Kansas Short Prep Time for Niagara

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- None of the other No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament had to wait until Tuesday night to find out who they'd play in the first round.

Kansas coach Bill Self didn't sound too concerned.

"The quick turnaround is no different than a Wednesday-Saturday-Monday, and we've done four of those this year," said Self, whose second-ranked Jayhawks (30-4) are the top seed in the West Regional. "I don't think it's a negative. We would not have prepared for whoever we're playing -- the Celtics, the Lakers, anybody -- on Monday. We took the day off."

Kansas, which was 4-0 in those Monday games, will meet Niagara (23-11), which beat Florida A&M in Tuesday night's play-in game. That game will be Friday in Chicago.

But while the other top seeds -- No. 1 Ohio State, No. 3 Florida and No. 4 North Carolina -- could start focusing on the first round when the bids were announced Sunday, Self said he wasn't in favor of adding a play-in game to each bracket to even things out.

"I know that the two schools that are playing are disappointed to be playing in the play-in game, so why would you put eight in the same scenario?" he said. "If you did that, you'd be adding three more teams to the tournament. If you're going to expand it, then do it, but not at the expense of teams that have busted their tail getting there."

Kansas' situation actually benefits the Jayhawks, sophomore forward Brandon Rush said.

"We get to scout our opponents right away by watching the game tonight," he said. "I think it's an advantage to us."

If Self does have a concern, it's that the No. 1 seed brings more distractions for his players, especially those who want to move on to the NBA.

"Guys have to play for Kansas," he said. "There will be agents and runners that will tell them to do this or that and tell them this is their moment to shine. I don't buy in to any of that stuff, and our players don't either."

Players shouldn't even try to balance the two sides, Self said.

"I told our guys that they aren't so smart that they think they can handle what the coaches are saying because it is good for the team, but that they can also handle the other things because, 'They are good for me,"' he said. "We all have to buy into the fact that this is all good for everyone. If we do that, we'll be fine."

That shouldn't be a problem, Rush said.

"I'm focused on what I'm trying to do here," he said. "I'm trying to win a national championship. I'm keeping my mind focused on that, and the whole team's keeping focused on that."

Self said he expected both of his big men, freshman Darrell Arthur and junior Sasha Kaun, to be ready for Friday's game.

Arthur, who sustained a bone bruise when he was kneed in the groin in Sunday's Big 12 title game, said Tuesday that he was ready to practice.

"They told me it wasn't anything but a little bruise on the bone," he said. "I knew I'd be able to go."

Kaun hurt his back diving for a loose rebound in Sunday's game, an 88-84 overtime victory over Texas.

"Sasha will not do contact today and hopefully limited contact tomorrow," Self said. "Sasha is very sore and swollen. That was a lot harder fall than I thought it was."


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