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March 15, 2011

KU ready for madness to begin

Kansas No. 1 Seed in Southwest Region of NCAA Championship:

Here are some No. 1 Kansas quick hits heading into its 40th NCAA Tournament:

--Kansas holds the longest active NCAA Tournament appearance streak at 22 years.

--Kansas is a No. 1 seed for the 10th time since the seedings started in 1979.

--Kansas posted its 30th victory of the season against Oklahoma State (March 10). Kansas has now won 30-plus games 10 times, including four of the last five seasons.

--Kansas won its school-record seventh-straight Big 12 regular-season title in 2010-11.

--KU won its eighth Big 12 and 12th all-time conference tournament title in 2011.

About Kansas:

No. 2/2 Kansas is 32-2 on the season and went 14-2 in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks have won 32 games three of the last four seasons. Kansas averages 82.4 points per game and gives up 65.2 for a +17.1 scoring margin. KU also leads the battle of the boards with a +7.8 rebound margin. Through March 12, Kansas leads the nation in win-loss percentage (94.1, tied with Ohio State and San Diego State) and field goal percentage (51.4). KU also leads the Big 12 in scoring (82.4), scoring margin (+17.1), three-point field goal percentage (38.7), rebound margin (+7.8), assists (17.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3). Junior forward Marcus Morris was named the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player for averaging 17.7 points and 10 rebounds in KU's three victories at the event.

He leads Kansas in all games with a 17.3 scoring average. Marcus' 7.2 rebounds per game are second-best on KU's team. The 2010-11 Big 12 Player of the Year, a three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, an Oscar Robertson Award finalist and a Wooden Award finalist and Naismith Trophy mid-season candidate, Marcus is second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 58.7 percent, just behind twin brother Markieff Morris, who is shooting 60.1 percent. Markieff, a junior forward, leads the Big 12 in rebounding with 8.2 boards per game and in double-doubles with 11. Markieff is averaging 13.6 points per game. He leads KU with 40 blocked shots. An Academic All-America First Team selection, senior guard Tyrel Reed averages 10.0 points for the season and leads KU with 66 three-point field goals made in 2010-11.

Senior guard Brady Morningstar leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 2.8 mark in all games, averaged 8.1 points in Big 12 play and scores 6.9 for the season. Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor scored a season-high 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting against No. 10 Texas in the Big 12 title game. He averages 9.1 points per game and ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 4.5 assists per contest. A Bob Cousy Award finalist, Taylor has 35 steals this season. Freshman guard Josh Selby averages 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 three-pointers per game.

Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson is third on the team with a 6.5 rebound average to complement his 8.0 scoring average. Sophomore guard Elijah Johnson has started five of the last seven games at the point. He is scoring 3.7 points and has a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Other KU contributors include senior guard Mario Little (5.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg), sophomore guard Travis Releford (4.2 ppg) and sophomore center Jeff Withey (2.5 ppg, 19 blocked shots).

About Boston

Located in Boston, Mass., with an enrollment of 16,672, Boston University is 21-13 on the season and brings an 11-game winning streak to Tulsa. BU is making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2002. The Terriers advanced to the NCAA field by overcoming a 15-point deficit en route to a 56-54 win against Stony Brook in the America East Conference Tournament title game March 12.

The game was played on BU's home court of Agganis Arena and it was the school's sixth America East title. Boston finished second in the America East Conference with a 12-4 record, one game behind regular-season champ Vermont. BU averages 65.2 points and has a +2.0 scoring margin. The Terriers rank 18th nationally in field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 39.6 percent shooting. BU also has a +0.8 rebound advantage and ranks 55th nationally with a 73.1 free throw percentage.

