doubles list.
- Lawson became just the third Jayhawk to tally 20 double-doubles in a season during the Bill Self era. (Thomas Robinson – 27 in 2012, and Cole Aldrich – 21 in 2009.)
- Lawson finished with a team and season-high 11 made free throws. It was the third time this season Lawson has finished with double-digit makes from the free throw line and his first time since Dec. 1, 2018, against Stanford.
- Over his last four games, Lawson is 29-for-31 (93.5 percent) from the free throw line.
- Freshman G Devon Dotson moved into 12th place all-time for total points scored in a single season as a freshman with 364.
KANSAS AT THE PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
- KU’s 11 Big 12 Championship titles are more than any other school in the league. Iowa State is second with four titles, while Oklahoma (3) and Oklahoma State (2) are the only other current schools to have won a Big 12 tourney. Kansas won the first three events 1997-98-99, then the 2006-07-08-10-11-13-16-18 titles. KU is 11-2 in tourney title games, having only lost the 2002 title to Oklahoma and the 2015 title to Iowa State.
- Kansas is the only team to have won at least 40 games in the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks are 44-11 (80.0 percent) in the event. Texas (26-22, 54.2), Oklahoma State (23-19, 54.8) and Oklahoma (22-19, 53.7 percent) are the only other schools above .500 in the event.
- With a 30-7 (81.1 percent) record, KU head coach Bill Self has the highest winning percentage in Big 12 Championship history with more than one tournament (Frank Haith went 3-0 at Missouri in 2012).
- Kansas has been the No. 1 seed 15 times (1997-98-2002-03-07-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18), No. 2 seed four times (2001-05-06-08), No. 3 seed three times (1999-2004-19) and was the No. 5 seed in 2000.
- Kansas has won 20 of its 22 first games in the Big 12 Championship with the 2009 loss to Baylor and 2017 loss to TCU being the only blemishes. The Jayhawks are 1-0 in opening-round games and 19-3 in quarterfinal contests. In 2000 KU was the No. 5 seed, won its first game and lost in the quarterfinals. All of KU’s other first games were in the quarterfinals.
- KU has reached the semifinals in 19 of the 22 Big 12 Championships. The Jayhawks did not reach the 2000, 2009 or 2017 semis.
- Kansas has won eight of its 11 Big 12 titles as the No. 1 seed – 1997, 1998, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018. KU was the No. 3 seed in its 1999 title run and the No. 2 seed in 2006 and 2008. The lowest seed to win the event was a No. 4 seed Iowa State in 2017.
- Kansas has had 46 conference championship all-tournament selections, including 29 in the 22-year history of the Big 12 Championship. Last year, Malik Newman was Most Outstanding Player of the event.
KANSAS IN KANSAS CITY
Kansas City has been a second home for KU over the years. The Jayhawks’ first-ever game — a 16-5 loss to Kansas City YMCA on Feb. 3, 1899 — was played in Kansas City. The March 14, 2019, Big 12 Championship quarterfinal will mark KU’s 309th all-time game played in Kansas City, and its 49th in Sprint Center. Excluding exhibition contests, KU is 39-9 in Sprint Center including winning the 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018 Big 12 Championships in the venue and the 2012 and 2016 CBE Hall of Fame Classics.
MORE ON THE JAYHAWKS IN KANSAS CITY
- Beginning in 1984-85, Kansas has played at least one regular-season game, be it in a tournament or a home contest, in Kansas City in 30 of the last 33 seasons. KU only missed 1987-88, 1990-91 and 1996-97 and in those seasons the Jayhawks played league tournament or NCAA Tournament postseason games in KC.
- KU is 225-83 in games played in Kansas City.
- KU played 106 games in Kemper Arena with an 81-25 record. Kansas went 26-4 in Kemper Arena from 1997 until 2006, when it played its last game in the venue. Included in that run were Big 12 Championship titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
- Kemper Arena was the host of the 1988 NCAA Final Four when the Jayhawks won the national championship.
- Kansas has won a mind-boggling 27 conference tournaments (13 holiday conference tourneys and 14 postseason league titles) with 25 of those in Kansas City. The lone two titles not in KC were in 2006 in Dallas and 2007 in Oklahoma City.
