No. 4 seed Kansas to open NCAA Tourney with No. 13 seed Northeastern
Kansas is making its 30th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance
|GM 35: vs. Northeastern // NCAA Championship – First Round|
|3 p.m. (CT)|
|Vivint Smart Home Arena (18,284)|
|Record||25-9 (12-6)||23-10 (14-4)|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas (25-9, 12-6 Big 12) will open the 2019 NCAA Championship as the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region on Thursday, March 21 when the Jayhawks take on the No. 13-seeded Northeastern Huskies (23-10, 14-4 Colonial) at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. The game, set for approximately 3 p.m. (CT), will be televised on TNT with Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Lisa Byington (reporter) calling the action.
Kansas will have open practice in the venue on Wednesday, March 20, from 1:15-1:55 p.m. (MT).
- Kansas is making its 48th NCAA Tournament appearance and has a 107-46 record in the event. The Jayhawks have advanced to 31 Sweet 16 contests, 15 Final Fours and three of their five national championships have been in NCAA Championship format (1952, 1988, 2008).
- Kansas’ 30-consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, beginning in 1990, is the longest active streak and the longest consecutive in NCAA tourney appearances history.
- Since seeding in the NCAA Tournament began in 1979, this is the fifth time Kansas entered the event a No. 4 seed. KU was also a No. 4 seed in 1994, 2001, 2004 and 2006 with the last two in the Bill Self era. The Jayhawks are 7-4 all-time as a No. 4 seed.
- This year marks the 19th-straight season that the Jayhawks have earned a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament.
- This season, Kansas has faced 14 different teams in the 2019 NCAA Tournament field with a combined record of 13-7.
- This will be Kansas’ first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in Salt Lake City as well as the state of Utah.
- Kansas has won its last 12 NCAA Tournament first-round games, a string which started in 2007.
- Only two active players – Marcus Garrett and Mitch Lightfoot – have played in NCAA Tournament contests. Both were members of last year’s Final Four team and Lightfoot was part of KU’s 2017 Elite Eight run.
- With its No. 17 ranking this week, Kansas has now been inside the top-25 of the Associated Press poll for 200-consecutive weeks, a streak which began on Feb. 2, 2009. North Carolina holds the next-longest active streak at 100 weeks.
- RS-Junior Dedric Lawson, the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year as well as a Sporting News and USBWA All-American, is one of only two players participating in the NCAA Tournament to be averaging 18-plus ppg and 10-plus rpg (Dylan Windler of Belmont).
Ranked No. 17/17 nationally, Kansas is 25-9 overall and finished third in the 2019 Big 12 race with a 12-6 record. Kansas his coached by Bill Self who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. Self is 472-105 in his 16th season at Kansas and 679-210 in his 26th season overall.
In all games, Kansas ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (second at 75.4), field goal percentage (third at 46.2) and field goal percentage defense (third at 40.8). KU has a +2.5 rebound margin and also averages 7.2 3-pointers made, 13.3 assists, 6.9 steals and 3.9 blocked shots per game. In three Big 12 Championship games, in which KU finished runner-up, the Jayhawks averaged 73.0 points, a +8.0 rebound margin, 13.3 assists, 7.3 steals and 6.0 blocks.
Redshirt-junior F Dedric Lawson was named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team where he averaged 19.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals in three games. On most every All-America team and national player of the year list, Lawson leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.1 ppg, rebounding at 10.3 rpg and with 20 double-doubles. The Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team selection, Dedric Lawson is the only player in the league averaging a double-double. He also leads KU with 36 blocked shots and his 1.1 blocks per game are sixth in the conference.
|NCAA DI DOUBLE-DOUBLE LEADERS|
|1||Devontae Cacok (UNC-Willmington)||33||24|
|t2||Jordan Murphy (Minnesota)||34||22|
|t2||Nico Carvacho (Colorado St.)||32||22|
|t2||Cletrell Pope (Bethune-Cookman)||31||22|
|t5||Mike Daum (South Dakota St.)||32||21|
|t5||Ethan Happ (Wisconsin)||33||21|
|t7||Dedric Lawson (Kansas)||34||20|
|Through games played on March 17, 2019|
Freshman G Devon Dotson joined Dedric Lawson on the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team where he averaged 15.7 points, 4.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the three games. He averaged 12.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.3 spg in Big 12 play. An All-Big 12 Third Team honoree, Dotson ranks 15th in the Big 12 in scoring (12.1), sixth in assists (3.6), 13th in field goal percentage (47.9), tied for 10th in steals (1.3) and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5).
