No. 1 seed Jayhawks begin March Madness on Friday in Tulsa
NCAA First Round
Kansas (28-4, 16-2 Big 12) is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Midwest Regional. KU will take on either 16th-seed North Carolina Central (25-8, 13-3 MEAC) or 16th-seed UC Davis (22-12, 11-5 Big West) on Friday, March 17, at 5:50 p.m., Central time at the BOK Center (17,966) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The game will be televised on TNT. Kansas will have open practice in the venue on Thursday, March 16, from 4:25-5:05 p.m.
Kansas is making its 46th NCAA Championship appearance and its 28th-consecutive trip to the tournament, the longest active streak in the nation and the longest in tournament history surpassing North Carolina’s 27 from 1975-2001.
This marks the eighth-straight season that the Jayhawks have earned a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. In head coach Bill Self’s 14 seasons in Lawrence, KU has never been seeded lower than fourth. Since seeding began in 1979, Kansas has been a No. 1 13 times, including seven times under Self (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017).
KU, which is ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches polls, has won 13-straight, 17 Big 12 and an NCAA best 60 regular-season conference championships, including the 2017 title. The 13-consecutive titles ties for the longest streak in NCAA Division I history with UCLA (1967-79)
After a two-week run at No. 1, Kansas is ranked No. 3 nationally in both national polls (AP Top 25 / USA TODAY NABC Coaches’ Poll) for the second-straight week. The Jayhawks are 14-3 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse this season. KU averages 82.7 points per game, which is 15th nationally, and has a +10.3 scoring margin. Kansas leads the Big 12 and is 16th in NCAA Division I with a 48.7 field goal percentage. KU leads the league with a 40.5 3-point field goal percentage, which is 10th in the nation. KU averages 38.8 rebounds per contest, which also leads the Big 12. KU has a +4.0 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.3 assists, 6.9 steals and 4.7 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 20.8 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 19 games of 20 points or more, including his last three and eight of his last 10 contests. Mason has led Kansas in scoring in 23 games this season. Mason also leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 48.7 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 fifth in the conference and he leads KU with 51 steals and 33 blocked shots. Jackson was suspended for one game March 8 and did not play against TCU in the Big 12 Championship March 9. An All-Big 12 Second Team selection, junior G Devonte’ Graham is 13th in the Big 12 with a 13.1 scoring average. Graham has made 10 3-pointers in his last three games and multiple treys in 13 of his last 14 contests. He has made 39 threes in KU’s last 14 outings. He leads KU with 81 3-pointers and is second on the team in assists with 137 and steals with 47. Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk averages 9.6 points per game after his 18 points against TCU (3/9). He has made 63 3-pointers for the season. He is seventh in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 40.1 percent and seventh in 3-pointers made at 12.0 An All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection, senior C Landen Lucas has pulled down 10 or more rebounds 11 times this season with all 10 in KU’s last 21 contests. Included was his fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds against TCU (3/9) in the Big 12 Championship. 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 8.4 average and is scoring 7.9 points per game. Lucas leads KU with a 64.2 field goal percentage.
Sophomore G Lagerald Vick is one of the first Jayhawks off the bench and is averaging 9.7 points in his last three games and 7.4 points for the season. He is 5-for-9 from 3-point range in his last four games. Vick averages 24.3 minutes per game and has made 31 3-pointers. Sophomore F Carlton Bragg Jr., had an 11-point effort on 5-of-6 shooting at Oklahoma State (3/4). Bragg is averaging 14.3 minutes, 5.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 28 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 20 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 13 games. He averages 4.0 minutes, 0.8 points and 1.1 rebounds in 23 games played this season.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
Located in Durham, North Carolina, North Carolina Central (25-8, 13-3 MEAC) won the 2016-17 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) regular season with a 13-3 record and the MEAC Tournament to earn the conference’s automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles are playing in their second-ever NCAA Tournament with their first in 2014 where they fell to Big 12 foe Iowa State in San Antonio. NCCU is coached by alum LeVelle Moton who is 127-94 in his seventh season at the helm and is the 2017 MEAC Coach of the Year.
