No. 1 Kansas Ready For Sweet 16 Appearance against Maryland
Advancing to its 31st Sweet 16, No. 1 seed Kansas (32-4, 15-3 Big 12) will face No. 5 seed Maryland (27-8, 12-6 Big Ten) on Thursday, March 24, at 8:40 p.m. (Central) at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Kansas has the nation’s longest active winning streak at 16 games after defeating Connecticut, 73-61, on March 19 in Des Moines, Iowa. Maryland advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 73-60 win against Hawaii in Spokane, Washington.
The winner of the Kansas-Maryland game will face the winner of the Miami (Fla.)-Villanova contest in the South Regional final on March 26 at KFC Yum! Center.
Kansas is making its 45th NCAA Championship appearance and its 27th-consecutive trip to the tournament, the longest active streak in the nation and ties the longest in tournament history (North Carolina, 1975-2001).
This marks the seventh-straight season that the Jayhawks have earned a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. In head coach Bill Self’s 13 seasons in Lawrence, KU has never been seeded lower than fourth. Since seeding began in 1979, Kansas has been a No. 1 12 times, including six times under Self (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016).
KU, which is ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, has won 12-straight, 16 Big 12 and an NCAA best 59 regular-season conference championships, including the 2016 title. KU also won the 2016 Big 12 Postseason Championship, its 14th all-time and 10th Big 12.
Kansas averages 82.0 points per game and has a Big 12-leading +14.1 scoring margin and 39.7 field goal percentage defense. KU is second in the conference with a 49.6 field goal percentage and 32.8 3-point field goal percentage defense. KU pulls down an average of 38.0 rebounds per game and has a +5.3 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.1 assists, 6.8 steals and 4.3 blocked shots per contest.
Senior F Perry Ellis has scored 20 or more points in six of his last seven games including both NCAA Championship victories: 21 vs. Austin Peay (3/17) and 21 vs. Connecticut (3/19). He leads Kansas in scoring 16.9 ppg, third in the league, and is second in rebounding at 5.9 rpg, 11th in the conference. Ellis has 14 games or 20 or more points this season. Ellis averaged 17.7 points and 5.8 rebounds during Big 12 play. Junior G Wayne Selden Jr., is a starter who scores 13.6 points per game after his team-high 22 points against Connecticut (3/19). He ranks eighth in the Big 12 in scoring and leads KU with 72 3-pointers this season. At 40.4 percent, Selden is one of eight Jayhawks making 40 percent or better from 3-point range. Junior G Frank Mason III is averaging 12.8 points for the season, 12th in the conference. Mason leads KU with 4.6 assists per contest, fourth in the conference, and is second on the team with 47 steals. Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2016 Big 12 Championship where he averaged 17.3 point and 3.3 assists in leading KU to the title, leads KU with 51 steals and is second on the team in assists (137) and 3-point field goals made (70). He is scoring 11.4 points per game, which is 18th in the league. Junior F Landen Lucas rounds out the KU starters. He leads Kansas in rebounding at 6.5 boards per game, which ranks seventh in the Big 12. Lucas scores 5.5 points per game. Lucas has averaged 8.8 boards in his last 13 outings.
Sophomore G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk scored a career-high 23 points against Austin Peay (3/17). He averages 5.6 points and has made 37 3-pointers this season. Junior G Brannen Greene is a regular who has made 31 3-pointers this season and scores 5.4 points per game off the bench. Freshman F Carlton Bragg Jr., averaged 8.0 points in three Big 12 Championship games and is averaging 4.0 ppg and 2.4 rpg for the season. Senior F Jamari Traylor leads KU with 33 blocked shots, including five in two NCAA Championship games. Traylor is averaging 3.1 points and 3.4 rebounds for the season. Freshman Cheick Diallo averages 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. His 23 blocked shots are tied for second on the team with Lucas and senior F Hunter Mickelson, who has started 10 games this season and is averaging 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds.
Located in College Park, Maryland with an enrollment of 37,64, Maryland is 27-8 on the season and finished tied for third in the Big Ten conference with a 12-6 record. The Terps are coached by KU alum Mark Turgeon who is 114-58 in his fifth season at Maryland and 364-217 in 17 seasons overall. Maryland averages 76.1 points per game and has a +9.7 scoring margin. The Terps rank 10th nationally with a 48.8 field goal percentage and 17th nationally with 5.4 blocked shots per game. Maryland averages 35.3 rebounds per game and has a +3.1 rebound margin. Maryland also averages 13.8 assists and 5.4 steals per contest.