Freshman G Ochai Agbaji has started the last 14 games for Kansas and 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 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest.
Freshman G Quentin Grimes had a solid Big 12 Championship where he averaged 13.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals with six 3-pointers made in the three contests. His 18 points against West Virginia (3/15) were his third most this season. Grimes is second on the team with 51 3-pointers made this season. He averages 8.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest.
Sophomore G Marcus Garrett also had a solid Big 12 Championship where he averaged 7.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Included was a career-high 15 rebounds, with seven points and four assists in the title game against Iowa State (3/16). Garrett ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 1.5 steals per game. He scored 8.8 points in Big 12 play and overall averages 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds and has 57 assists.
Other KU regulars include freshman F David McCormack (3.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg), redshirt-sophomore G Charlie Moore (3.0 ppg, 20 3-pointers), redshirt-sophomore G K.J. Lawson (2.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg), and junior F Mitch Lightfoot (2.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg). McCormack has started each of the last 11 games and averaged 8.0 ppg and 6.3 rpg in the Big 12 Championship.
Located in Boston with an enrollment of 21,489, Northeastern is 23-10 and finished second in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with a 14-4 record. The Huskies won the CAA Tournament and bring a seven-game winning streak into the Kansas contest. NU has won 12 of its last 13 contests dating back to Jan. 26. Northeastern is making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2015. The previous participation in the event was in 1991.
Northeastern is coached by Bill Coen who is 224-96 in his 13th season as a head coach, all at NU. The Huskies average 76.1 points per game with a +5.8 scoring margin. Northeastern pulls down 31.8 rebounds per contest and has a 48.2 field goal percentage. NU makes 9.8 3-pointers per game, which ranks 24th nationally, and its 38.8 3-point field goal percentage is 16th in NCAA DI. The Huskies also average 14.3 assists, 6.2 steals and 2.2 blocks per game.
Redshirt-senior G Vasa Pusica leads Northeastern in scoring at 17.8 points per game which ranked fifth in the CAA. Pusica, who was the CAA Tournament Most Valuable Player, also has a team-high 110 assists and he is second on the squad with 57 3-pointers made and 38 steals. A first-team all-conference selection, Pusica pulls down 3.9 rebounds per game. Redshirt-junior G Jordan Roland has made a team-high 97 3-pointers and he also leads the Huskies with 39 steals. Roland, a third-team All-CAA honoree, averages 14.7 points per game. Junior G Shawn Occeus has made a big impact in his 14 games played as he scores 10.1 points per game with 23 3-pointers made. Occeus joined Pusica on the CAA all-tournament team. Junior G Bolden Brace is a starter who leads NU with a 6.0 rebound average. He has made 56 3-pointers and has 88 assists and 31 steals. Redshirt-junior G Donnell Gresham Jr. averages 9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds and is second for Northeastern with 104 assists. Gresham and Pusica are tied for second on the team with 38 steals. Senior C Anthony Green is another starter who leads the team with 26 blocked shots to complement his 8.9 scoring and 5.4 rebound averages. Other NU regulars include sophomore F Tomas Murphy (8.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg), redshirt-freshman Jason Strong (3.5 ppg) and senior F Jeremy Miller (2.4 ppg).
Kansas and Northeastern are meeting for the first time in men’s basketball. KU has only faced two current members of the Colonial Athletic Association and has a combined 4-0 record against the league. KU is 3-0 versus Towson with the last meeting in 2013, an 88-58 KU win in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Kansas is 1-0 against Hofstra (101-65 on Nov. 13, 2009 in Allen Fieldhouse).
