Sweet 16 preview: Kansas and Purdue meet Thursday night in Kansas City

NCAA Sweet Sixteen®
(1) Kansas vs. (4) Purdue

Date Thursday, March 23
Time 8:40 p.m. Central
Location Kansas City, Mo.
Venue Sprint Center (18,961)
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Conference champions collide when No. 1 seed Kansas (30-4, 16-2 Big 12) faces No. 4 seed Purdue (27-7, 14-4 Big Ten) in the NCAA Championship Midwest Regional semifinal, March 23, at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, at approximately 8:40 p.m. (Central).

Kansas won its 13th-straight, 17th Big 12 and NCAA record 60th regular-season conference title in 2017 with a 16-2 record. The 13-consecutive titles ties for the longest streak in NCAA Division I history with UCLA (1967-79). Purdue won the 2017 Big Ten Conference regular-season title, its 23rd, with a 14-4 league record. The two teams are meeting for the fourth time in NCAA Championship history and the first since 2012. The Kansas-Purdue contest will be the second of the session in Kansas City following the Michigan-Oregon game which will start at 6:10 p.m. The KU-Purdue game will be televised on CBS.

Kansas will have an open practice at Sprint Center on Wednesday, March 22, from 3:10-4 p.m.

Kansas and Purdue are playing back-to-back opposing conference foes as Kansas defeated Michigan State, 90-70, on March 19 and Purdue winning against Iowa State, 80-76, on March 18.

Ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches polls, 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).

“Sweet 16” began to be referenced in 1975 when the field expanded to 32 teams. Technically, Kansas has advanced to the round of 16 just 21 times yet is playing in its 30th due to byes and the size of the field.

Kansas is 16-3 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse this season. The Jayhawks average 83.4 points per game and have a +11.4 scoring margin. Kansas leads the Big 12 with a 49.1 field goal percentage, which is 11th nationally, and a 40.6 3-point field goal percentage, which is fifth in NCAA Division I. KU averages 38.9 rebounds per contest, which also leads the Big 12. KU has a +4.6 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.2 assists, 7.0 steals and 4.7 blocked shots per contest.

2017 Big 12 Player of the Year senior G Frank Mason III has already earned numerous National Player of the Year and first-team All-America honors as the Big 12’s leader in scoring with a 20.8 average. His 21.0 points per game in Big 12 play were also a league high. He is the only conference player averaging 20 points or more this season. After his 22 points against UC Davis (3/17) and 20 versus Michigan State (3/19), Mason has 21 games of 20 points or more, including his last five and 10 of his last 12 contests. Mason has led Kansas in scoring in 24 games this season. He also leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 47.2 percent. With his 5.2 assists per game, he 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 16.6 points per game, which included a 23-point effort against Michigan State (3/19). The two-time Big 12 Player of the Week has seven double-doubles in his last 13 outings. Jackson’s 7.1 rebounds per game are second on the team and he leads KU with 36 blocked shots and is tied for the team lead with 54 steals. Jackson averaged 20.0 points and shot 60.7 percent from the field in his first two NCAA Championship games.

An All-Big 12 Second Team selection, junior G Devonte’ Graham averages 13.3 points per game, including 17.0 in two NCAA contests. Graham has made 18 3-pointers in his last five games and multiple treys in 15 of his last 16 contests. He has made 47 threes in KU’s last 16 outings. Graham is tied with Jackson for the team lead with 54 steals and leads KU with 89 3-pointers. He is second on the team in assists with 145. Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk averages 9.7 points per game and has scored 43 points in his last three games with seven 3-pointers made. A two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, Mykhailiuk has made 66 3-pointers for the season. An All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection, senior C Landen Lucas is coming off his third-straight and sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds against Michigan State (3/19). Lucas has pulled down 10 or more rebounds 13 times this season with all 13 in KU’s last 23 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 third in the Big 12 in rebounds with an 8.6 average and is scoring 8.1 points per game. Lucas leads KU with a 64.3 field goal percentage.

Sophomore G Lagerald Vick is one of the first Jayhawks off the bench and is scoring 7.3 points for the season. Vick averages 24.3 minutes per game and has made 32 3-pointers. Sophomore F Carlton Bragg Jr., is another player off the bench early and averages 14.0 minutes, 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds. Junior F Dwight Coleby was a spark against Michigan State (3/19) where he had three points, four rebounds and one steal in nine minutes played. He has appeared in 22 games and is averaging 1.8 points and 1.9 rebounds this season. Freshman F Mitch Lightfoot has come off the bench in 10 of the last 14 games. He averages 4.0 minutes, 0.8 points and 1.0 rebounds in 25 games played this season.

Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, with an enrollment of 40,451, Purdue advanced to the Sweet 16 with an 80-70 win against Vermont (3/16) and an 80-76 victory against Kansas’ Big 12 foe Iowa State (3/18). The Boilermakers are coached by Matt Painter who is in his 12th season at his alma mater with a 265-141 record and has an overall mark of 290-146 in his 13th season. Purdue averages 80.1 points per game and has a +12.6 scoring margin. The Boilermakers pull down 37.9 rebounds per game with a +7.0 rebound margin. Purdue is second in the nation with 18.4 assists per game and 24th nationally with a 48.1 field goal percentage. Purdue also averages 5.1 steals and 2.6 blocked shots per game.

