KU is 32-2, and has now won 30-plus games 10 times in its rich history, including four of the last five seasons.
Boston University (21-13) rides an 11-game winning streak
(third-longest active win streak in the nation) into its showdown with
KU. The Terriers, who are making their seventh NCAA tournament
appearance and first since 2002, earned a berth in the Big Dance by
beating Stony Brook, 56-54, in the America East Conference Tournament
title game March 12. Boston, which played on its home court of Agganis
Arena, overcame a 15-point deficit to win its sixth America East title.
BU finished second in the America East Conference with a 12-4 record,
one game behind regular-season champ Vermont.
America East Conference Player of the Year John Holland leads the
attack with 19.2 points per game. The 6-5 senior forward also leads BU
with 47 steals and 2.2 three-pointers made per game, while his 5.9
rebounds per game is tied for team high.
Junior guard Darryl Partin is next in scoring (14.5 ppg), followed by
freshman guard D.J. Irving (7.9 ppg, team-high 3.6 apg), junior guard
Matt Griffin (6.6 ppg), freshman forward Dorn Morris (5.6 ppg) and
junior forward Patrick Hazel (4.6 ppg, team-high 63 blocks).
Boston University is without junior forward Jake O'Brien, an
all-conference player as a sophomore who had season-ending foot surgery
in early February. O'Brien averaged 11.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in 14
games this season.
BU averages 65.2 points per game and allows 63.2. The Terriers shoot
40.3 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from three-point range, and
73.1 percent at the free-throw line. BU ranks 18th nationally in field
goal percentage defense, holding foes to just 39.6 percent shooting.
Head coach Patrick Chambers is 42-27 in his second year at Boston U.
This is also his second-year overall as head coach.
SELF ON BOSTON U
KU coach Bill Self is impressed with BU.
"They're really fast on the perimeter," Self said. "They really have
five guys that can shoot the three and four that make a lot of them.
They're well coached, too. Coach (Chambers) worked under Jay (Wright)
at Villanova and they do a lot of similar things with ball screens, but
they're just a good, solid team."
Self doesn't consider Boston a No. 16 seed.
"I was surprised they were on the 16 line to be honest," Self said.
"When I was in my mind going through the bracket, I didn't have them as
one of the teams on the 16 line. Coach has done a good job there in a
short amount of time. And their stats defensively are better than ours,
and we take quite a bit of pride in that.
"I think they're hard to score on," Self added. "They're very good at
beating you off the bounce. ... It's going to be a good challenge for
us, no question."
KU will have to contain Holland.
"He's really good," Self said. "He's the best player in their league.
He's got good size and they play him at the guard position but they can
also play him at the four to create some matchup problems."
"He would be a terrific player in our league (Big 12), without
question," Self added. "Holland to me is a potential pro. He can do a
lot of things. He can post. He can face. He can drive it. He's
Kansas, which enters its 40th NCAA tournament, holds the longest active
tournament appearance streak at 22 years.
KU is a No. 1 seed for the 10th time since the seedings started in 1979.
Kansas is 15-6 (71.4 percent) in the NCAA tournament under Self with
four Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights, one Final Four and one national
KU boasts an all-time NCAA tournament record of 85-38. KU's 85 wins
rank fifth behind North Carolina (102), Kentucky (100), Duke (94) and
KU's NCAA tournament winning percentage of 69.1 percent ranks seventh
all time for a minimum of 20 games played.
Kansas played 12 games this season 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.
KU and Boston U are meeting for the first time in men's basketball.
Kansas is 7-0 all time against the American East Conference, including
2-0 under Self with wins over Vermont in 2005 and Albany in 2008.
THIRD NCAA TRIP TO Tulsa
Kansas is making its third NCAA tournament trip to Tulsa. KU advanced
to the Final Four in 1974 in Greensboro, N.C., with two wins in Tulsa
over Creighton and Oral Roberts at the Mabee Center on the ORU campus.
The next year in 1975, KU lost to Notre Dame in Tulsa in its
opening-round NCAA game, which was also played at the Mabee Center.
Senior guard Brady Morningstar's dad, Roger, played on the 1974 Final
Four team which went through Tulsa for its first two games of the NCAA
"I didn't know that," Morningstar said. "Pretty interesting. That is a
KU LOOKING "LOOSE"
The Jayhawks appear loose heading into the NCAA tournament.
"I think the key is to be loose and have fun and enjoy the experience,"
senior guard Tyrel Reed said. "If you're too uptight, you worry about
things and you don't do all the things you need to do. Just enjoy it,
play loose. It's my last go-around so I want to enjoy it."
Kansas played tight in losing to Northern Iowa last year in the second
round of the NCAA tournament.
"It's definitely a motivation for us," junior guard Tyshawn Taylor
said. "I just don't want us to come out and fear that will happen
again. We have to be loose, play, have fun and enjoy this time. We
don't get this time too many more times. ... We have to embrace it and
enjoy it. We're not going to play scared at all or fear losing. We're
going to go out there, have fun, play hard like we've been doing and
stuff will work itself out after that."
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