Posts tagged with Kansas Basketball

College basketball world reacts to KU’s record-breaking 14th consecutive league title

Kansas guard Clay Young hugs teammates Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) following the Jayhawks' 74-72 win over Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas guard Clay Young hugs teammates Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) following the Jayhawks' 74-72 win over Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena. by Nick Krug

The college basketball world already had reason enough to tune in Saturday and watch the Big 12’s marquee game of the year: No. 8 Kansas at No. 6 Texas Tech.

Throw in what was on the line for the Jayhawks — a share of the Big 12 title, and with it a historic 14th consecutive conference championship — and the result meant much more than another instance of a Bill Self-coached team earning payback for a loss earlier in the season.

KU survived in Lubbock, Texas, 74-72, against a hobbled Keenan Evans and the Red Raiders, inspiring many who follow the team to congratulate and/or celebrate Self and his Jayhawks on eclipsing UCLA’s longstanding record of 13 straight league titles.

The social media responses to the historic moment for Kansas came in from journalists, analysts, current and former KU standouts, and even some players who have yet to — or never will — suit up for the Jayhawks.

Here are some of the highlights from the aftermath of yet another Big 12 championship for Self and Kansas.

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By the Numbers: Kansas 74, Texas Tech 72.

By the Numbers: Kansas 74, Texas Tech 72.

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Frank Mason, former Jayhawks, college basketball observers react to KU’s win at WVU

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) grabs Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) as the Jayhawks celebrate their 71-66 win over West Virginia, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) grabs Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) as the Jayhawks celebrate their 71-66 win over West Virginia, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia. by Nick Krug

When two top-10 teams square off in prime time, the rest of the college basketball universe makes a point to tune in and watch the show.

ESPN’s Big Monday matchup between No. 10 Kansas and No. 6 West Virginia wasn’t always the most visually appealing display, but the Jayhawks’ unlikely rally for a rare “Country Road” win made it a captivating finish.

For the more prominent viewers — some former KU players, others national college basketball writers and analysts — the battle between two of the Big 12’s top teams and the Jayhawks’ first win at WVU Coliseum in five years not only proved entertaining but also telling.

Here are some of the social media reactions to KU’s 71-66 win, from around college basketball, including a couple from Jayhawks who made it possible.

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M O O D :

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More news and notes from Kansas vs. West Virginia


By the Numbers: Kansas 71, West Virginia 66

By the Numbers: Kansas 71, West Virginia 66

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Jayhawks old and new react to KU’s 13th consecutive Big 12 title

The Jayhawks' 13-straight Big 12 conference trophies are lined up along the court, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks' 13-straight Big 12 conference trophies are lined up along the court, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Kansas versus TCU didn’t exactly stand out on the college basketball schedule Wednesday night in terms of mass appeal, what with Duke facing Syracuse and North Carolina tangling with Louisville. But there’s something about a team winning its league 13 seasons in a row that will capture any college basketball observer’s attention.

Though some might have considered it a foregone conclusion, the Jayhawks officially became Big 12 champions yet again, sealing at least a share of the title with an 87-68 win over the Horned Frogs, allowing them to hoist a league championship trophy at Allen Fieldhouse afterward.

KU’s latest hardware put the program in a tie with the UCLA teams of the 1960s and ’70s for most consecutive conference championships in a row and set off reactions from current and former KU players on social media platforms.

National analysts, too, weighed in on the Jayhawks’ long run of dominance. Below are some of the highlights from the aftermath.

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By the Numbers: Kansas 87, TCU 68.

By the Numbers: Kansas 87, TCU 68.

— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com's live coverage.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. TCU


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Norman prep PG Trae Young announces he’ll play for Oklahoma

Kansas recruit Trae Young (11) pushes the ball up the court during the KC Hardwood Classic Friday at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park.

Kansas recruit Trae Young (11) pushes the ball up the court during the KC Hardwood Classic Friday at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park. by John Young

A five-star point guard from the heart of Big 12 country, Norman North High (Okla.) senior Trae Young made his college basketball destination official Thursday just after noon.

A dynamic 6-foot-2, 170-pound play-maker who is ranked the 14th-best prospect nationally in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com, Young’s options came down to choosing between the University of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Play for Bill Self at Allen Fieldhouse? Or stay at home and star in your own backyard for Lon Kruger at OU?

Ultimately, Young went with the Sooners.

It had to be a difficult, yet exciting, decision for Young, as he weighed the pros and cons of his options.

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Young’s choice was big news not just in Lawrence, but also in his home state, where The Oklahoman covered his announcement live.

Watch Young's press conference from the NewsOK.com live feed below.

