Preview: No. 1 Kansas begins postseason with Big 12 Quarterfinals [March 9]
Big 12 Quarterfinals
Big 12 Conference regular-season champion Kansas (28-3, 16-2) enters the 2016 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship as the No. 1 seed for the 14th time, ninth-straight, in the 21-year history of the league. KU won its 13th straight, 17th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 60th conference regular-season championship in 2017. Kansas will face the winner of the No. 8 TCU-No. 9 Oklahoma game Thursday, March 9 at 1:30 p.m., on ESPN2 at Sprint Center in Kansas City. The Horned Frogs and Sooners will play Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. Kansas has won 15 conference tournament titles, including seven of the last 12 and 10 of the 19 total Big 12 Championships. KU is the defending Big 12 Tournament champions. Since the Big 12’s inception in 1996-97, Kansas is 19-1 in its first games, 18-2 in the quarterfinals, 12-6 in semifinals and 10-2 in championship games.
Kansas is ranked No. 1 nationally in both national polls (AP Top 25 / USA TODAY NABC Coaches’ Poll) for the second-straight week. The Jayhawks are 14-2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse this season, including 3-0 in Sprint Center. KU averages 82.7 points per game and has a +10.8 scoring margin. Kansas leads the Big 12 and is 14th nationally with a 48.8 field goal percentage. KU leads the league with a 40.8 3-point field goal percentage, which is sixth in NCAA Division I. KU averages 39.1 rebounds per contest, which also leads the Big 12. KU has a +4.3 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.3 assists, 7.0 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per contest.
The 2017 Big 12 Player of the Year who has already earned numerous National Player of the Year and first-team All-America honors, senior G Frank Mason III leads the conference in scoring with a 20.5 average. His 21.0 points per game in league play were also tops in the Big 12. He is the only conference player averaging 20 points or more this season. Mason has 18 games of 20 points or more, including his last two and seven of his last nine contests. Mason has led Kansas in scoring in 22 games this season. Mason also leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 49.3 percent and with his 5.1 assists per game is vying to become the first player in Big 12 and KU history to average 20 or more points and 5.0 or more assists in the same season. Also listed on numerous All-America teams is freshman G Josh Jackson, the 2017 Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Joining Mason on the All-Big 12 First Team and a seven-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week in 2016-17, Jackson is second on the team in scoring at 16.4 points per game, which is fifth in the Big 12. The two-time Big 12 Player of the Week has seven double-doubles in his last 10 outings. Jackson’s 7.2 rebounds per game are sixth in the conference and he leads KU with 51 steals and 33 blocked shots. An All-Big 12 Second Team selection, junior G Devonte’ Graham is 13th in the Big 12 with a 13.2 scoring average. Graham has made eight 3-pointers in his last two games and multiple treys in 12 of his last 13 games. He has made 37 threes in KU’s last 13 contests. He leads KU with 79 3-pointers and is second on the team in assists with 134 and steals with 46. Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk averages 9.3 points per game and has made 59 3-pointers for the season. He is eighth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.6 percent and seventh in 3-pointers made at 1.9. An All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selections, senior C Landen Lucas has pulled down 10 or more rebounds 10 times this season with all 10 in KU’s last 20 contests. An Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, Lucas finished second the Big 12 in league games in rebounding at 10.0 boards per outing. In all games, he is fourth in the Big 12 in rebounds with an 8.2 average and is scoring 7.7 points per game. Lucas leads KU with a 63.9 field goal percentage.
Sophomore G Lagerald Vick is one of the first Jayhawks off the bench and is averaging 10.0 points in his last two games and 7.4 points for the season. He is 4-for-5 from 3-point range in his last three games. Vick averages 23.9 minutes per game and has made 30 3-pointers. Sophomore F Carlton Bragg Jr., is coming off an 11-point effort on 5-of-6 shooting at Oklahoma State (3/4). Bragg is averaging 14.4 minutes, 5.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 27 games played this season. Junior F Dwight Coleby tied his career high with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting at Texas (2/25) in 13 minutes. He has appeared in 19 games and is averaging 1.7 points and 1.8 rebounds this season. Freshman F Mitch Lightfoot has come off the bench in eight of the last 12 games. He averages 4.2 minutes, 0.9 points and 1.1 rebounds in 22 games played this season.