Sophomore G Melo Trimble leads Maryland in scoring at 14.8 points per game. His 57 3-pointers are tied for the team lead with senior F Jake Layman. Trimble leads the Terrapins in free throw made (152), assists (174) and steals (43). Layman scores 11.7 points per game, makes 82.8 percent from the free throw line and averages 5.3 rebounds per contest. Freshman C Diamond Stone is second in scoring at 12.7 points per game. He is second on the team with 5.4 rebounds per outing and leads Maryland with 55 blocked shots. Junior F Robert Carter is a starter who scores 12.4 points per game and leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per outing. His 44 blocks are second on the team. Senior G Rasheed Sulaimon scores 11.1 points per game and is second on the team with 124 assists and 40 steals. He has made 55 3-pointers. Sophomore G/F Jared Nickens comes off the bench to average 5.5 points per game. He is a 3-point specialist who has made 51 treys this season. Other Maryland regulars include junior F Damonte Dodd (2.9 ppg, 13 starts) and sophomore G Jaylen Brantley (2.4 ppg).
This series dates back to 1964 and Kansas holds a 3-2 advantage. The Jayhawks won the first three meetings: 63-61 on Dec. 12, 1964 in College Park, 71-62 on Dec. 10, 1965 in Allen Fieldhouse and 58-56 on Nov. 23, 1984 in the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, a game which KU sophomore guard Mark Turgeon had a team-high seven assists and four points. Maryland has won the last two meetings: 86-83 on Dec. 7, 1997 in the Franklin Bank Classic in Washington, D.C., and 97-88 on March 30, 2002 in the NCAA Final Four semifinals in Atlanta. Maryland would go on to win the NCAA National Championship.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon is from Topeka, Kansas and played at KU from 1984-87, winning one Big Eight regular-season title (1986), two Big Eight Tournaments (1984 and 1986), and advancing to the 1986 Final Four in Dallas. KU graduate assistant Turgeon’s junior season is current Jayhawk head coach Bill Self.
Turgeon was an assistant at Kansas for five seasons, first under Larry Brown (1987-88) and then under Roy Williams (1988-92). The Jayhawks made the NCAA Tournament in four of those seasons, winning the national championship in 1988 and finishing second in 1991. KU also won Big Eight titles in 1991 and 1992 with Turgeon on staff.
Turgeon is 0-6 against his alma mater facing KU six times while as head coach of Texas A&M from 2007-08 through 2010-11.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 33-4 and give KU 33 victories for the ninth time in school history with five of those in the Bill Self era… Extend KU’s winning streak to 17 games, its longest of the season and longest since KU opened the 2010-11 season 18-0… Advance KU to its 21st Elite Eight and its sixth under Self… Make KU 21-10 in its round of 16 games played in the NCAA Championship… Make KU 17-4 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season… Make the KU-Maryland 4-2 in favor of Kansas… Make Kansas 100-43 all-time in NCAA Tournament games… Make Self 385-82 while at Kansas, 592-187 all-time and 40-16 in the NCAA Tournament (30-11 while at KU)… Make Kansas 2,186-835 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
End Kansas’ season at 32-5… End a KU 16-game winning streak, its longest of the season… Tie the KU-Maryland series at 3-3… Make Kansas 16-5 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season… Make 20-11 in games played in the round of 16 in the NCAA Championship… Make Bill Self 384-83 while at Kansas, 591-188 all-time and 39-17 in the NCAA Tournament (29-12 while at Kansas)… Make Kansas 2,185-836 all-time.
KANSAS vs. THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
Kansas has faced 12 NCAA Championship teams in 2015-16 with a 18-3 record. Those include No. 2 seed Oklahoma (2-0), No. 2 seed Michigan State (0-1), No. 3 seed West Virginia (2-1), No. 4 seed Iowa State (1-1), No. 4 seed Kentucky (1-0), No. 5 seed Baylor (3-0), No. 6 seed Texas (2-0), No. 7 seed Oregon State (1-0), No. 8 seed Texas Tech (2-0), No. 9 seed Connecticut (1-0), No. 11 seed Vanderbilt (1-0), No. 16 seed Holy Cross (1-0) and No. 16 seed Austin Peay (1-0).
Kansas is the No. 1 seed for the 12th time since the NCAA Championship started seeding in 1979: 1986-92-95-97-98-2002-07-08-10-11-13-16. This is the sixth time KU has been a No. 1 seed under Bill Self. Kansas is 31-10 as a No. 1 seed, has won all 12 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 41 games played as a No. 1 seed are its most in the NCAA Championship. It’s No. 2 seed is next with 27 games.
KANSAS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• This year marks Kansas’ 45th NCAA Championship appearance.
• Kansas’ 27-straight NCAA Championship appearances, from 1990-2016, is the nation’s longest active streak and is tied for the best all time (North Carolina had 27-straight appearances from 1975-2001).
• Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 29-11 (72.5 percent) in the NCAA Championship with seven Sweet 16s, five Elite Eights, two Final Fours, one NCAA Championship title and one NCAA runner-up finish.
• In the last 15 NCAA Championships, including 2016, Kansas has a 38-13 (74.5 percent) record with one NCAA National Championship (2008), four Final Four (2002-03-08-12) and seven Elite Eight (2002-03-04-07-08-11-12) appearances.
• Kansas’ 45 NCAA Championship appearances are tied for third nationally behind only Kentucky (54), North Carolina (47) and UCLA (45).
• Kansas sports an all-time NCAA Championship record of 99-43. The Jayhawks’ 99 wins trail only Kentucky (121), North Carolina (114) Duke (107) and UCLA (99).
• The Jayhawks will play their 143rd NCAA Championship game on Thursday. The Jayhawks’ 142 games in the event rank fourth all-time in NCAA history, behind Kentucky (169), North Carolina (158) and UCLA (147).
• Entering the 2016 event, KU’s NCAA Championship winning percentage of 69.3 percent ranks sixth all-time for a minimum of 20 games played.
• Kansas coach Bill Self is making his 18th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship as a head coach, which is fifth-best consecutive string in tourney history by a head coach: 23 Dean Smith (1975-97), 20 Roy Williams (1990-2009), 21 Mike Krzyzewski, (1996-2016), 19 Tom Izzo (1998-2016), 18 Bill Self (1999-2016), 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 Championships. The Jayhawks won the NCAA crown in 1952, 1988 and 2008. The other schools are: UCLA (11), Kentucky (8), Indiana (5), North Carolina (5), Duke (4), Connecticut (4) and Louisville (3).
• Kansas has appeared in the Final Four 14 times, making KU one of just seven schools to reach the Final Four 10-plus times: North Carolina (18), UCLA (17), Kentucky (17), Duke (16), Kansas (14), Ohio State (11) and Louisville (10).
• Kansas has won 12 games in the Final Four, which is tied for fifth best all-time: UCLA (25), Kentucky (20), Duke (17), North Carolina (15) and Indiana (12).
• Five different Jayhawks have been named NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player, including B.H. Born in 1953 and Wilt Chamberlain in 1957, who both won the award even though KU lost in the title game. Clyde Lovellette (1952) and Danny Manning (1988) also won the honor. Mario Chalmers won the Most Outstanding Player Award for the 2008 NCAA Championship.
• Former Jayhawk player and coach Dick Harp is the only person to play in the Final Four and later coach his alma mater in the Final Four.
• In 2007-08, Kansas became the fourth school to win a BCS game, and then play in the Final Four the same academic year. The 2007 KU football team won the FedEx Orange Bowl and the men’s basketball team captured the NCAA National Championship. Other schools to accomplish the feat include Ohio State (1999), Wisconsin (2000) and Florida (2007).
• In 1993, Kansas became the first school in NCAA history to make a Final Four appearance, a College World Series appearance and win a bowl game in the same year.
• Larry Brown is one of two coaches to take two different teams to the NCAA championship game (UCLA, 1980 and Kansas, 1988). Frank McGuire took St. John’s in 1952 and North Carolina in 1957. McGuire’s 1957 North Carolina team defeated Kansas for the championship in triple overtime.
• Brown is the only man to coach teams to the NCAA Championship (Kansas in 1988) and the NBA Championship (Detroit in 2004).
• When Phog Allen’s 1952 team won the NCAA title, Allen was 66 years old. That was the oldest age for the head coach of a championship team until Jim Calhoun (68) of Connecticut won in 2011. Allen became the fourth coach to win the NCAA National Championship at his alma mater, a feat that has been accomplished 14 times.
• 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 eighth 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
With Jerod Haase leading UAB to the 2015 NCAA Championship, there are 11 head coaches who have advanced to the NCAA Championship that graduated from the University of Kansas. In fact, the 125 combined NCAA Tournament wins by those men 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 (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, 7-6).
• Kansas was the only team in the Big 12 with an undefeated league record at home (9-0) in 2015-16.
• Kansas’ 82.0 scoring average is 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 32 victories this season, Kansas has won by 10 or more points in 20 of those wins, including five of the last seven games. Six KU wins have been by 30 points or more, including 86-56 at Texas (2/29).
• KU has out-shot 31 of 36 opponents, including each of their last 15 opponents.
• Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in seven of its last 10 games and 18 times overall this season.
• The Jayhawks have out-rebounded 26 of 36 foes, including 12 of the last 17 contests. KU had its third +20 rebound advantage against Connecticut (44-24) on March 19.
• Kansas has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range in 23 of its 35 games, including five of the last eight contests.