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‘Anything is possible!’: Jayhawks, college basketball world react to KU’s wild rally and OT win

Kansas head coach Bill Self celebrates with Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) following the Jayhawks' 84-80 overtime win against West Virginia, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self celebrates with Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) following the Jayhawks' 84-80 overtime win against West Virginia, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

No one who stuck around for the entirety of the Kansas Jayhawks’ Big Monday showdown versus West Virginia could quite believe what they witnessed.

The No. 9-ranked Mountaineers let a 14-point lead with less than three minutes remaining in the second half slip from their grasps and the No. 3 Jayhawks happily took advantage, setting up an epic rally and 84-80 overtime victory that seemed just about impossible minutes earlier.

From Super Bowl comparisons, to bewilderment regarding the Mountaineers’ collapse, to giving KU credit for pulling it off, the college basketball world had plenty to say about the Kansas comeback.

Some famous Jayhawks who used to call Lawrence home had to hop on Twitter to let their followers and fans know about the victory, while a number of college basketball media members chimed in, as well.

Even a few of the players who helped pull off the unlikely victory shared some of their thoughts.

Below are the social media highlights from the aftermath of an absurd night at Allen Fieldhouse.

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PULL UP ON HIS BLOCK 🤷🏾‍♂️

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PULL UP ON HIS BLOCK 🤷🏾‍♂️ by dtaegraham

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Current, former and future players react to KU’s win at Kentucky

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gives some of his family members a hug following the Jayhawks' 79-73 win over Kentucky, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gives some of his family members a hug following the Jayhawks' 79-73 win over Kentucky, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. by Nick Krug

Bill Self will tell you his Kansas basketball team’s game at Kentucky Saturday night doesn’t mean as much as the Big 12 games against West Virginia and Baylor that bookend it. But the KU coach also realizes how important a showcase matchup such as KU versus UK is to fans and the people who follow college basketball closely.

As you might have guessed, when the Jayhawks toppled Kentucky Saturday night at Rupp Arena, it sent KU fans, and even some former and future players, into a frenzy on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Analysts and national journalists, too, had plenty of praise to send KU’s was following an impressive road victory.

Below are some of the highlight reactions to the Jayhawks’ win in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, including some from the men who made it happen.

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Frank Mason’s case for national player of year gaining momentum

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) looks back to the cameras after hitting a three over UMKC guard Dashawn King (1) during the first half, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) looks back to the cameras after hitting a three over UMKC guard Dashawn King (1) during the first half, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Nearly every time Kansas basketball coach Bill Self fields questions from the media, someone will bring up Jayhawks senior point guard Frank Mason III and the impact he has made this season.

“How good has Frank been?”

“What has Mason meant to your team?”

“Did you think when you were recruiting him Frank would turn out this good?”

Without hesitation, Self will highlight Mason’s toughness, driving, shooting, passing, rebounding, etc., and share his opinion that his senior point guard has been as good as any player in the country at this juncture.

Self isn’t the type to campaign for his players to win national awards, but such statements are his way of doing so in a low-key fashion. When Self talks, people around the college basketball world listen.

Anyone who has watched No. 2 Kansas (17-1 overall, 6-0 Big 12) play this year knows where the team would be without Mason, who is averaging a team-best 20.3 points per game, while also contributing 5.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds. The 5-foot-11 senior from Petersburg, Virginia, is even shooting 52.4% from the field and connecting more often from 3-point range, where he is 42-for-78 (53.8%).

As KU keeps on winning and Mason continues to carry the team, it boosts his case for national player of the year honors. At CBSSports.com, Gary Parrish ranked the top 25 candidates for the ultimate individual award gave Mason No. 1 billing, edging out the heart and soul of defending national champion Villanova, senior guard Josh Hart.

Neither Mason nor Hart are going to be NBA lottery picks the way past Wooden Award winners such as Buddy Hield, Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin were, but both are integral parts of two of the nation’s best teams, so Parrish ranks them ahead of UCLA freshman point guard Lonzo Ball, who many expect to have a long, successful NBA career.

As can be found on sports-reference.com, Hart’s player efficiency rating of 29.5 is one of the best in the country, ranking sixth overall. But Mason isn’t too far behind, with a PER of 26.1 (27th nationally).

Villanova guard Josh Hart (3) hangs on the rim before Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) and guard Frank Mason III (0) after a dunk during the first half, Saturday, March 26, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Villanova guard Josh Hart (3) hangs on the rim before Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) and guard Frank Mason III (0) after a dunk during the first half, Saturday, March 26, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. by Nick Krug

Likewise, the debate between Hart and Mason, Parrish wrote, is close:

“I’ve had Josh Hart atop these Player of the Year rankings, and it's reasonable to keep the Villanova senior there. He's still fabulous and leading a team ranked No. 1 in the Top 25 (and one). But Frank Mason has never been far behind. And he's playing better than Hart lately. So now the Kansas senior is the headliner.”

