3/17/13, 9:41 PM
Opening-round games at Sprint Center are sold out, pending returned tickets from other teams.
3/17/13, 6:17 PM
Get your tickets now everybody, it better not be 70-30 again Ku
https://twitter.com/tootall2knoso1 (Jordan Henriquez)
3 teams in D1 MBB field w/ perfect APR and 100% grad: Belmont, Kansas, Notre Dame.
3/17/13, 8:51 PM
#KUbball opens as a 20-point favorite over Western Kentucky..
3/17/13, 10:33 PM
they can't beat Kansas RT @TommyLicurgo: How far do you see North Carolina going?
3/17/13, 10:28 PM
Sweet 16, where they'll be Rock chalked RT @TeamGRob1: How far you got Michigan going? #GoBlue
3/17/13, 8:49 PM
All-time No. 1 seeds: UNC (14), Duke (12), Kansas, Kentucky (11). Seeding started in 1979
3/17/13, 9:43 PM
KC site gets Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager for TV talent.
South Final 4 Odds: Florida 37%, Kansas 32%, Michigan 13%, G'Town 7%, VCU 3%, Minnesota 2%, UNC 2%”
Western Kentucky is a 16 seed again, but this time things are entirely different.
The Hilltoppers (20-15) learned their NCAA Tournament plans Sunday, and those plans include traveling to Kansas City, Mo., to face top-seeded Kansas at approximately 9 p.m. on Friday.
"About what we anticipated," WKU coach Ray Harper said. "It's close enough we will be able to have some fans travel. Now it's about getting some tape together. Obviously it's a team we've seen play a bunch this season, now it's trying to get prepared for Friday night."
Unlike last season, when WKU had to bus to Dayton, Ohio, moments after the official draw on a Sunday, beat Mississippi Valley State on a Tuesday night, then bus to Louisville to play eventual national champion Kentucky on a Thursday, the Tops will have plenty of time to dissect one of the top teams in the nation.
They last met the Jayhawks (29-5) in 1997, losing 75-62 in Lawrence, Kan.
"Great program, great team," Harper said. "(Coach) Bill Self does a good of a job as anyone in the country. Big challenge, but like I said earlier, I know our guys will go compete."
The Hilltoppers were hopeful going into Sunday of maybe being awarded a 15 seed. Instead, it's back to being considered one of the six weakest teams in the field of 68.
A 16 seed has never defeated a one seed in the NCAA Tournament, so the Tops will be faced with the unavoidable question all week of why they believe they can be the first ones to do it.
"Our number got called, saw Kansas, that's who we play, so we just got to get ready and I'm pretty sure we will be ready," WKU senior point guard Jamal Crook said. "Just knowing we got the fight in us, it doesn't matter who you put in front of us, we're going to give them our all."
Bowling Green Daily News
When Western Kentucky University guard Jamal Crook learned that his 16th-seeded Hilltoppers would face top-seeded Kansas University in the second round of this year’s NCAA Tournament on Friday in Kansas City, Mo., his mind immediately flashed back to his senior season of high school in Las Vegas.
During the 2007-08 season opener for Durango High, Crook first encountered KU point guard Elijah Johnson in a match-up of the city’s most highly recruited player (Johnson) and highest-rated newcomer (Crook).
At the time, Johnson, a junior at Cheyenne High, was on his way to becoming one of the top point-guard prospects in the nation, and he showed why during his match-up with Crook, scoring 18 points and leading the Desert Shields to a 78-77 overtime victory.
Crook has not forgotten.
“I owe him,” he told the Bowling Green (Ky.) Daily News on Sunday, moments after the match-up was revealed. “I played him in my debut, and they beat us. I’ll remember that game in the back of my head as we go down there and take this ride.”
“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.”
“We’ve been in this type of situation before,” KU senior Travis Releford said on Sunday. “We’ve been on teams that have been the No. 1 seed and didn’t come out with the outcome that we expected. So we’re going in this, and trying to play every game at our best. And we’re not looking down on any team.”
The Jayhawks, of course, will also have the advantage of playing just 40 miles from campus. And that will add to the expectations of being a No. 1 seed. But as Johnson said on Sunday, this team feels different than those No. 1 seeds that came up short.
“It’s not the most talented team that we’ve had at Kansas,” Johnson said, “Even in my four years. My freshman year with Sherron (Collins), and my sophomore year with the (Morris twins), those were some good teams.
