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Archive for Sunday, March 17, 2013

KU earns No. 1 seed in South region

Kansas players make their way out of a NCAA selection show watch party at the fieldhouse on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. From left are Kevin Young, Perry Ellis, Niko Roberts, Evan Manning, Travis Releford and Christian Garrett. Kansas was selected as the number 1 seed in the South Regional and will play Western Kentucky in the field of 64 on Friday in Kansas City.

Kansas players make their way out of a NCAA selection show watch party at the fieldhouse on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. From left are Kevin Young, Perry Ellis, Niko Roberts, Evan Manning, Travis Releford and Christian Garrett. Kansas was selected as the number 1 seed in the South Regional and will play Western Kentucky in the field of 64 on Friday in Kansas City.

March 17, 2013, 5:14 p.m. Updated March 18, 2013, 12:18 a.m.

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Kansas University’s basketball team — the same team that lost three consecutive games in early February — on Sunday was awarded a No. 1 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

“We’re the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament — the No. 2 overall seed. Who would have ever thought that would be the case with this team?” KU coach Bill Self said enthusiastically after learning his Jayhawks (29-5) had been awarded the No. 1 seed in the South Regional and will meet Western Kentucky (20-15) in a first-round NCAA Tournament contest approximately 8:50 p.m. Friday in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“I never thought six weeks ago this team would be where it is,” added Self, whose team was awarded the second of the No. 1 seeds behind Louisville, with Indiana and Gonzaga trailing the Jayhawks. “We had nothing going on. We had no personality, no bounce. We were duds, maybe feeling a little sorry for ourselves, questioning ourselves, lost a little confidence. Fortunately when they got it back they got it back in a big way.”

KU not only won its ninth-straight Big 12 regular-season title, but took the conference tournament crown. The players, who watched the Selection Show in KU’s Naismith Room, were shown applauding when CBS revealed the Jayhawks had earned a No. 1 for the 11th time in school history and first time since 2011.

The winner of KU-WKU will meet North Carolina or Villanova on Sunday, with Michigan, Georgetown and Florida also in the region.

“They were happy,” Self said of his players. “I told them we were probably going to be 50/50 a 1 or 2. I don’t think the committee did us any favors. Obviously it’s a tough bracket. The so-called experts would probably say arguably this is the toughest bracket of the four. We’re excited about it. We’re certainly happy to be a 1 seed. Now the goal is not to be a 1 seed. The goal is to go play like a 1 seed.”

The Jayhawks were elated to be accorded a top seed in the South, which culminates with Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games to be played in Dallas.

“(We’re) definitely excited,” senior point guard Elijah Johnson said. “Just to hear someone call you as a No. 1 means you have been one of the best-performing teams around. It’s an honor to be a No. 1 seed regardless of how you use it. Most teams tend to use it as an advantage. That’s what we plan on doing instead of thinking we’ve got a title. We just want to show why we are a No. 1 seed.”

Noted senior center Jeff Withey: “We’re excited to be a No. 1 seed. It’s not going to be easy at all. We’ve got to look at everything as a two-day tournament almost. We don’t know too much about Western Kentucky right now. We’re excited to be playing against them. We know we are going to get everybody’s best shot. They are on a roll right now after winning their (Sun Belt) tournament. I’m sure they will come in feeling really confident. We have to take them serious and give everything we’ve got.”

Former KU coach Roy Williams’ North Carolina Tar Heels (24-10) loom as a possible second-round foe if the Heels can get past Villanova (20-13) at 6:20 p.m. Friday.

KU beat Williams’ Tar Heels in the 2008 Final Four and 2012 regional finals.

“Who knows if that will happen, if it’ll play out that way. I know we are focused on Western Kentucky,” Self said. “If it goes in that direction and we both win a game, I’m sure Kansas City will have a little interest in that one based on the past. We know if it does happen we’ll be playing a great team.”

Williams told his school’s official website that he was “disappointed” the ACC had just four teams reach the tournament: No. 2 seeds in Duke and Miami and No. 8s in Carolina and N.C. State.

“I was surprised, not just surprised but disappointed for our league,” Williams said. “You look around ... some other teams in our league I think deserve to be in. It shows almost no respect to have two 2s and the next two teams to be 8s. To me that’s disappointing. It really is. The bottom line is that’s what happened. Now you’ve got to go play.”

Big 12 represented: Self on the Big 12 getting five teams (KU, K-State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State) in the tourney: “I didn’t think we had a chance at six. I thought Baylor would have to make some hay in the tournament to get to six. I think our league did pretty well. Any time you get 50 percent of the teams in, you are probably having a pretty good year.”

A No. 16 seed has never beaten a 1: “It will happen eventually,” Self said. “Certainly we don’t want that to happen. I’ll pull for all the 1 seeds to make sure that doesn’t happen this year if I need to do that. ... There will be a lot of mild upsets in this tournament,” he added because of increased parity.