THE KU-TCU SERIES
Though this is just the 15th conference meeting between Kansas and TCU, the men’s basketball series between the two schools dates back to 1952 when the Jayhawks defeated the Horned Frogs, 68-64, on March 21 in the NCAA Midwest Regional at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas is 14-1 against TCU and has won 10 straight against the Horned Frogs. Three series games have been on neutral floors with Kansas winning all three contests: the 1952 game, a KU 94-78 win vs. TCU on Dec. 20, 1997 at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, and a KU 64-59 win in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City. KU swept a home-and-home series with TCU in 2003 and 2004 with an 85-66 win in Fort Worth on Dec. 1, 2003 and a 93-74 victory on Dec. 9, 2004 in Allen Fieldhouse. As members of the Big 12, KU leads the series 10-1. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 18-4 all-time against TCU, including 11-1 while at Kansas. TCU head coach Jamie Dixon is 0-2 versus Kansas.
Kansas swept the 2016-17 series with TCU defeating the Horned Frogs 86-80 in Fort Worth on Dec. 30 and winning 87-68 in Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 22.
THE KU-OU SERIES
The series between Kansas and Oklahoma dates back to 1920 when both schools were members of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Kansas leads, 146-66. Since 2006, the Jayhawks have won 17 of the last 19 meetings against the Sooners. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, Kansas is 25-6 against Oklahoma; 23-4 in regular-season play and 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 18-5 all-time against Oklahoma, including 17-3 while at KU. Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger is 7-20 versus Kansas, 2-10 while at OU. Last year’s battles were epic top-10 matchups with Kansas winning a thrilling 109-106 triple-overtime game in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 4 and KU claiming a 76-72 win in Lloyd Noble Center on Feb. 13.
Kansas swept the 2016-17 series winning 81-70 in Norman on Jan. 10 and defeating OU 73-63 Feb. 27 on Senior Night in Allen Fieldhouse.
A KANSAS WIN …
Make Kansas 29-3, extending its winning streak to nine games … Make KU 15-2 in games away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Kansas 20-2 in Big 12 Championship first games (1-0 in first round, 19-2 in quarterfinals) … Advance KU to the conference tourney semifinals for the 19th time in Big 12 history and 37th time overall … Improve Kansas to 72-26 in league tournament play, 42-10 at the Big 12 Championship … Make Kansas 35-6 all-time in Sprint Center, including 4-0 this season … Make Bill Self 414-86 while at Kansas, 621-191 all-time and 37-11 in conference tournament play, 28-6 while at Kansas in the Big 12 Championship … Make Kansas 2,215-839 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS …
Drop Kansas to 28-4 on the season, ending an eight-game winning streak … Make Kansas 14-2 in games away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Give Kansas its first-ever first-game loss in the Big 12 Championship … Make Kansas 18-3 in Big 12 tourney quarterfinal action … Drop Kansas to 71-27 in league tournament play overall, including 41-11 in Big 12 Championship play … Make Kansas 3-1 in Sprint Center this season… Make Kansas 34-7 all-time in Sprint Center … Make Bill Self 413-87 while at Kansas, 620-192 all-time and 36-12 in conference tournament play, 27-7 while at Kansas in the Big 12 Championship… Make Kansas 2,214-840 all-time.
KANSAS IN THE PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
• KU’s 10 Big 12 Tournament titles are more than any other school in the league. Oklahoma and Iowa State are next with three each. Kansas won the first three events 1997-98-99, then the 2006-07-08-10-11-13-16 titles. KU is 10-2 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 41-10 (80.4 percent) in the event, while Texas (24-20) is second.
