Kansas forward Kevin Young (40) tries to steal the ball from Texas Tech forward Dejan Kravic (11) during the first half an NCAA college basketball game in the Big 12 men's tournament Thursday, March 14, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. (Charlie Riedel, AP)
NCAA TOURNAMENT THIRD ROUND
No. 1 seed Kansas (30-5, 14-4 Big 12) will take on No. 8 seed North Carolina (25-10, 12-6 ACC) in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, Sunday, March 24, at 4:15 p.m. on CBS. Kansas defeated No. 16 seed Western Kentucky 64-57 on Friday to advance to the third round, while North Carolina defeated Villanova 78-71 to advance. In defeating Western Kentucky, Kansas won the school's 2,100th game and became the first school in NCAA history to have won at least 30 game for the fourth straight season (note: Memphis won 30 for four straight seasons from 2006-09 but later vacated the 2008 season).
Two of the most historic college basketball programs, Kansas and North Carolina rank second and third, respectively, in NCAA Division I all-time victories. Kansas is second with 2,100 all-time wins, while North Carolina is next with 2,090. Kentucky is first at 2,111.
Finally, these schools also have a rich history in NCAA Tournament games played in Kansas City as North Carolina defeated Kansas 54-53 in triple overtime to win the 1957 NCAA title in historic Municipal Auditorium, which is a few blocks away from the Sprint Center.
Kansas is in its 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance, as well as its 24th-consecutive trip to the tournament, the longest active streak in the nation. KU is a number one seed for the 11th time since seeding began in 1979. The Jayhawks were a one seed in 1986-92-95-97-98-2002-07-08-10-11 and this season, with the last five under head coach Bill Self.
Including 2013, KU, which is ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches polls, has won nine-straight Big 12 regular-season championships dating back to 2005 and six conference postseason championships under head coach Bill Self.
Kansas has won 11 of its last 12 games entering the North Carolina contest. The Jayhawks are 17-1 at home, 7-3 in road games and 6-1 on neutral courts in 2012-13. In his 10th season at KU, Bill Self holds a 299-58 record for an 83.8 winning percentage. Overall, Self won his 500th career game with a 108-96 overtime win at Iowa State (2/25) and is 506-163 in his 20th season as a head coach. KU averages 75.1 points per game and leads the Big 12 with a +13.7 scoring margin. KU also leads the league in rebounding at 39.0, rebound margin at +6.3, field goal percentage at 48.0, field goal percentage defense at 36.3, which leads the nation, and blocked shots at 6.7.
Kansas starts four seniors, including three fifth-year seniors, and one freshman. An All-Big 12 First Team and USBWA Freshman All-America selection, redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore leads the team in scoring at 16.2 points per game. His scoring average leads all Big 12 freshmen and ranks second overall in the conference. The one time Big 12 Player of the Week and three-time conference Rookie of the Week, McLemore leads the league in free throw percentage (86.8). A USBWA All-America Second Team selection, McLemore has a team-high 69 three-pointers made and is third on the team with 37 steals. Joining McLemore on the USBWA All-America Second Team is two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year senior C Jeff Withey, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Big 12 Championship. Withey leads Kansas in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and has 12 double-doubles this season. An All-Big 12 First Team selection and three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Withey leads the league in blocked shots at 3.9 per game, which ranks third nationally. Withey is Kansas' and the Big 12's all-time blocked shots leader with 301. A USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year finalist, Wooden Award Final Ballot and Naismith Award Top-30 list honoree along with McLemore, Withey is scoring 13.7 points per outing and is second in the Big 12 with a 58.4 field goal percentage. Senior G Travis Releford is third in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 56.7 percent. An All-Big 12 Second Team selection, Releford is scoring 11.5 points per contest. All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and Big 12 Player of the Week (3/4) honoree senior G Elijah Johnson has a team-high 165 assists and is second on the team with 49 three-pointers made to complement his 9.9 scoring average. Senior F Kevin Young rounds out the KU starters; he is scoring 7.6 points per contest and is second on the team with 6.7 rebounds per outing. Other KU regulars include sophomore G Naadir Tharpe (5.4 ppg, 3.0 apg), freshman F Perry Ellis (5.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and redshirt freshman F Jamari Traylor (2.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg). Ellis joined Withey on the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team after he averaged a team-high 14.3 points and tied Withey with a team-best 6.3 rpg average in Kansas' title run.