“And I feel like we had targets on our back then, and we didn’t respond the way we should have. This is a more humble team.”
On Sunday, the bracket was finally laid out. And now the road begins. For a Kansas team that suffered a three-game losing streak in February, earning a No. 1 seed felt like an even worthier accomplishment. But now, Self said, the goal is to play like a No. 1 seed.
“We’re the No. 2 overall seed,” Self said. “Who would have thought that would be the case with this team? And I’m not gonna get hung up on ‘We have to do this, and we have to do that.’ And I hope the players don’t either. What we need to do is just go have fun and play.”
1. Kansas versus North Carolina? The most intriguing game may occur in the third round if Kansas and North Carolina were to meet in a 1-8 matchup in Kansas City. North Carolina coach Roy Williams was a long-time coach of Kansas and famously wore a massive Jayhawk sticker when he watched Kansas play Memphis in the 2008 national title game in San Antonio. Kansas would have to get by Western Kentucky in the second round, while the Tar Heels are hardly a lock to get past No. 9 Villanova. But if it were to occur, then the Midwest would have the most talked-about coaching matchup in the third round since Bill Self replaced Williams, not to mention two of the most tradition-rich programs.
ESPN Top 10 Storylines
LJW Keegan: Under Bill Self, KU dazzlingly consistent
Big 12/College News
Three of the four 1 seeds are @adidasHoops schools.
Best printable bracket w/times & locations
3/17/13, 8:08 PM
Again, my Final Four picks: Louisville, Kansas, Miami, New Mexico. National title game: Louisville over Kansas.
ESPN Video: Breaking down the South Bracket (Pearl and Gasaway pick Kansas)
CBS Video: South Bracket picks by Greg Anthony, Gottlieb, Seth Davis
On ESPN Radio, @dandakich picks Indiana over Duke in the NCAA final and @SethOnHoops picks Louisville over Indiana.
This year, though, No. 1 is dangerous. No. 1 is slippery. No. 1 has rarely been more attainable or harder to hold. In a season defined by wild swings and regular upsets, by mind-boggling balance and far-reaching parity and the game of musical chairs that unfolded in the rankings, there is tumult at the top. Below it, too.
One was not the loneliest number. Not this season. Instead, it seemed like the most cursed.
Indiana opened the season ranked first in the Associated Press top 25. Then Duke was No. 1. Then Louisville. Then Duke. Then Michigan. Then Indiana. Then Gonzaga. That’s right, Gonzaga, the small Jesuit university from the West Coast Conference, perhaps the most unlikely No. 1 in the recent history of college basketball — except, perhaps, in this season, when it made perfect sense. That the madness came early this year, well before March, should make for an excellent N.C.A.A. tournament, an event already among the most unpredictable in sports.
It’s not just the No. 1 ranking that switched teams like a dollar bill changing hands, moving from business to wallet to business, state to state. The top of the rankings proved predictable only in its unpredictability, like a game of Chutes and Ladders for the college hoops set.
Of the teams that started the season in the A.P.’s top five — Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan, in that order — only Indiana (3) and Louisville (4) finished the regular season there.
THE ELITE EIGHT
Teams The Minutes believes have the best chance to cut down the nets in the Georgia Dome April 8:
Kansas (12). Another excellent defensive team, keyed by Jeff Withey's presence in the middle. Ben McLemore will be a top-three draft pick come June, and he has plenty of ancillary scorers surrounding him. Plus coach Bill Self is at the top of his game.
THE FRAUDULENT FIVE
Michigan (23). The Wolverines wobbled down the stretch, losing half of their final 12 games. The last quality team they beat outside of Ann Arbor was Illinois – in January.
Arizona (24). Seems an eternity ago that the Wildcats were 14-0. Since then they are 11-7 and have beaten just one NCAA tournament team (Colorado).
Missouri (25). The Tigers have Final Four talent but sub-NIT poise and execution in late-game situations. Give them a chance to blow a lead in the final minutes and they will. They're also helpless outside of Columbia, Mo.
THE BRACKET WRECKERS
Teams that won't win it all, but could pull an upset or two and possibly even crash the Final Four.
VCU (17). The Rams' "Havoc" defense has led to six NCAA tourney wins the past two years, and more should be on the way this season. No coach is better at infusing his players with confidence than Shaka Smart.