Boston University averages 7.5 three-pointers per game and 21.2 threes attempted per contest. America East Conference Player of the Year John Holland leads BU in scoring with 19.2 points per game, which ranks 35th nationally. The senior forward leads BU with 47 steals and 2.2 three-pointers made per game. His 5.9 rebounds are tied for a team high with junior forward Patrick Hazel. Hazel averages 4.6 points per game and leads the team with 63 blocked shots. Junior guard Darryl Partin is second in scoring at 14.5 points per game. He is second on the team with 63 three-pointers made and second in steals with 34.

Freshman guard D.J. Irving leads BU in assists with 3.6 per contest to complement his 7.9 scoring average. Freshman forward Dorn Morris rounds out the BU starters. He averages 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest.

Other key BU contributors include junior guard Matt Griffin (6.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg), junior center Jeff Pelage (2.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and freshman guard Mike Terry, Jr. (1.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg). Junior forward Jake O'Brien was an all-conference performer who had season-ending foot surgery in early February. O'Brien averaged 11.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in 14 games for the Terriers this season.

The Kansas-Boston University Series:

Kansas and Boston University are meeting for the first time in men's basketball. The Jayhawks are 7-0 all-time against the American East Conference - 1-0 vs. Vermont, 1-0 vs. Albany, 1-0 vs. Maine, 1-0 vs. Binghamton and 3-0 vs. Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). Kansas has faced two America East Conference teams in the Bill Self era - Vermont during the 2005-06 season (a KU 68-61 win on Nov. 19, 2005) and Albany during the 2008-09 season (a KU 79-43 win on Dec. 30, 2008).

Team Notables:

--Through March 13, Kansas leads the nation in win-loss percentage (94.1, tied with Ohio State and San Diego State) and field goal percentage (51.4). KU also leads the Big 12 in scoring (82.4), scoring margin (+17.1), three-point field goal percentage (38.7), rebound margin (+7.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3).

--Kansas has held 11 opponents to 60 points or less this season.

--Kansas has out-rebounded 27 of 34 opponents this season, including its last four, seven of the last eight and 13 of the last 15.

--KU has outshot all but five teams this season.

--The Jayhawks have shot 50 percent or better in 22 games this season, including 10 of the last 15 games.

--Kansas' bench averages 25.7 points compared to its opponents' 18.0 ppg. KU's bench has outscored its opponents' bench in 24 of 34 games this season.

--Kansas is 30-1 when leading at the half (2-1 when trailing) this season and 32-0 when leading with five minutes remaining (0-2 when trailing).

--KU has used eight different starting lineups this season.

--Kansas has scored 50 or more points in the first half five times this season.
--Under Bill Self, Kansas has nine streaks of 10 or more victories, including the 18-0 start of 2010-11.

--KU is 5-1 against ranked foes this season with a win against No. 13/14 Memphis (Dec. 7) in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, a loss against No. 10/11 Texas (Jan. 22), a win against No. 19/20 Missouri (Feb. 7), a win against No. 24/22 Texas A&M (March 2), a win at No. 22/24 Missouri (March 5) and a win against No. 10/10 Texas (March 12).

--Kansas ended three home-court winning streaks of 10 or more this season with victories at Baylor (10-0) Jan. 17, at Nebraska (14-0) Feb. 5 and at Missouri (17-0) March 5.

--Kansas' 57-point win against Ohio (98-41) in the Las Vegas Invitational (Nov. 26) was the third-largest margin of victory in the Bill Self era and the largest in a game away from Allen Fieldhouse under Self.

Individual Notables:

--Junior MARCUS MORRIS was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big 12 Championship after averaging 17.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in KU's title run and USBWA All-America Second Team March 14. Marcus was named the 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team by the league coaches March 6. He is averaging 19.6 points in his last seven games, including his three double-doubles. Marcus leads KU in scoring at 17.3 points, which ranks fifth in the Big 12, while his 18.8 points per game in Big 12 play ended up third in the league. Marcus is second in the conference in shooting percentage at 59.7 percent, which is 15th nationally. Marcus has 11 games with 20-plus points this season and has led Kansas in scoring 18 times in 2010-11. His 7.2 rebounds per game are seventh in the Big 12. He has led KU in every statistical category at least once this season. Marcus was named Big 12 Player of the Week three times (Nov. 29, Jan. 17 and Feb. 14), was named a Wooden Award Finalist March 13, a Naismith Mid-Season candidate Feb. 11 and an Oscar Robertson Award finalist Feb. 28.