THE KANSAS-NORTH CAROLINA SERIES & TIES
Kansas and North Carolina are meeting for the 11th time in men's basketball with UNC holding a 6-4 series edge. This will be the sixth time the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament. KU has won the last two meetings with both coming in the NCAA Tournament. In last year's NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional final in St. Louis, KU defeated UNC 80-67 to advance to its 14th Final Four. The previous meeting saw Kansas defeat North Carolina 84-66 in the 2008 NCAA semifinal in San Antonio. KU went on to win the national championship with a 75-68 ovetime victory over Memphis two days later. The first meeting between KU and UNC was the 54-53 triple overtime victory by North Carolina in the 1957 NCAA Championship game at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas advanced to the 1991 NCAA championship game with a 79-73 win versus North Carolina in Indianapolis and two seasons later, in 1993, UNC defeated KU 78-68 in the NCAA semifinals in New Orleans. Oddly enough, only one game in the series has been played on a home court and that was when North Carolina defeated Kansas 78-70 on Dec. 17, 1960, in Allen Fieldhouse.
Before becoming head coach at North Carolina, Roy Williams spent 15 seasons at Kansas where he built his Naismith Hall of Fame resume with a 418-101 (80.5 percent) record. He took the Jayhawks to four Final Fours, including two national title games, won nine conference regular-season titles and four conference postseason tournament titles. Under his watch, Kansas had 10 players selected in the NBA Draft. Also on UNC's staff is former KU assistant coaches Steve Robinson and Joe Holladay, former KU guard C.B. McGrath and previous KU strength and conditioning coach Jonas Sahratian.
KANSAS VS. THE NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
In 2012-13, Kansas played 17 games against 11 teams in this year's NCAA Tournament field: Belmont (1-0), Colorado (1-0), Iowa State (3-0), Kansas State (3-0), Michigan State (0-1), Ohio State (1-0), Oklahoma (1-1), Oklahoma State (1-1), St. Louis (1-0), Temple (1-0) and Western Kentucky (1-0). KU is a combined 14-3 against those squads.
Kansas is the No. 1 seed for the 11th time since the NCAA Tournament started seeding in 1979: 1986-92-95-97-98-2002-07-08-10-11-13. This is the fifth time KU has been a No. 1 seed under Bill Self. Kansas is 28-9 as a No. 1 seed and 5-1 against the No. 8 seed. Kansas' 37 games as the No. 1 seed are KU's most games played as any seed in the NCAA Tournament.
KANSAS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
--This year marks Kansas' 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance.
--Kansas' 24-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, from 1990-2013, is the nation's longest active streak and ranks second-best all time. North Carolina had 27 straight from 1975-2001.
--Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 24-8 (75.0 percent) in the NCAA Tournament with six Sweet 16s, five Elite Eights, two Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship and one NCAA runner-up finish.
--In the last 11 NCAA Tournaments, Kansas has a 33-10 (76.7 percent) record with one NCAA National Championship (2008), four Final Four (2002-03-08-12) and seven Elite Eight (2002-03-04-07-08-11-12) appearances.
--The Jayhawks' 42 NCAA Tournament appearances are fourth nationally behind only Kentucky (51), North Carolina (44) and UCLA (43).
--Kansas sports an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 94-40. The Jayhawks' 94 wins rank fifth behind Kentucky (111), North Carolina (109), Duke (97) and UCLA (95).
--The Jayhawks will play their 130th NCAA Tournament game on Sunday. The Jayhawks' 130 games in the event rank fourth all-time in NCAA history: Kentucky (157), North Carolina (150) and UCLA (141).
--KU's NCAA Tournament winning percentage of 70.1 percent ranks sixth all-time for a minimum of 20 games played.
--Kansas coach Bill Self is making his 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach.
--KU is one of six schools that has won at least three NCAA Championships. 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) and Connecticut (3).
--Kansas has appeared in the Final Four 14 times, making KU one of just six schools to reach the Final Four 10-plus times: North Carolina (18), UCLA (17), Duke (15), Kentucky (15) and Ohio State (11).
--Kansas has won 12 games in the Final Four, which is fifth-best all time: UCLA (25), Kentucky (19), Duke (16) and North Carolina (15).
--Five different Jayhawks have been named NCAA Tournament 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 finals. Clyde Lovellette (1952) and Danny Manning (1988) also won the honor. Mario Chalmers won the Most Outstanding Player Award for the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
--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.
NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTABLES
--In 2007-08, Kansas became only 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 two 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.
--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.
--Adonis Jordan's 5-of-7 three-point shooting performance in the 1993 national semifinal game against North Carolina is tied for the second-highest percentage ever in an NCAA Final Four game. Donald Williams of UNC accomplished the feat twice, both times in 1993. In 2011, Butler's Shelvin Mack went 5-for-6 (83.3 percent) to break the record.