The Eagles are led by fifth-year senior G Patrick Cole who is the 2017 MEAC Player of the Year. Cole averages at team-high 19.5 points and 5.7 rebounds. He also pulls down 7.0 rebounds per game and has made 66 3-pointers this season. Fifth-year senior G Dajuan Graf is a second-team all-conference selection who averages 14.3 points per game.
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Located in Davis, California, University of California Davis (22-12, 11-5 Big West) placed second in the Big West Conference with an 11-5 record and won the league’s tournament to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies are making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. UC Davis became NCAA Division I in 2007-08. UC Davis is coached by Jim Les who is 76-103 in his sixth season as head coach of the Aggies and 240-243 in his 15th season overall. Prior to UC Davis, Les coached nine seasons at Bradley, his alma mater, and the Braves defeated Kansas in the opening round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Detroit.
The Aggies are led by senior G Brynton Lemar who averages 16.1 points per game and has made a team-high 74 3-pointers. Lemar was a 2017 All-Big West First Team selection along with junior F Chima Moneke who was also the Big West Newcomer of the Year. Moneke averages 14.4 points and leads the team with 9.4 rebounds per game and 50 blocked shots. Sophomore G Siler Schneider (10.5 ppg, 46 3-pointers) was an All-Big West Honorable Mention selection this season.
Kansas has yet to face North Carolina Central or UC Davis in men’s basketball. KU is 9-0 against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (3-0 vs. South Carolina State, 2-0 vs. Coppin State and Howard, 1-0 vs. Hampton and North Carolina A&T). Kansas is 8-2 all-time against current membership of the Big West Conference (3-1 vs. Long Beach State, 2-1 vs. Hawaii, 1-0 vs. UC Irvine, CS Northridge and UC Santa Barbara).
A KANSAS WIN WOULD …
Make Kansas 29-4 and give KU 29 victories for the 14th time in school history with eight of those in the Bill Self era… Give KU its 11th-straight NCAA Tournament first-game victory which started in 2007… Make KU 32-2 in its last 34 NCAA Tournament round-of-64 games, beginning in 1981… Make KU 115-3 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season… Make Kansas 101-44 all-time in NCAA Tournament games… Make Bill Self 414-87 while at Kansas, 621-192 all-time and 41-17 in the NCAA Tournament (31-12 while at KU)… Make Kansas 2,215-840 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD …
End Kansas’ season at 28-5 … Make Kansas’ two-game losing streak its longest of the season … End a Kansas 10-straight first-game NCAA Tournament win streak … Make Kansas 14-4 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Bill Self 413-88 while at Kansas, 620-193 all-time and 40-18 in the NCAA Tournament (30-13 while at Kansas)… Make Kansas 2,214-841 all-time.
• Kansas leads the Big 12 and is eighth nationally in won-loss percentage at 87.5 percent, field goal percentage at 48.7 percent, 3-point field goal percentage at 40.5 percent and rebounding at 38.8 per game. Additionally, KU ranks in the upper half in the Big 12 in scoring (second at 82.7), scoring margin (second at +10.3), field goal percentage defense (second at 41.9), rebound margin (second at +4.0), assists (third at 16.3), assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth at 1.2) and blocked shots (fourth at 4.7).
• Kansas has nine games this season with double-digit deficits. KU is 7-2 in those contests with six of those victories against conference foes.
• KU has outrebounded four of its last five opponents. Kansas is 16-1 when outboarding foes this season.
• Kansas is averaging 8.7 3-pointers made per game with a 40.5 3-point field goal percentage. KU’s 279 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 two of its last three games and 15 times this season. The Jayhawks are 14-1 when shooting 50 percent or better in 2016-17.
• The Jayhawks are 132-for-177 (74.6 percent) from the free throw line in their last seven 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 20.8 points per game and 3-point field goal percentage (48.7). He is fourth in assists (5.1), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3), eighth in field goal percentage (48.7) and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0).
• Mason is 85-for-101 (84.2 percent) from the free throw line in his last 11 games, making 7.7 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 23 of 32 games this season, including six of the last seven and eight of the last 10 contests. Mason has 19 games of 20 or more points, including six of his last seven and eight of his last 10 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’ 8.4 rpg are fourth in the Big 12. He is tied for 13th in blocked shots (1.0).