--Junior MARKIEFF MORRIS leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 60.1 percent, which is eighth nationally. He joined his twin brother Marcus on the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team where he averaged 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in the three KU victories. He also shot 62.5 percent from the floor and had four blocked shots at the conference championship. An All-Big 12 Second Team selection, Markieff also leads the conference in rebound average at 8.2 rpg and double-doubles with 11. He has 13 games with double-figure rebounds. Named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 27, in his last eight games, Markieff has shot 60 percent or better seven times. Markieff is 15th in the Big 12 in scoring at 13.6 ppg. He has been the leading rebounder for KU in 17 of 34 games this season.

--Senior TYREL REED was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and has scored in double figures in five of his last six games and seven of his last nine. He averaged 10.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in the Big 12 Championship. He was named Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team on Feb. 22. He is also a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection. Reed leads Kansas with 66 threes made this season and has made multiple threes in 21 games. He also leads KU with 52 steals and ranks eighth in the Big 12 with 1.5 steals per game. In conference play, Reed was KU's third-leading scorer with 10.6 points per game. He is scoring 10.0 points for the season and is the only Jayhawk to have started every game this season. Reed has an 80.5 free throw percentage on the season. Ranked ninth in the Big 12 in three-point percentage (38.6) and 11th in three-pointers made per game (1.9), Reed is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. He graduated from KU in December and has been accepted into KU Medicine's physical therapy school.

--Senior BRADY MORNINGSTAR was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team March 6. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.7 rebounds at the Big 12 Championship with 15 assists and four turnovers. Morningstar leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.8 for all games and was tops in the same stat in conference games at 4.4. Morningstar averages 3.3 assists per game, which has him 10th in the Big 12. Morningstar, who graduated in May 2010, is scoring 6.9 points per game for the season and is second on the team with 48 steals, four behind Tyrel Reed. A 2011 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team selection, Morningstar is tied for 10th in the Big 12 in steals per game at 1.4.

--Sophomore THOMAS ROBINSON scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting with nine rebounds in the Big 12 Championship title win against No. 10 Texas. At Missouri March 5, he recorded his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds in only 17 minutes on the floor. Robinson averages 8.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and is shooting 60.4 percent from the field overall in 2010-11. His 6.5 rebounds rank 12th in the Big 12. A V Foundation Comeback Award finalist, Robinson missed the Colorado contest on Jan. 25 tending to the funeral of his mother, Lisa, in Washington, D.C.

--Junior TYSHAWN TAYLOR scored a season-high 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting with five assists and four rebounds in the Big 12 Championship title win against No. 10 Texas. For the event he averaged 13.7 points and shot 63.6 percent. He has 13 games in double-figure scoring this season and averages 9.1 points overall per game. Named a Bob Cousy Award finalist (one of 20) on Jan. 12, Taylor is fifth in the Big 12 in assists per game at 4.5. He has led KU in assists in 17 of 32 games played this season. Taylor is eighth in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.7.

--Sophomore ELIJAH JOHNSON has started five of the last seven games and has shot 50 percent or better in six time during that span. He averages 14.0 minutes per game with a 3.7 scoring average. He has scored in double figures four times this season. Johnson has a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season.

--Senior MARIO LITTLE scored eight points with four rebounds in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinal against Oklahoma State (March 10). Little averages 14.7 minutes, 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game and is shooting 47.2 percent from the field on the season.