--Kansas won the NCAA Tournament in 1988 as a No. 6 seed. Only one team has won the tournament with a lower seed - Villanova in 1985 as an eighth seed. Jim Valvano's 1983 N.C. State team also won the tournament as a No. 6 seed. 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.
KU IS THE CRADLE OF TOURNAMENT COACHING LEGENDS
Eight head coaches who have advanced to the NCAA Tournament have graduated from the University of Kansas. In fact, the 122 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, 1-2), Tim Carter (KU 1979, 0-2), Frosty Cox (KU 1930, 2-4), Dick Harp (KU 1940, 4-2), Ralph Miller (KU 1942, 5-11), Adolph Rupp (KU 1922, 30-18), Dean Smith (KU 1953, 65-27) and Mark Turgeon (KU 1987, 5-5).
KANSAS IN KANSAS CITY FOR THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The 2013 NCAA Tournament is the 12th time in Kansas men's basketball history the Jayhawks have played in the event in Kansas City, Mo. KU is 15-7 all-time in NCAA Tournament contests in Kansas City with its previous appearance before 2013 being in the first two rounds of the 2004 NCAA tourney at Kemper Arena. This season will be the first time KU has played an NCAA Tournament contest in the Sprint Center. Kansas went 6-1 in NCAA Tournament games in Kemper Arena with the most memorable being its 1988 Final Four title run. Kansas was 8-6 in NCAA tourney play in historic Municipal Auditorium, including a 2-0 record in its opening-round games en route to the 1952 NCAA title later won in Seattle. KU's 54-53 triple overtime loss to North Carolina in the 1957 NCAA title game was also in Municipal Auditorium.
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 2013 NCAA Tournament third-round game against North Carolina will mark KU's 285th game played all-time in Kansas City, and its 26th in Sprint Center. KU is 21-4 in Sprint Center including winning the 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Big 12 Championships in the venue. In 2009-10 and 2010-11, Kansas went 4-0 in Sprint Center. In 2008-09, KU went 1-2 in the venue. In 2007-08, Kansas went 4-0 in the venue, including winning the Big 12 Championship en route to its NCAA National Championship. Kansas is 7-0 in the Sprint Center this season having won the CBE Classic (78-41 vs. Washington State 11/19 and 73-59 vs. St. Louis 11/20), defeating Oregon State 84-78 in the BMO Harris Bank Kansas City Shootout (11/30) and winning the Big 12 Championships defeating Texas Tech 91-63, Iowa State 88-73 and Kansas State 70-54 and defeating Western Kentucky 64-57 Friday. KU played 106 games in Kemper Arena with an 81-25 record. KU is 206-78 in games played in Kansas City.
KANSAS-WESTERN KENTUCKY LEFTOVERS
--Kansas trailed 31-30 at the break, just the seventh time in 35 games that the Jayhawks entered halftime on the short end. With the win Kansas improved to 3-4 in games when trailing at the half.
--The Jayhawks went 0-for-6 from three-point range, snapping a streak of 200 consecutive games with a three-pointer. The last time the Jayhawks didn't make a basket from beyond the arc was in a 100-90 win over Baylor in Lawrence on Feb. 9, 2008. The last time the Jayhawks failed to hit a three-pointer in the NCAA Tournament was against Howard in 1992.
--Senior C Jeff Withey's jumper from the top of the key at the 12:55 mark of the second half to give KU 38 points was the Jayhawks' first field goal outside the paint in the game. Kansas scored 30 of its first 36 points inside the paint - with the other six points coming via free throws.
--Withey resumed his block party Friday night, swatting seven shots against the Hilltoppers. It was the most for Withey since blocking nine shots against West Virginia (3/2) and surpassed his entire block output (5) during the three Big 12 Tournament games in the Sprint Center last week. Withey has blocked five or more shots in 11 games this season. The total is second-most for Withey in an NCAA Tournament game, having swatted 10 against NC State last year and seven against Ohio State in the Final Four. Withey has 136 blocks on the season, leaving him four short of his own KU record (140) set last season. Withey moved past 300 blocks for his career and extended his KU and Big 12 career record to 301.
--Withey's 17 points marked the most ever for the KU big man in NCAA Tournament play, topping the 15 points he tallied against North Carolina last year in the Elite Eight. It was the 28th time he has reached double figures this season, including three straight contests, and marked the 10th time he led KU in scoring this season.
--Senior F Travis Releford chipped in 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The total ties for second-most points by Releford in an NCAA game and was the first double digit scoring effort for Releford since prior to the Big 12 Tournament.
--Redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore also tallied 11 points, his 30th double-digit effort of the season. His six rebounds pushed him past Paul Pierce (180) on the single season rebounds list for freshman into eighth with 185.
--Senior F Kevin Young snagged eight rebounds, including two on the offensive end, and his reverse slam off his own miss at 17:55 gave Kansas a 32-31 lead, one that the team would never surrender.
KANSAS TEAM NOTABLES
--Kansas leads the NCAA Division I in field goal percentage defense at 35.9 percent and is third nationally in blocked shots at 6.7 per game. Both stats lead the Big 12 and KU also leads the conference in scoring margin (+13.7), field goal percentage (48.0), rebounding (39.0) and rebound margin (+6.3). The Jayhawks also rank in the top four of the Big 12 in scoring (third, 75.1), free throw percentage (third, 73.5), rebound defense (second, 32.7), assists (fourth, 15.5), steals (fourth, 7.1), assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth, 1.1) and three-point field goals made (fourth, 5.9).
--Kansas has held a double-digit lead in all but seven contests this season. KU has held the lead in all but one game in 2012-13.
--Out of its 35 games, Kansas has held 20 of its opponents to 60 points or less, including 57 against Western Kentucky.
--KU has outrebounded 27 of 35 opponents this season. KU has had eight games with 10-plus rebounds over its opponent, including a 40-30 advantage against Iowa State (3/15). Kansas' 50 rebounds at Oklahoma State (2/20) were a season high and its +22 against Texas Tech (3/4) was its widest margin of 2012-13.
--KU has out shot all but five opponents in 2012-13. Additionally, KU has shot 50 percent or better in 13 games this season. Kansas has shot 53.2 percent or better in four of its last seven games, including a season-best 66.0 percent vs. Texas Tech (3/14) in the Big 12 Championship.
--Kansas has held a 40-plus point lead in four different games this season.
Kansas is shooting 51.8 percent from the field in its last eight games. The Jayhawks have out shot all but five opponents in 2012-13 and have shot 50 percent or better from the field in 14 games, including five of the last eight contests. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.0 percent. Individually, senior C Jeff Withey is second in the Big 12 and senior G Travis Releford third in field goal percentage at 58.4 and 56.7, respectively. Withey is 38-for-53 (71.7 percent) from the field in his last seven games, including a 7-for-9 effort against Western Kentucky (3/22). Withey has shot 50 percent or better in 28 of 35 games this season, including 17 games of 62.5 percent or better. Releford was 4-for-6 versus WKU marking the 16th time he has shot 66.7 percent or better this season. Redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore has nine games of 60 percent or better shooting this season. He shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in nine conference games. Senior F Kevin Young is 28-for-42 (66.7 percent) in his last nine games and has 15 games shooting 60.0 percent or better. Freshman F Perry Ellis is 33-for-53 (62.3 percent) from the field in his last nine games. He was 18-for-23 (78.3 percent) in KU's three Big 12 Championship victories, setting a KU record.
The legacy the four senior players will leave at Kansas is quite impressive. Entering the final games of their careers, fifth-year senior Travis Releford has a 157-26 record for an 85.8 winning percentage when wearing the Crimson and Blue. Fourth-year seniors Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey have a 130-18 (87.8 percent) record, while senior transfer Kevin Young is at 62-12 (83.8 percent).
Releford has been a part of five Big 12 Conference regular-season titles, while Johnson and Withey four and Young two. Additionally, in the last four seasons, Kansas has won three Big 12 postseason championships (2010, 2011, 2013), advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight twice and one Final Four, including last year's run to the NCAA championship game in New Orleans. Combined these seniors are 17-4 in postseason play.
MCLEMORE AND WITHEY NATIONAL ACCOLADES
On March 18, Kansas' Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore were named USBWA All-America Second Team while Kansas joined Indiana as the only schools with two representatives on the first and second teams. On March 9, McLemore and Withey were named to John R. Wooden Award final ballot. On Feb. 25, the duo was selected as Naismith Top 30 candidates. McLemore has also been named USBWA Freshman All-America and All-America Third Team by The Sporting News (TSN), while Withey was a TSN All-America Second Team honoree. The Naismith Award had three schools with two players listed (Kansas, Duke and Indiana) and the Wooden Award final ballot consisted of 15 players. The 2013 Wooden Award Gala will take place April 11-13, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Gala will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, All-Americans and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, Kansas head coach Bill Self.
Should Kansas defeat North Carolina, Kansas would advance to its 30th Sweet 16 and play either VCU or Michigan, Friday, March 29 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.