Iowa State (18). The Cyclones are one of the most dangerous 3-point shooting teams in the nation. If they get hot from the perimeter, they could take out anyone. Of course, they also can take themselves out quickly with their casual defense, but they will be a dangerous draw.
Texas (53). The All-Texas Export Tournament Team: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State; Phil Pressey, Missouri; Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke; Marshall Henderson, Mississippi; Andre Roberson, Colorado. Actually, you could put about half the Oklahoma State roster on that team.
Program hurt by the poaching: All of them. The Lone Star State has as many teams in the tournament as Alaska (0).
Indiana, whom Kornegay set as his casino's second-highest favorite, will open behind Duke, Kansas and Georgetown at MGM Resorts, Rood said.
Even though it is the top favorite, Louisville's odds worsened from 3-1 after selections were announced and put them in the same region as Duke, No. 3 seed Michigan State, No. 4 seed Saint Louis and No. 12 seed Oregon.
"In our opinion, as a No. 1 seed that's a pretty loaded bracket," Kornegay said.
Last year, eventual champions Kentucky were a clear favorite from the tournament's start.
"There's more parity," said gambling expert R.J. Bell of Pregame.com. "There's going to be that bundle at the top."
Bell said that despite an unfathomable number of bracket combinations, casinos know that a No. 4 seed or better has won the title in 24 straight years.
"There's only really 16 teams that history says has any chance," Bell said.
1. Kansas will not reach Atlanta -- The Jayhawks are certainly a No. 1 seed. I’m not sure they’re the second overall No. 1 after Louisville, but they’ve earned that slot. Their path to Atlanta is not that imposing. But I have bad news for Kansas fans: Don’t book those trips for the Final Four because the Jayhawks will not be there. I have the Jayhawks losing to a Georgetown team that will wear them down in the Elite Eight. But they could fall earlier to either VCU or Michigan. Florida might be the most complete team in the South region and they could give Kansas a fight too. KU is hot right now. But at some point in the Big Dance, the Jayhawks will need their star, Ben McLemore, to shine in a big moment. And I’m not sure the redshirt freshman is ready for that. The bottom line is that KU’s NCAA tourney experience will end prior to the festivities in the Peach State.
5. Bill Self versus Roy Williams won’t happen -- The second-round matchup possibility between North Carolina and Kansas is intriguing. Williams against his former team. Again. I’m sure TV execs are salivating over the possibility. But I think Villanova will spoil those blue blood plans with a Round of 64 win over the Tar Heels. The Wildcats have defeated better teams within the last month (Georgetown, Marquette). Plus, they have a 6-foot-7, 260-pound bruiser named JayVaughn Pinkston who could be a problem for North Carolina’s small (quick) lineup. It’s a great storyline, Williams versus Self, given the history. Too bad we won’t see it.
ESPN Medcalf 10 Bold Predictions
Louisville over Duke in the Midwest.
Ohio State over Wisconsin in the West.
Indiana over Miami in the East.
Florida over Michigan in the South.
Louisville over Ohio State.
Indiana over Florida.
Louisville over Indiana.
SI Luke Winn
ESPN Bracket Guide
ESPN Breaking the Bracket Down by BPI
Okie State honestly might have one of the toughest draws. To get an Oregon team probably worthy of a top 8 seed as a 12 is brutal.
"Just knowing that we've came such a long ways (is a good feeling)," senior guard Leslie McDonald said. "We've really transformed ourselves into being a great caliber team. I think we're more focused and serious, and we're just a ferocious team. It took some hard times, but we've got to where we wanted to be."
Added Williams: "Our players did exactly what I thought they would do - they worked hard and got better and better as the year progressed. Making the field is a reward for their continued improvement. We look forward to hopefully playing our best basketball this coming weekend."
While there is the tendency at this time of the season to focus on what's ahead, Williams hopes his team spent at least some time Sunday digesting its performance against the Hurricanes.
"I told my guys I didn't ever want to walk in there and say, 'Ok, guys, it's over with - we'll see the selection show on TV at 6.'"
Williams said that before the bracket was released. "Because I want guys to hurt and learn from it. So if we get an opportunity again, it will be even more important to them."
While the potential matchup with Kansas might already be dancing through the minds of some fans, the Tar Heels will first have to contend with the Wildcats.
Villanova comes into the NCAAs having lost to Louisville, 74-55, in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament, although the Wildcats were one of five teams to defeat the top-ranked Cardinals this season, beating Louisville, 73-64, in January. Villanova got into the tournament despite its 13 losses largely on the strength of that victory and wins over Georgetown and Syracuse.