• The KU bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 23 of 36 games this season and is 22-1 in those contests. KU’s bench outscored Austin Peay’s bench 45-19 in its NCAA opening round (3/17). With it being Senior Day, KU’s bench outscored Iowa State’s bench 46-10 on March 5.
• KU has made seven or more 3-pointers in 26 of 36 games this season, including three of the last seven battles. KU has made 10 or more 3-pointers 11 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 led KU in scoring in nine of 18 Big 12 games, averaging 17.7 points per Big 12 contest (16.9 ppg overall).
• Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham is 57-for-112 (50.9 percent) from the field in his last 14 games.
• Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. is 26-for-47 (55.3 percent) from the field in his last four games.
• Junior F Landen Lucas has pulled down 7-plus rebounds in 12 of his last 13 games, with five of those 10 or more boards.
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 17.2 minutes per game (Landen Lucas) and 5.7 points per game (Svi Mykhailiuk). The group of four combines for 37 35-plus minute games this season, while the rest of the team has none.
QUITE THE COMPARISON
In Kansas’ 31 victories this season, the Jayhawks have won by an average of 17.6 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.
Kansas has posted two winning streaks of 13 or more in 2015-16. KU’s current 15-game winning streak, which started Jan. 30, is the 14th time in the Bill Self era that the Jayhawks have won 10 or more straight games. The 13-game streak earlier this season included three ranked teams and three Big 12 foes, while the current 15-game streak includes seven ranked opponents and 13 conference opponents.
IN THE POLLS
In the most recent national rankings released on March 14, Kansas is No. 1 both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Kansas holds the longest active streak for consecutive weeks in the AP Top 25 (141) after Duke fell out of the poll for the first time in eight seasons, ending a 167-week streak, on Feb. 1.
KU has spent six weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP poll (Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Feb. 29, March 1, March 7, March 14) and five weeks at No. 1 in the Coaches’ poll (Jan. 11, Feb. 29, March 1, March 7, March 14). On Jan. 11, Kansas was ranked No. 1 in both national polls for the first time since Feb. 14, 2011.
The last time Kansas was not ranked by the AP was during the 2008-09 season. Under coach Bill Self, Kansas has been ranked in the AP Top 25 for 224 weeks, which includes 162 weeks in the Top 10, 94 times in the Top 5 and 24 times at No. 1. In the coaches’ poll, under Self, Kansas has been ranked 237 times with 175 in the top 10 and 108 in the top five.
• 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 1,767 career points, which is ninth on the KU career scoring list. Earlier this season, Ellis became the 13th player in KU history to reach 800 career rebounds, currently 12th at 824. Ellis is the sixth 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) and Dave Robisch (1,754 points/815 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 38th on the KU scoring list at 1,167 points and ranks 10th on the KU career 3-pointers made list at 160) and 10th on the 3-pointers attempted list at 432.
• 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 43rd at 1,105 career points. Mason ranks 16th on the KU career assists list, currently at 381.
THREE 1,000-POINT SCORERS
When junior G Frank Mason III surpassed the 1,000-points plateau, currently at 1,097, he joined teammates Perry Ellis (1,746) and Wayne Selden Jr. (1,145) 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 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 TEAMS
With its 81-71 win against No. 9/8 West Virginia in the Big 12 title game (3/12), Kansas improved to 11-3 against nationally-ranked opponents in 2015-16, including 4-0 versus top-10 foes. The 11 wins is a new high in a season for Kansas, surpassing the 10 set last year. In the Bill Self era, Kansas is 75-37 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.
Kansas is making 42.3 percent from 3-point range. 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’ 295 3-pointers made this season are the most in school history for a season ranking passing the 271 in 2010-11.
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 March 6 and its strength of schedule is sixth 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.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW
Kansas basketball is packing arenas throughout the country this season. In addition to playing in front of 100-percent capacity crowds for all games at Allen Fieldhouse thus far this season, Kansas has filled visiting arenas to an average capacity of 98.0 percent.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 2-4 all-time on March 24.
March 24, 2002: Kansas defeated Illinois 73-69 in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Sweet 16 in Madison, Wisconsin. Drew Gooden and Keith Langford each scored 15 points in the victory. Gooden added 13 rebounds for a double-double. Aaron Miles scored 13 points and Nick Collison had 11 to round out KU’s four double-digit scorers. The win avenged the 2001 NCAA Tournament loss to the Illini. Kansas went 33-4 in 2001-02 and is still the only team in Big 12 history to go undefeated in league play with a 16-0 record. KU would end the season at the Final Four in Atlanta.
UP NEXT: NCAA ELITE EIGHT
The winner of Kansas-Maryland would face the winner of the Miami (Fla.)-Villanova game on Saturday, March 26 in the NCAA South Regional title game.
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