--Freshman JOSH SELBY has played each of the last seven games after missing the previous three games due to a stress reaction in his right ankle. Selby has scored in double figures in nine of 22 games played in 2010-11. Selby averages 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steals per contest. He is a two-time Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Jan. 31 and Dec. 20).

--Sophomore TRAVIS RELEFORD has played in 26 games this season with a 4.2 scoring average. He missed five contests due to an ankle sprain on his right foot suffered at Michigan (Jan. 9). Releford is shooting 52.0 percent from the field and has scored in double figures five times. A Las Vegas Invitational all-tournament selection, Releford's windmill dunk against UMKC (Jan. 5) was No. 1 on ESPN's Top 10 List on Jan. 6 and is a national dunk of the year entrant by Intersport to be voted on in March.

--Sophomore JEFF WITHEY is a combined 7-for-8 from the field in his last five games played. Withey tied his season high with eight points against Iowa State Feb. 12. Withey averages 6.6 minutes, 2.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocked shots per game in 2010-11.

Kansas vs. the Field:

In 2010-11, Kansas played 12 games against nine teams in this year's NCAA Tournament field: Arizona, Kansas State, Memphis, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC. KU went a combined 10-2 against those nine squads.

Seed Notes:

Kansas is the No. 1 seed for the 10th time since the NCAA Tournament started seeding in 1979 - 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2002, 1998, 1997, 1995, 1992 and 1986. This is the fourth time KU has been a No. 1 seed under Bill Self (2007-08-10-11). Kansas is 24-8 as a No. 1 seed and 9-0 against the No. 16 seed.

Kansas in the NCAA Tournament:

--Kansas' 40th NCAA Tournament appearance.

--Kansas' 22-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, from 1990-2010, is the nation's longest active streak and ranks second-best all time. North Carolina had 27 straight from 1975-2001.

--Kansas is making its third NCAA Tournament trip to Tulsa. In 1974, Kansas advanced to the Final Four in Greensboro, N.C. KU's journey started in Tulsa with victories against Creighton (55-54) and Oral Roberts (93-90). The following year, KU lost to Notre Dame 77-71 in Tulsa. All three games were played at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts.

--Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 15-6 (71.4 percent) in the NCAA Tournament, with four Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights, one Final Four and one NCAA National Championship.

--In the last nine NCAA Tournaments, Kansas has a 24-8 (75.0 percent) record with one NCAA National Championship (2008), three Final Four (2002-03-08) and five Elite Eight (2002-03-04-07-08) appearances.

--The Jayhawks' 40 NCAA Tournament appearances are fourth nationally behind only Kentucky (51), UCLA (42) and North Carolina (42).

--Kansas sports an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 85-38 and the Jayhawks' 85 wins rank fifth behind North Carolina (102), Kentucky (100), Duke (94) and UCLA (94).

--The Jayhawks will play their 124th NCAA Tournament game on Friday, which ranks fifth all-time in NCAA history - Kentucky (146), North Carolina (141), UCLA (128) and Duke (124).

--KU's NCAA Tournament winning percentage of 69.1 percent ranks seventh all-time for a minimum of 20 games played.

--Kansas coach Bill Self is making his 13th 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 Jayhawks have appeared in the Final Four 13 times, making KU one of just six schools to reach the Final Four 10-plus times.

--Kansas has won 11 games in the Final Four, which is sixth-best all time.

--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, 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. Brown attended North Carolina. McGuire's 1957 North Carolina team defeated Kansas for the championship in triple overtimes.

--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, four months and eight days old. That is still the oldest age for the head coach of a championship team.

--Adonis Jordan's 5-of-7 three-point shooting performance in the 1993 national semifinal game against North Carolina is tied for the highest percentage ever in an NCAA Final Four game. Donald Williams of UNC accomplished the feat twice, both times in 1993.

--In the 1988 championship game versus Oklahoma, the Jayhawks and Sooners set an NCAA record for most combined points in a first half of a championship game, with a 50-50 halftime score.

--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.

