Jayhawks get shot at Jackets, St. Joe’s

Seven of Sweet 16 teams might be on schedule for 2004-05 season

Kansas University’s men’s basketball team will get a chance to avenge its Elite Eight loss to Georgia Tech next season.

The Yellow Jackets will be visiting Lawrence in the first game of a two-year home-and-home series, likely in late December.

It’s a game Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt knows will be a major challenge.

“Wayne Simien is what? A senior next year? And we’ve got to go there and play? I’m not looking forward to that,” Hewitt said.

KU coach Bill Self, who loves big-time nonconference matchups, realizes it will be an emotional game. Tech nudged KU, 79-71 in overtime, Sunday to win the St. Louis Regional championship.

“I guess if he had to pick one of the games to win, he’d probably pick the Elite Eight game,” Self said with a grin. “Certainly, if we didn’t win that one, we look forward to Georgia Tech coming here.”

Next year’s schedule is starting to shape up as a dandy.

The Jayhawks will play Saint Joseph’s, Georgia Tech, Nevada, TCU and Wyoming at home next year and travel to Villanova. Also, Kansas will play California in Kemper Arena.

KU is scheduled to play Chattanooga on the road, but the Jayhawks might try to buy out of that game. The Michigan State road game has been pushed back a year.

Also, Kansas is expected to play in the Coaches Vs. Cancer tournament, which will start with a home game against Vermont and, if KU wins, a second home game against a to-be-determined foe.

A trip to New York for the semifinals and finals could result in games against Duke and/or Syracuse.

“We will have a rematch of the regional final and could end up with seven out of the Sweet 16 on our schedule,” KU senior associate AD Larry Keating said of Duke, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Nevada, St. Joe’s, plus Big 12 Conference teams Oklahoma State and Texas.

In the exhibition season, KU will play two in-state Division II schools, with Emporia State and Washburn next up on the yearly rotation.

Keating said there were two to three more dates to fill on the home slate.