The top 10 players in the running, according to Parrish, also includes one of Mason’s teammates, freshman Josh Jackson.

No. 1: Frank Mason III, Kansas

No. 2: Josh Hart, Villanova

No. 3: Lonzo Ball, UCLA

No. 4: Caleb Swanigan, Purdue

No. 5: De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky

No. 6: Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga

No. 7: Johnathan Motley, Baylor

No. 8: TJ Leaf, UCLA

No. 9: Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame

No. 10: Josh Jackson, Kansas

— See the complete list: KU’s Frank Mason moves to No. 1

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College basketball Twitterverse reacts to KU win — and a Blue Devil loses a bet

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) is hoisted up by teammate Josh Jackson as he is congratulated by center Udoka Azubuike and forward Dwight Coleby after Mason hit the game-winning shot to beat Duke 77-75 during the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) is hoisted up by teammate Josh Jackson as he is congratulated by center Udoka Azubuike and forward Dwight Coleby after Mason hit the game-winning shot to beat Duke 77-75 during the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York. by Nick Krug

When a team such as Duke squares off with a team the likes of Kansas, the entire college basketball universe tunes in to see what happens.

Such was the case Tuesday night, when Bill Self’s No. 7-ranked Jayhawks battled Mike Krzyzewski’s No. 1 Blue Devils at the Champions Classic, inside Madison Square Garden.

KU’s victory over Duke, as you’d expect, set off a flurry of reaction all over social media — particularly from those with Kansas ties, after they watched Frank Mason hit a clutch, game-winning jumper.

From former Mason teammates singing his praises, to a former Duke star losing a bet, to media and analysts weighing in on the significance of the Kansas win, there was plenty to digest on Twitter.

Below are some of the many social media highlights that accompanied the memorable regular-season classic.

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By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Duke 75

By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Duke 75

— See what people were saying about KU's matchup against Duke during KUsports.com’s live coverage.


More news and notes from the win against Duke


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Joel Embiid subject of mockumentary

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, right, of Cameroon plays around with Jahlil Okafor, left,prior to the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Bulls won 115-111 in overtime. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, right, of Cameroon plays around with Jahlil Okafor, left,prior to the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Bulls won 115-111 in overtime. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

In the two-plus years since Joel Embiid left Kansas for the NBA, his injury-plagued career has kept him from playing any games for the Philadelphia 76ers. But the 7-foot-2 center from Cameroon somehow found a way to stay relevant in the league’s zeitgeist by becoming an internet/Twitter/Instagram star.

In particular, videos of Embiid going through basketball workouts during his rehab process became both wildly popular for fans of the Sixers and the young big man, while simultaneously serving as fodder for jokes about him never appearing in an actual professional game.

Well, The Ringer took the Embiid mythology to another level Wednesday, when Kevin O’Connor’s story on the 22-year-old prospect included a mockumentary on the former KU star.

Titled, “Joel Embiid: Legacy of a Legend,” the video includes such one-liners as:

“This is what watching Wilt Chamberlain in person must’ve felt like.”

“And there’s a revelation: Oh my God. LeBron James is trash.”

“Joel Embiid is one of the bravest men, probably on the face of the planet.”

Perhaps the jokes will stop this coming season, when Embiid is on schedule to make his NBA debut. Or perhaps more injury setbacks will continue to group the promising center with the likes of Greg Oden.

Some people think Embiid could win Rookie of the Year, and others will remain skeptical until he proves them wrong.

No matter where you stand on the Embiid debate, The Ringer’s video tribute is worth checking out.

— Watch the mockumentary below:

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Ben McLemore dons Chewbacca mask in video parody

Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore (23) drives past Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, April 11, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore (23) drives past Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, April 11, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

As sweet a life as the NBA provides its players, it honestly can’t be all that much fun to play for one of the league’s struggling franchises.

Still, former one-year Kansas standout Ben McLemore proved to be a good sport when someone with Sacramento pitched him the idea of paying tribute to a viral video that exploded across social media a few days ago.

If you’ve been on Twitter or Facebook or any other social media platform in the past 72 hours, surely you’ve come across the video of a woman laughing hysterically as she tries on her Star Wars Chewbacca mask.

In a parody of the latest queen of the Internet, the third-year Kings guard claims on camera he just got back from the store and is excited about his purchase.

What did McLemore supposedly buy?

What else?

A Chewbacca mask. The Sacramento guard isn’t moved to hysteria over trying out the mask, which comes with a recorded Wookiee roar, but he enjoyed the gag all the same.

Check out the video, tweeted out by the Kings, below:

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