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 26-9 and give KU 26 victories for the fifth-straight season and the 12th time in the last 13 seasons beginning in 2006-07 … Give KU its 13th-straight NCAA Tournament first-game victory, which started in 2007 … Make KU 34-2 in its last 36 NCAA Tournament round-of-64 games, beginning in 1981 … Make KU 1-0 all-time against Northeastern and 5-0 against current membership of the Colonial Athletic Association … Make KU 6-1 in neutral-site games this season … Make Kansas 108-46 all-time in NCAA Tournament games … Make Bill Self 473-105 while at Kansas, 680-210 all-time and 48-19 in the NCAA Tournament (38-14 while at KU) … Make Kansas 2,274-858 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
End Kansas’ season at 25-10 … Give the Jayhawks 10 losses in a season for just the second time in Bill Self’s 16-year tenure in Lawrence … End a Kansas 12-straight first-round NCAA Tournament win streak which started in 2007 … Hand the Jayhawks just their third loss all-time in the Round of 64, moving their record to 31-3 … Drop KU to 7-5 all-time as a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament … Make Kansas 6-2 in neutral-site games this season … Make Bill Self 472-106 while at Kansas, 679-211 all-time and 47-20 in the NCAA Tournament (37-15 while at Kansas)… Make Kansas 2,273-859 all-time.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP LEFTOVERS
- KU advanced to the final for the 22nd time in conference postseason tournament play, including the 14th time in the 23-year history of the Big 12. KU is 11-3 in Big 12 tourney title contests, 15-7 all-time.
- Kansas is the only team to have won at least 40 games in the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks are 46-12 (79.3 percent) in the event. Texas (26-23, 53.1), Oklahoma State (23-20, 53.5) and Oklahoma (22-20, 52.4 percent) are the only other schools above .500 in the event.
- With a 32-8 (80.0 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).
- Redshirt-junior F Dedric Lawson and freshman G Devon Dotson were each named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team. It marked the third-straight year two Jayhawks were named to the all-tourney team and the 13th time in the 23-year history of the Big 12 multiple KU players were selected.
- With Lawson and Dotson named all-tourney, Kansas has had 48 conference championship all-tournament selections, including 31 in the 23-year history of the Big 12 Championship.
- Dedric Lawson became the fifth Jayhawk to claim top-scoring honors in the Big 12 Championship. Lawson scored 58 points (19.3 ppg) in his three outings in Kansas City.
KANSAS VS. THE 2019 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
Kansas has faced 14 NCAA Tournament teams in 2018-19 with a 13-7 record. Those include No. 2 seed Kentucky (0-1), No. 2 Michigan State (1-0), No. 2 Tennessee (1-0), No. 3 Texas Tech (1-1), No. 4 Kansas State (1-1), No. 5 Marquette (1-0), No. 6 Iowa State (1-2), No. 6 Villanova (1-0), No. 7 Wofford (1-0), No. 9 Baylor (2-0), No. 9 Oklahoma (1-1), No. 11 Arizona State (0-1), No. 12 New Mexico State (1-0) and No. 13 Vermont (1-0).
KANSAS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
- This year marks Kansas’ 48th NCAA Tournament appearance, which ranks third nationally: Kentucky (57), North Carolina (49), Kansas (48), UCLA (47).
- Kansas’ 30-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, from 1990-2019, 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 37-14 (72.5 percent) in the NCAA Tournament with 10 Sweet 16s, eight Elite Eights, three Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship and one NCAA runner-up finish.
- The average seed under Self is 2.0 with eight No. 1 seeds, three No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds and three No. 4 seeds. Kansas was a No. 1 seed in the last three NCAA Tournaments and, prior to this year, was a 1 or 2 seed each of the last nine events.
- In the last 17 NCAA Tournaments, Kansas has a 46-16 (74.2 percent) record with one NCAA National Championship (2008), five Final Fours (2002-03-08-12-18) and 10 Elite Eight (2002-03-04-07-08-11-12-16-17-18) appearances.