Kansas Conference Tournament Titles in KC
Municipal Auditorium (Conference Holiday Tournament) – 1951, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Kemper Arena (*Big Eight Holiday Tournament) – *1974, *1977, *1978, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007
Sprint Center – 2008, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018
KANSAS IN SPRINT CENTER
In the 11-plus seasons since its opening, Sprint Center has been a welcome site for Kansas basketball, with the Jayhawks holding a 39-9 record in the venue. Below is a breakdown of how KU has fared in the venue. Not included are three exhibition victories for KU, two versus Canada while prepping for the 2015 World University Games, and an October 2017 fundraising win against Missouri.
|KANSAS AT SPRINT CENTER YEAR-BY-YEAR|
|2007-08||4-0||Big 12 Champ. Title|
|2009-10||4-0||Big 12 Champ. Title|
|2010-11||4-0||Big 12 Champ. Title|
|2012-13||8-0||CBE Title, Big 12 Title, NCAA 1st/2nd|
|2014-15||3-1||Big 12 Champ. Finalist|
|2015-16||4-0||Big 12 Champ. Finalist|
|2016-17||4-2||CBE Classic Title|
|2017-18||3-1||Big 12 Champ. Title|
|Overall||39-9||81.3 winning %|
TRIO OF JAYHAWKS EARN ALL-BIG 12 HONORS
Highlighted by Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Dedric Lawson, Kansas is well represented on the men’s basketball 2018-19 All-Big 12 Team selected by the conference coaches, the league announced March 10.
Lawson was selected the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and a unanimous selection for All-Big 12 First Team. The redshirt-junior forward was joined on the all-league team by KU guard Devon Dotson, who was third team honoree and also selected to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Sophomore Marcus Garrett was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
Lawson is the second-consecutive Jayhawk to be named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year as Malik Newman earned the honor in 2017-18. Dating back to the Big Eight Conference, Lawson is the 10th Kansas player to be named its conference’s newcomer of the year.
In the 23-year history of the conference, Kansas lays claim to a league-best 119 All-Big 12 selections which includes first-, second-, third-, honorable mention, all-defensive, all-freshman and all-newcomer team honorees. Texas is second with 94. Lawson gives Kansas a first-team selection for the 19th-consecutive season and the 21st time in the history of the league. Kansas has 22 All-Big 12 First Team choices in the 16 seasons under head coach Bill Self.
LOOKING BACK AT “THE STREAK”
With Kansas failing to win this season’s Big 12 regular-season title, it will bring an end to one of the more remarkable streaks in the history of collegiate basketball. From 2005-18, the Jayhawks won or shared 14-consecutive league titles, a mark which topped UCLA’s previous collegiate record of 13-straight league championships. Here are some “nuggets” from Kansas’ NCAA record 14-straight conference titles:
- Kansas won the title outright 10 times and shared it four times (2005, 2006, 2008 and 2013). Overall, Kansas has won 18 of the 23 Big 12 regular-season titles (78.2 percent), with those four seasons being the only ties. Texas is second with three titles (13.0 percent), Iowa State third with two, while Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have one each.
- In the 14-year streak, including the four ties and the two-game edge in 2018, Kansas 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, 89 Jayhawks saw action during conference play, helping contribute to the run of titles. That list includes five players on this season’s roster: Udoka Azubuike, Silvio De Sousa, Mitch Lightfoot, Lagerald Vick and Chris Teahan.
- In Kansas’ national championship season, 2007-08, the Jayhawks won the fourth of the 14-straight Big 12 Conference titles.
- Matt Kleinmann, Landen Lucas, Brady Morningstar, Travis Releford, Tyler Self, Jamari Traylor, Conner Teahan and Jeff Withey each won five Big 12 regular-season titles, as they were redshirts during their KU careers. Teahan is the only KU player in the streak to have been on two Final Four teams in 2008 and 2012.
- 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, giving the streak three sitting U.S. commanders.
- The last time Kansas failed to claim the regular-season Big 12 title (2004), Facebook was less than a year old, Twitter had not yet been launched, current KU football coach Les Miles was at the helm at Oklahoma State and current KU freshman guard Ochai Agbaji was three years old.
KU NAVIGATING THE TOUGHEST SLATE IN THE NCAA
The NCAA Evaluation Tool (“NET”) has shown that, not only have the Jayhawks endured the strongest schedule in the nation, but have tallied some of the more impressive wins among the 353 teams in Division I. Kansas’s strength of schedule ranks No. 1 in the latest NET breakdown (March 10), with the Jayhawks playing opponents that have an average NET ranking of 60th, a figure that leads the nation.
The Jayhawks have also collected some impressive wins during this gauntlet of a schedule, claiming 10 wins against teams in “Quadrant 1” (Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75). KU is one of only four teams in the nation with double-figure Quad 1 wins (Michigan State – 11, Virginia – 10, Kentucky – 10).
|TOP-5 STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE RANKINGS|
|SOS||Team||AVG OPP. NET (RNK)||Quad 1 Record|
|4||North Carolina||87 (19th)||9-5|
|5||Penn St.||74 (6th)||3-12|
Should Kansas win, the Jayhawks will play in the semifinals on Friday, March 15, at 8:30 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2.
KU would face the winner of the No. 2 Texas Tech vs. No. 7 Oklahoma/No. 10 West Virginia contest. Kansas is 21-16 all-time in conference tournament semifinals, including 13-6 in the Big 12 Championship.
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