30-Win Seasons:

Kansas has posted 10 seasons with 30 or more victories and has accomplished the feat four of the last five years under head coach Bill Self. KU's 30-win seasons include - 37-3 in 2008, 35-4 in 1998, 35-4 in 1986, 34-2 in 1997, 33-3 in 2010, 33-5 in 2006, 33-4 in 2002, 32-2 in 2011, 30-8 in 2003 and 30-5 in 1990.

Tyrel Reed on Cusp of Best Four-Year Record at Kansas:

Kansas has won 129 games over the past four seasons, which is the second-most victories in a four-year span at KU. Senior Tyrel Reed has dressed all four of those years, while current redshirt senior Conner Teahan and fifth-year redshirt senior Brady Morningstar were also part of the team. Kansas has a combined 129-16 record for 89 percent (37-3, 27-8, 33-3 and 32-2) in the last four seasons (2008-09-10-11). Included in that span is an 18-3 (85.7 percent) postseason record, four Big 12 regular-season titles, three Big 12 postseason championship titles, one Elite Eight, one Final Four and one NCAA National Championship while at KU. NCAA-wise, the list goes - Duke (133-15, 1998-2001), Duke (132-15, 1999-2002), Kentucky (132-16, 1995-98), Kentucky (132-20, 1996-99), KANSAS (130-19, 2007-10), Kentucky (130-10, 1946-49), KANSAS (129-16, 2008-11), UNLV (129-21, 1987-90).

Kansas Best Four-Year Records:

Years Record Pct.
2007-08-09-10 130-19 87.2
2008-09-10-11 129-16 89.0
1995-96-97-98 123-17 87.9
2006-07-08-09 122-24 83.6

Kansas is Tops for the Last Two, Three, Four and Five Seasons:

Heading into the postseason (as of March 13, 2011), Kansas is the winningest team in the country for the last two, three, four and five seasons. Here is a breakdown:

Most Wins in Past Two Years (2010-11) - 1. KANSAS (65-5, .929); 1. Duke (65-9, .878); 3. Ohio State (61-10, .859); 4. BYU (60-10, .857); 4. Kentucky (60-11, .845)

Best Winning Percentage in Past Three Years (2009-10-11) - 1. KANSAS (92-13, .876); 2. Duke (95-16, .856); 3. Utah State (87-16, .845); 4. BYU (85-18, .825)

Most Wins in Past Four Years (2008-09-10-11) - 1. KANSAS (129-16, .890); 2. Duke (123-22, .848); 3. North Carolina (116-31, .789); 3. Butler (112-24, .824); 4. BYU (112-26, .812)

Most Wins in Past Five Years (2007-08-09-10-11) - 1. KANSAS (162-21, .885); 2. North Carolina (147-38, .795); 3. Duke (145-33, .815); 4. Ohio State (142-38, .789); 5. Butler (141-31, .820)

Kansas in the Polls:

Kansas is ranked No. 2 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls released March 14. This marks the 38th-straight week Kansas has been ranked No. 7 or higher in both polls. In that span, KU has been ranked in the top five 34 times. In the Bill Self era, Kansas has been ranked in the top 10 in 99 AP polls and 102 ESPN/USA Today polls. On Feb. 14, Kansas was ranked No. 1 nationally to mark the fifth season during Bill Self's eight years that Kansas has reached the No. 1 ranking. KU also was No. 1 during 2003-04, 2004-05, 2007-08 (only in the coaches' final poll) and 15 weeks last season in 2009-10. Feb. 14 marked the 19th week in the Bill Self era that Kansas has been ranked No. 1 in both polls.

Up Next:

Should Kansas defeat Boston University on March 18 it would play the winner of the UNLV-Illinois game on Sunday at the BOK Center in Tulsa. Time and television will be decided following the Friday evening session. The Southwest Regional championship will be at the Alamodome in San Antonio, March 25 and 27.


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