• With a 27-6 (81.8 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 14 times (1997-98-2002-03-07-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17), No. 2 seed four times (2001-05-06-08), No. 3 seed twice (1999-2004), and the No. 5 seed in 2000.
• Kansas has won 19 of its 20 first games in the Big 12 Championship with the 2009 loss to Baylor being its only blemish. The Jayhawks are 1-0 in opening-round games and 18-2 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 18 of the 20 Big 12 Championships. The Jayhawks did not reach the 2000 or 2009 semis.
• Kansas has won seven of its 10 Big 12 titles as the No. 1 seed – 1997, 1998, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016. 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. 3 seed: Kansas in 1999, Oklahoma in 2003 and Oklahoma State in 2005.
• Kansas has had 44 conference championship all-tournament selections, including 27 in the 20-year history of the Big 12 Championship. Current Jayhawk junior Devonte’ Graham was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2016 event.
• Of the 44 conference championship all-tournament selections, 12 were named the event’s most outstanding player, including nine in the Big 12 era.
• Kansas leads the Big 12 and is second nationally in won-loss percentage at 90.3 percent, field goal percentage at 48.8 percent, 3-point field goal percentage at 40.8 percent and rebounding at 39.1 per game. Additionally, KU ranks in the upper half in the Big 12 in scoring (third at 82.7), scoring margin (second at +10.8), field goal percentage defense (second at 41.7), rebound margin (second at +4.3), assists (third at 16.3), assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.3) and blocked shots (fourth at 4.6).
• Kansas has eight games this season with double-digit deficits. KU is 7-1 in those contests with six of those victories against conference foes.
• Kansas has outrebounded each of its last four opponents. The Jayhawks were outrebounded in their four games prior. KU is 16-1 when out-rebounding foes this season.
• Kansas is averaging 8.7 3-pointers made per game with a 40.8 3-point field goal percentage. KU’s 269 3-pointers are second all-time for a season behind last year’s record-breaking 304 treys.
• Kansas averages 82.7 points per game which is the highest scoring average in the Bill Self era (2003-04 to present) and the highest since the 2002-03 Jayhawks also scored 82.7 points.
• Kansas has shot 50 percent or better each of its last two games and 15 times this season. The Jayhawks are 14-1 when shooting 50 percent or better in 2016-17.
• The Jayhawks are 110-for-150 (73.3 percent) from the free throw line in their last six games. KU shot 70.8 percent at the charity stripe in Big 12 play. In nonconference games KU had a 58.9 free throw percentage.
• Senior G Frank Mason III leads the Big 12 in scoring at 20.5 points per game and 3-point field goal percentage (49.3). He is fourth in assists (5.1), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3), eighth in field goal percentage (48.8) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0).
• Mason is 73-for-88 (83.0 percent) from the free throw line in his last 10 games, making 7.3 charity shots per contest in that span.
• Mason made 50.0 percent (43-for-86) from 3-point range and 2.4 treys per game in Big 12 play.
• Mason has led KU in scoring in 22 of 30 games this season, including five of the last six and seven of the last nine contests. Mason has 18 games of 20 or more points, including five of his last six and seven of his last nine outings.
• Freshman G Josh Jackson has seven double-doubles in his last 11 games. His 11 double-doubles on the season, eight against Big 12 foes, rank fourth in the conference. His 11 DDs are a Kansas freshman record.
• In his last 11 outings (dating back to Jan. 28 vs. Kentucky), Jackson has scored 200 points and grabbed 93 rebounds for an average of 18.2 ppg and 8.5 rpg in that 11-game span.
• Jackson is 20-for-39 (51.3 percent) from beyond the arc in his last 12 games.
• Jackson is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.4 ppg, which leads the conference freshman class. His 7.2 rebounds per game are sixth in the league. He is seventh with 1.6 steals per game and 13th in blocked shots (1.1).
• Senior C Landen Lucas finished second in the Big 12 in league games with a 10.0 rebound average. Overall, Lucas’ 8.2 rpg are fourth in the Big 12. He is 14th in blocked shots (1.0).