All-America sophomore F Caleb Swanigan averages a double-double for Purdue with 18.5 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. He has a Big Ten single-season record with 28 double-doubles in 2016-17. Swanigan also has a team-high 28 blocked shots. In addition, Swanigan has made 35 3-pointers this year. Junior F Vincent Edwards is next in scoring at 12.7 points per game and he pulls down 5.0 rebounds per outing. Edwards has made 45 3-pointers and has an 82.0 free throw percentage. Junior C Isaac Haas comes off the bench to score 12.6 points per game. He pulls down 5.1 rebounds per game and has 26 blocked shots. Freshman G Carsen Edwards has 21 starts and scores 10.4 points per contest. He has made 49 3-pointers and leads Purdue with 35 steals. Junior G Dakota Mathias has made a team-best 71 3-pointers this season and is shooting 45.8 percent from beyond the arc. Mathais averages 9.9 points and also leads the team with 126 assists. Junior G P.J. Thompson is a starter who is second on the team with 33 steals to complement his 7.2 scoring average. His 51 3-pointers are second most on the squad. Sophomore G Ryan Cline has six starts this season and averages 5.3 points per contest to round out the Purdue regulars.

Kansas leads the overall series with Purdue, 3-2, including a 2-1 record in the NCAA Championship. Each of the last three meetings have come in the NCAA Championship. Purdue defeated KU, 83-78, in the 1994 Southeast Regional in Knoxville, Tennessee. Kansas has won the last two matchups: 75-61 in 1997 in the Southeast Regional in Memphis, Tennessee, and 63-60 in the 2012 Midwest Regional in Omaha, Nebraska. This series dates back to 1948 when Purdue defeated Kansas 47-46 in West Lafayette, Indiana. KU returned the favor with a 60-52 win the following season (1949) in Lawrence.

Make Kansas 31-4 and give KU 31 victories for the second-straight season and 12th time in school history with eight of those in the Bill Self era … Advance the Jayhawks to the regional final for the 23rd time in school history, including the seventh time under Bill Self … Make KU 17-3 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Kansas 103-44 all-time in NCAA Championship games … Make the Kansas-Purdue series 4-2 in favor of KU … Make Self 416-87 while at Kansas, 623-192 all-time and 43-17 in the NCAA Tournament (33-12 while at KU) … Make Kansas 2,217-840 all-time.

A Kansas LOSS Would…
End Kansas’ season at 30-5 … Make Kansas 16-4 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Tie the Kansas-Purdue series at 3-3 … Make Bill Self 415-88 while at Kansas, 622-193 all-time and 42-18 in the NCAA Tournament (32-13 while at Kansas) … Make Kansas 2,216-841 all-time.

• The Jayhawks advance to the NCAA round of 16 for the 30th time in school history, including the ninth time under coach Bill Self.
• The win gave Kansas a sweep of Champions Classic participants Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State this season.
• The Big 12 Conference has three teams in the Sweet 16 (Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia) for the fourth-straight year.
• There were 11 lead changes and four ties in the first half before Kansas closed out the period making its last six shots to enjoy a 40-35 lead. It marked the fourth-straight game that Kansas scored 40 or more points in the first half and the 20th time this season. 
• Kansas improved its NCAA Tournament record to 102-44, including a 34-11 record as a No. 1 seed; a 22-10 record in the round of 32 and a 6-2 record against No. 9 seeds.
• Kansas shot 53.1 percent (34-of-64) from the field, marking the 17th time the Jayhawks have shot 50 percent or better in a game.
• Kansas outrebounded Michigan State, 36-28, improving to 18-1 when outrebounding its opponents.
Senior G Frank Mason III posted his 21st game with 20 or more points this season. It was the 10th time in 12 games he has scored at least 20 and he has led the team in scoring in 25 games this year.
• With 20 points Mason has scored 204 career points in 10 career NCAA Tournament games.
Senior C Landen Lucas recorded his 10th career double-double, including six this season, with 10 points and 11 rebounds.  Lucas led all players with nine rebounds in the first half.
Freshman G Josh Jackson posted his ninth game with 20 or more points this season, finishing with 23.
Junior G Devonte’ Graham had 18 points and four 3-pointers. He has made 16 three-pointers in his last five games and multiple treys in 15 of his last 16 contests. Graham has made 47 threes in KU’s last 16 outings and leads KU with 89 3-pointers on the year.