• Lucas leads KU with a 64.2 percent field goal percentage for all games. Over his last 12 games, Lucas is shooting 67.7 percent (42-of-62) from the field.
• Junior G Devonte’ Graham has made four or more treys in eight games this season, including two of his last three contests.
• Graham is 13th in the Big 12 in scoring (13.1), fifth in assists (4.3), 11th in steals (1.5), fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.5), 12th in 3-point field goal percentage (.379) and third 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 ranking 57th at 1,012.
• Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is 5-for-10 (50 percent) from 3-point range in his last two games. His 4-for-8 effort against TCU (3/9) in the Big 12 Championship marked his fourth game with four treys this season.
• Mykhailiuk has made multiple 3-pointers in 10 of his last 15 games. He is seventh in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made at 2.0 per game and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage at 40.1.
KANSAS vs. THE NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
Kansas has faced seven NCAA Championship teams in 2016-17 with a 10-2 record. Those include No. 3 seed Baylor (2-0), No. 10 seed Oklahoma State (2-0), No. 11 seed Kansas State (2-0), No. 2 seed Duke (1-0), No. 2 seed Kentucky (1-0), No. 5 seed Iowa State (1-1) and No. 4 seed West Virginia (1-1).
Kansas is the No. 1 seed for the 13th time since the NCAA Championship started seeding in 1979: 1986-92-95-97-98-2002-07-08-10-11-13-16-17. This is the seventh time KU has been a No. 1 seed under Bill Self. KU is 32-11 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 43 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 THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• This year marks Kansas’ 46th NCAA Tournament appearance.
• Kansas’ 28-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, from 1990-2017, is the nation’s longest active streak and the best all time surpassing North Carolina’s 27 straight from 1975-2001.
• Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 30-12 (71.4 percent) in the NCAA Tournament with eight Sweet 16s, six Elite Eights, two Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship and one NCAA runner-up finish.
• In the last 15 NCAA Tournaments, Kansas has a 39-14 (73.6 percent) record with one NCAA National Championship (2008), four Final Four (2002-03-08-12) and eight Elite Eight (2002-03-04-07-08-11-12-16) appearances.
• Kansas’ 46 NCAA Tournament appearances are tied for third nationally: Kentucky (55), North Carolina (48), UCLA (46).
• Kansas sports an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 100-44. The Jayhawks’ 100 wins trail only Kentucky (121), North Carolina (117) and Duke (109).
• The Jayhawks will play their 145th NCAA Tournament game on Friday. The Jayhawks’ 144 games in the event rank fourth all-time in NCAA history, behind Kentucky (170), North Carolina (162) and UCLA (147).
• KU’s NCAA Tournament winning percentage of 69.4 percent ranks sixth all-time for a minimum of 20 games played.
• Kansas coach Bill Self is making his 19th-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), 22 Mike Krzyzewski, (1996-2017), 20 Tom Izzo (1998-2017), 20 Roy Williams (1990-2009), 19 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 Tournaments. 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 (19), 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 (16) 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 three 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. Roy Williams took Kansas in 1991 and 2003 and North Carolina in 2005, 2009 and 2016.
• 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 advancing UAB to the 2015 NCAA Tournament, there are 11 head coaches who have advanced to the NCAA Tournament that graduated from the University of Kansas. In fact, the 128 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, 8-7).
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is No. 3 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll released March 13. 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). KU was AP No. 1 twice (2/28, 3/6). 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 161 AP polls dating back to the 2008-09 season, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Arizona is second at 95. KU has been ranked in each of the last 165 coaches’ polls.
THIS DATE IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 6-2 all-time on March 17.
March 17, 1953: Kansas defeated Washington, 79-53, in the NCAA Championship semifinal at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. Washington brought a 29-2 record into the game and was predicted to win the national title. B.H. Born poured in 25 points, while Dean Kelley and Harold Patterson added 16 each as KU used a fast-break attack to catch Washington off balance. Kansas would go on to lose to Indiana in the title game, 69-68. Under Phog Allen, KU finished the year 19-6 and won the Big Seven Conference regular-season title with a 10-2 league record.
Should Kansas win, the Jayhawks will play the winner of the No. 8 seed Miami vs. No. 9 seed Michigan on Sunday, March 19, at BOK Center. Tipoff time and TV information are to be determined.
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