- Kansas sports an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 107-46. The Jayhawks’ 107 wins trail only Kentucky (128), North Carolina (124) and Duke (112).
- The Jayhawks will play their 154th NCAA Tournament game on Thursday. The Jayhawks’ 153 games in the event rank third all-time in NCAA history, behind Kentucky (180) and North Carolina (179).
- KU’s NCAA Tournament winning percentage of 69.9 percent ranks sixth all-time for a minimum of 20 games played.
- Kansas coach Bill Self is making his 21st-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, which is the fifth-best consecutive string in tourney history by a head coach: 24 Mike Krzyzewski (1996-2019), 23 Dean Smith (1975-97), 22 Tom Izzo (1998-2019), 21 Bill Self (1999-2019), 20 Roy Williams (1990-2009), 17 Rick Barnes (1996-2012). Self, Krzyzewski and Izzo are the only active streaks.
- KU is one of nine schools that has 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), Kansas (3), Louisville (3) and Villanova (3).
- Kansas has appeared in the Final Four 15 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 (15) and Ohio State (10).
- 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.
- SEED NOTES
- Since seeding in the NCAA Tournament began in 1979, this is the fifth time Kansas entered the event a No. 4 seed. KU was also a No. 4 seed in 1994, 2001, 2004 and 2006 with the last two in the Bill Self era. The Jayhawks are 7-4 all-time as a No. 4 seed. Kansas is 4-1 all-time against the No. 13 seed with the only blemish being the last time it faced the No. 13 seed, Bradley in 2006.
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).
KANSAS AP RANKED FOR 200TH-STRAIGHT WEEK
With the release of the Associated Press’ final 2018-19 top-25 on March 18, the Jayhawks found themselves among those ranked for the 200th-straight week. That streak ranks as the longest-active in NCAA DI and is 100 weeks clear of the next closest school.
Kansas’ current streak began on Feb. 2, 2009 when KU reentered the AP ranks at No. 21. Since that week, the Jayhawks have not been slotted outside the top-20.
|MOST CONSECUTIVE WEEKS RANKED IN AP TOP-25 (ACTIVE)|
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 brought 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 NAVIGATES 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 17), with the Jayhawks playing opponents that have an average NET ranking of 57th, a figure that leads the nation.
The Jayhawks have also collected some impressive wins during this gauntlet of a schedule, claiming 11 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 11 or more Quad 1 wins (Michigan State – 13, Virginia – 12, Duke – 11).
|TOP-5 STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE RANKINGS|
|SOS||Team||AVG OPP. NET (RNK)||Quad 1 Record|
|4||North Carolina||83 (15th)||10-6|
LAWSON COLLECTION OF NATIONAL ACCOLADES GROWS
Redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson has had a quickly growing collection of accolades that have him among a small list of players on watch for national awards come season’s end. Here is a quick rundown of the recent announcements that included Lawson:
- The USBWA named Lawson to its All-America Third Team on March 18. The announcement made Lawson the third-straight Jayhawk to earn a spot on one of the USBWA’s AA teams.
- Lawson was named to the 2018-19 Sporting News All-America Second Team, the publication announced March 10. It marked the third-straight season a Jayhawk was named to a TSN All-America Team.
- On March 9, Lawson was named to the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s final ballot by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Kansas has had representation each of the last two seasons at the Wooden Award ceremony as Frank Mason III won the award in 2017 and Devonte’ Graham was a finalist last year. Lawson is vying to become the third Jayhawk to win the honor with Mason in 2017 and Danny Manning in 1988.
- On March 7, Lawson was named one of five finalists for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award by the Naismith Hall of Fame. Established in 2015, the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year will be named April 12, 2019.
- On March 6, Lawson was one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, by the Atlanta Tip Off Club. KU’s Frank Mason III won the honor in 2017 as did Danny Manning in 1988. The Naismith Trophy will announce its four finalists on March 19.
Should Kansas win, it would face the winner of the No. 5-seed Auburn vs. No. 12-seed New Mexico State game on Saturday, March 23 (time and TV TBD).
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