They know each other: Western Kentucky coach Ray Harper and KU coach Self are friends.

“He is one of the best coaches in America,” Harper told the Bowling Green Daily News. “When I was the coach at Oklahoma City (University), we dealt with each other a lot. Actually had one of his kids that worked out with us in the summer (OKC native Darnell Jackson). His grandmother had been sick. We let him stay in Oklahoma City for the summer, and we worked him out, and he was projected to be a backup, and he ended up as their starting center, and they won the national championship, and he ended up being a (second-round) draft pick.”

Tapes: Self said KU already had a batch of tape on Western Kentucky thanks to modern technology. KU has tape of all major-college teams available on its computer system.

More on game time: KU’s game on Friday will start approximately 8:50 p.m., or 30 minutes after a 6:20 p.m. contest between Villanova and North Carolina.

Perfection: KU is one of three teams with perfect APR scores and 100 percent graduation rates of the 68 teams in the tournament, NCAA Research tweeted on Sunday. Notre Dame and Belmont are the others. Six teams in the tourney have perfect APRs: KU, Notre Dame, Belmont, Butler, Memphis and Michigan. Eleven teams have 100 percent graduation rates: KU, Belmont, Bucknell, Duke, Davidson, Harvard, Illinois, Pacific, Notre Dame, Villanova and Western Kentucky.

Here are all the seeds in the South region:

  1. Kansas
  2. Georgetown
  3. Florida
  4. Michigan
  5. VCU
  6. UCLA
  7. San Diego State
  8. North Carolina
  9. Villanova
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Minnesota
  12. Akron
  13. South Dakota State
  14. Northwestern State
  15. Florida Gulf Coast
  16. Western Kentucky

Comments

Scott Kaiser 1 year ago

Alright, Folks. Time to hope, wish and reminisce of Championships past and possibly PRESENT! Who here among us remember the parade after the 1988 Championship with Lawrence High Schools's English Teacher, Art Sloan, performing the persona of "the Fat Lady Singing?" (The Hawks Spread Their Wings....still got a pristine T-shirt....)

My Best Wishes to KU and their Fans!

1

Armen Kurdian 1 year, 1 month ago

Seeds don't matter anymore. Seeding is done. Time to play baby!

Probably the best thing in that article was our APR & graduation rate...there's 4 number 1 seeds, but only 3 with perfect graduation rates...kudos to the coaching staff.

0

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 1 month ago

Hmmmmm...No teams that begin with the letter "B" in the breackt. But North Carolina, Georgetown, and, yup, Oklahoma. You recall that game in Norman, eh??

Don't get your hopes up, the best thing that happens tro "Number 1" is an early out.

0

jhawkinsf 1 year, 1 month ago

Book 'em Danno.

My Final Four: Kansas, Miami, Mich. St. and Ohio St., with Kansas beating Ohio St. in the final.

0

Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 1 month ago

There's about 8 teams with a legit chance but if KU's bench keeps playing like they did in the Big 12 tourney, they will be tough to beat. KU will crush NC. Michigan will be tough to beat. VCU is overrated and lives and dies by the 3.

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Robert Rauktis 1 year, 1 month ago

They're all tough at 32 in March. No gimmes. And even a 16 can be a hidden TCU with the wrong attitude. Coach K plays the tourney in two game spurts and he's done pretty good.

0

mae 1 year, 1 month ago

Doesn't really matter. Our guys are tough and they should be able to show that against anyone. Go into a game as a winner not one looking at "Oh, we have the easy way". With Perry manning up finally and Rio coming up I think we have some bench. It seems like the tourney depends on foul trouble and bench. Jamari can come in and bang, Withey doesn't usually have trouble, this should be another banner year.

0

Jerry Collins 1 year, 1 month ago

Almost would take the 2 seed over the 1. I think we have the toughest 1/2 bracket in the tournamet. But what an honor to be considered the no. 2 team in the whole country. Nobody outside of the Big 12 knows what tough kids we have in the 5-8 spots on our roster. Glad to see the nation get a chance to see them. Another great "rebuilding year" job done by HC Bill Self.

2

Steve Jacob 1 year, 1 month ago

I think KU got a good draw, except for the toughest 8-9 game winner. KSU got a tough 4 seed, getting a play in winner and then Wisconsin.

My team is Michigan, the get to play in Detroit before hopefully playing KU. After they lost to Ohio last year no guarantees of winning a game. Withey would rough up the their three power forwards that play center but Trey Burke would school Tharpe.

1

riverdrifter 1 year, 1 month ago

KU the overall no. 2 seed! The selection committee showed respect for HCBS and his staff, methinks.

0

colreader 1 year, 1 month ago

They mentioned we might end up in Dallas against VCU in Elite 8(?) game. Uh-oh!

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