• Kansas leads the Big 12 in won-loss percentage at 88.2 percent, field goal percentage at 49.1 percent, 3-point field goal percentage at 40.6 percent and rebounding at 38.9 per game. Additionally, KU ranks in the upper half in the Big 12 in scoring (second at 83.4), scoring margin (second at +11.4), field goal percentage defense (second at 41.7), rebound margin (second at +4.6), assists (third at 16.2), assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth at 1.3) 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 six of its last seven opponents. Kansas is 18-1 when outboarding foes this season.
• Kansas is averaging 8.8 3-pointers made per game with a 40.6 3-point field goal percentage. KU’s 298 3-pointers are second all-time for a season behind last year’s record-breaking 304 treys.
• Kansas averages 83.4 points per game which is the highest scoring average in the Bill Self era (2003-04  to present) and the highest since the 2001-02 Jayhawks scored 90.9 points per contest.
• Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in each of its last two games and four of its last five with 17 times total this season. The Jayhawks are 16-1 when shooting 50 percent or better in 2016-17.
• The Jayhawks are 130-for-168 (77.4 percent) from the free throw line in their last eight 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 (47.2). He is fourth in assists (5.2), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.2), ninth in field goal percentage (48.6) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1).
• Mason is 96-for-111 (86.5 percent) from the free throw line in his last 13 games, making 7.4 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 24 of 34 games this season, including four of the last five and seven of the last nine contests. Mason has 21 games of 20 or more points, including the last five and eight of the last nine outings.
Freshman G Josh Jackson has seven double-doubles in his last 12 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 14 outings (dating back to Jan. 24 at West Virginia), Jackson has scored 260 points and grabbed 107 rebounds for an average of 18.5 ppg and 7.6 rpg in that span.
• Jackson is 21-for-40 (51.3 percent) from beyond the arc in his last 14 games. 
• Jackson is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.6 ppg, which leads the conference freshman class. His 7.1 rebounds per game are sixth in the league. He is seventh with 1.6 steals per game and tied for 12th in blocked shots (1.1).
• In the win against Michigan State, Jackson broke the Kansas freshman record for field goals made, currently at 211. He surpassed Danny Manning’s 209 set in 1985. Jackson also ranks on the freshman list in points (third at 547), scoring average (second at 16.6), rebounds (tied for third at 234), blocked shots (seventh at 36) and steals (tied for fifth at 54).
Senior C Landen Lucas finished second in the Big 12 in league games with a 10.0 rebound average. Overall, Lucas’ 8.6 rpg are third in the Big 12. He is 14th in blocked shots (1.0).
• Lucas leads KU with a 64.3 percent field goal percentage for all games. Over his last 14 games, Lucas is shooting 67.1 percent (53-of-79) from the field.
Junior G Devonte’ Graham has made four or more treys in 10 games this season, including his last two and four of his last five contests.
• Graham is 14th in the Big 12 in scoring (13.3), fifth in assists (4.3), ninth in steals (1.6), second in 3-point field goals made (2.6), ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (.392) and third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3).
• Against Oklahoma State (3/4), Graham became the 59th player in KU history to score 1,000 career points, currently ranking 51st at 1,046.
Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s 4-for-8 effort from 3-point range 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 11 of his last 16 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 39.5.

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 2017 NCAA Midwest Regional game against Purdue will mark KU’s 301st all-time game played in Kansas City, and its 42nd in Sprint Center. KU is 34-7 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 is 219-81 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 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 has faced nine NCAA Championship teams in 2016-17 with a 12-2 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), No. 4 seed West Virginia (1-1), No. 16 seed UC Davis (1-0) and No. 9 seed Michigan State (1-0).

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 34-11 as a No. 1 seed and has advanced to three Final Fours (1986, 2002 and 2008) as the No. 1 seed. KU’s 45 games played as a No. 1 seed are its most in the NCAA Championship. It’s No. 2 seed is next with 27 games.

• 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 32-12 (72.7 percent) in the NCAA Tournament with nine Sweet 16s, six Elite Eights, two Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship and one NCAA runner-up finish.
• In the last 16 NCAA Tournaments, including 2017, Kansas has a 41-14 (74.6 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 102-44. The Jayhawks’ 102 wins trail only Kentucky (123), North Carolina (119) and Duke (110).
• The Jayhawks will play their 148th NCAA Tournament game on Thursday. The Jayhawks’ 147 games in the event rank fourth all-time in NCAA history, behind Kentucky (172), North Carolina (164) and UCLA (149).
• Entering 2017, 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.

Kansas is 5-5 all-time on March 23; 1-1 under head coach Bill Self
March 23, 1986: Kansas defeated North Carolina State, 75-67, in the Midwest Regional final at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, to advance to the Final Four for the first time in the Larry Brown era. Sophomore forward Danny Manning led all scorers with 22 points on 11-for-17 shooting, while senior center Greg Dreiling grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. KU trailed, 57-52, with 8:53 remaining in the game, but Manning scored 12-straight points for the Jayhawks to put them in front for good. Manning earned the Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player award after leading Kansas to its first Final Four since 1974. The Jayhawks dropped the next game against Duke, 71-67, to end their season with a 35-4 record, including a 13-1 mark in Big Eight play to win the conference crown. KU finished the year ranked No. 2 in the nation by the Associated Press.

Should Kansas win, the Jayhawks will play the winner of the No. 7 seed Michigan and No. 3 seed Oregon game on Saturday, March 25, at Sprint Center. The contest will be televised on TBS, but the tipoff time is to be determined.

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