• Lucas leads KU with a 63.9 percent field goal percentage for all games. Over his last 11 games, Lucas is shooting 67.3 percent (37-of-55) from the field.
• Junior G Devonte’ Graham has gone 4-for-8 from 3-point range in each of his last two games. He has made four or more treys in eight games this season.
• Graham is 13th in the Big 12 in scoring (13.2), fifth in assists (4.3), ninth in steals (1.5), fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.5), 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (.387) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).
• Against Oklahoma State (3/4), Graham became the 59th player in KU history to score 1,000 career points, currently at 1,002.
• Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has made multiple 3-pointers in nine of his last 14 games. He is seventh in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made at 1.9 per game and eighth in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.6.
Kansas in Kansas City
Kansas City has been a second home of sorts for Kansas over the years. KU’s first-ever game — a 16-5 loss to Kansas City YMCA on Feb. 3, 1899 — was played in Kansas City. The 2017 Big 12 quarterfinals will mark KU’s 300th game played all-time in Kansas City, and its 41st in Sprint Center. KU is 34-6 in Sprint Center including winning the 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016 Big 12 Championships in the venue and the 2012 and 2016 CBE Hall of Fame Classics.
KU played 106 games in Kemper Arena with an 81-25 record. KU is 219-80 in games played in Kansas City.
• 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 26 conference tournaments (13 holiday conference tourneys and 13 postseason league titles) with 24 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
KU in Sprint Center
Kansas is 34-6 in Sprint Center. Below is a breakdown of how Kansas has fared in the venue. Not included are two exhibition victories when KU, who represented the USA at the 2015 World University Games, defeated Canada in prepping for the Games.
Including 2016-17, Kansas has won 17 of the 21 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last 13, which ranks tied for first on the NCAA all-time consecutive list with UCLA (1967-79). Kansas’ 60 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 47 and Penn third at 37. UCLA’s run was under three coaches, while Kansas’ current run has been under head coach Bill Self.
Kansas Conference Regular-Season Titles
60 (*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 (17) – 1997-98-2002-03-05*-06*-07-08*-09-10-11-12-13*-14-15-16-17
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is No. 1 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll released March 6. KU has been ranked in the top five in all but one poll this season with four weeks at No. 1 in the coaches’ poll (1/16, 1/23, 2/28, 3/6). This week is the second straight AP No. 1 ranking for KU this season. KU was ranked No. 1 by AP five times in 2015-16, including the final three polls.
Kansas been ranked in each of the last 160 AP polls dating back to the 2008-09 season, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Arizona is second at 94. KU has been ranked in each of the last 164 coaches’ polls.
Here are some active Kansas streaks, all of which lead the nation.
• 13 Big 12 Conference regular-season titles (including 2016-17)
• 27 NCAA Tournament appearances
• 28 seasons with 20+ wins (including 2016-17)
• 160 weeks ranked in AP Top 25
• Won at least 12 league games for 17-straight years (including 2016-17)
THIS DATE IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 18-5 all-time on March 9.
March 9, 1960: Kansas won a back-and-forth thriller against Kansas State, 84-82 in overtime, in a one-game Big Eight playoff in Manhattan to determine the conference’s representative for the 1960 NCAA Tournament. At one point, KU held a 13-point lead in the game, while Kansas State’s largest lead in the contest was nine. In total, there were 15 lead changes throughout the game. Junior F Wayne Hightower led the Jayhawks with 28 points, while junior G Jerry Gardner added 21. Senior C Bill Bridges grabbed 22 rebounds in the victory. The game was tied at 72 at the end of regulation, but Kansas took the game by two in overtime to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks defeated Texas, 90-81, two days later, but lost to Cincinnati, 82-71, on March 12 to end their season with a 19-9 record.
Should Kansas win, the Jayhawks will play in the semifinals Friday, March 10, at 6 p.m. (Central) on ESPN or ESPN2. KU would face the winner of the No. 4 Iowa State vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State contest.
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