Sophomore forward JayVaughn Pinkston leads the Wildcats in scoring, averaging 13.1 points per game, but at times this season, Villanova coach Jay Wright has bemoaned his team's lack of athletic guards.
"That's our weakness as a team," Wright said to the Philadelphia Daily News after the Wildcats lost to Louisville in the Big East tournament.
"We don't have that jet guard who can just break down a defense. We have to do it by passing and precision and execution."
Without strong guard play, Villanova ranks 295th nationally in 3-point defense and 292nd in assist-to-turnover ratio.
While UNC only ranks 55th in 3-point shooting percentage, the 13 3-pointers it hit against Miami in the ACC final shows how streaky it can be with its long-range shooting.
Before the bracket was announced, UNC's was in relatively good spirits, even after the loss to Miami, with the Tar Heel players talking about how far they've come over the last month.
The 2013 NCAA Tournament is the 75th, and plenty of recognition is planned for the Final Four next month in Atlanta.
Great players, coaches, teams moments will be remembered, as they were at the 50th Final Four at Kemper Arena in 1988.
But you also should know how and why this thing called March Madness got started, and why Kansas City should take pride in its historical role. It was here that the NCAA Tournament became a national fixture, so it’s fitting the event returns this year with second- and third-round games at the Sprint Center on Friday and Sunday with prominent programs Kansas, Kansas State, North Carolina, Villanova and Wisconsin.
On the second floor, just off the top of the stairs of the College Basketball Experience, is a display that pays tribute to tournament college basketball in Kansas City.
…In 1937, the organization that would become the NAIA staged its first tournament at new Municipal Auditorium. Eight schools from five states battled it out and Central Missouri was the champion. The event netted a $28 profit.
With its championship set for Tuesday night at Municipal, the NAIA Division I men’s basketball championship remains the nation’s longest continuous national basketball tournament.
In 1938, the true inspiration for the NCAA Tournament was launched — the National Invitation Tournament.
College hoops burst onto the New York sports scene for competition and gambling opportunities, and a sportswriters organization, the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association of New York, staged the first NIT.
The group paid the expenses and shared the gate with eight schools. Temple defeated Colorado for the inaugural title in 1938.
The coaches who participated loved it. Those who didn’t, especially in the Midwest, were envious and motivated.
Less than a month after the event, at a meeting of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the NIT became the burning issue. Why, some coaches wanted to know, should a postseason tournament be operated by a sportswriters group? Shouldn’t the schools organize — and profit — from the event?
Three prominent coaches formed the committee to get this done: Kansas’ Phog Allen, Ohio State’s Harold Olsen and Stanford’s John Bunn, who had played for Allen. The original statement, the letter of intent, was dated May 24, 1938, sent from Olsen’s office to W.B. Owens, a Stanford professor who was serving as the NCAA president.
…Three weeks before the inaugural NCAA Tournament, there was no site to bring champions from the East and West. Finally, Olsen got in touch with Northwestern coach Dutch Lonborg, the former Kansas All-American who cleared the schedule for his building. Many of the 5,500 at Patten Gym in Evanston, Ill., who watched Oregon defeat Ohio State on March, 27, 1939, for the first championship, were allowed in free to create atmosphere.
The site wasn’t the only headache. Turned out, not everybody wanted to play, or even knew what the tournament was about. Missouri, which shared the Big Six title that year with Oklahoma, and Missouri Valley champion Drake, turned down invitations because the schools didn’t want to miss class time.
“(T)he worst of it was when Missouri pulled out it looked like we were running a sideshow,” Allen wrote to Olsen that summer in summarizing the first tournament.
Even a team that played wasn’t thrilled about it. Ohio State first had to travel to Philadelphia for a four-team regional, then to Chicago for the final. Jim Huff, a senior captain for the team, told the Chicago Tribune in a 1990 interview, “We had no desire to go. We wanted to go watch the Ohio state high school basketball tournament.”
To make matters worse, the first NCAA Tournament also was a bust at the bank, losing $2,531. The NABC didn’t have the funds in its account, and was happy when the NCAA accepted an offer to underwrite the loss and become financially responsible for future tournaments.
If there were to be any future tournaments.
Allen stepped in, and in his Aug. 11, 1939, letter to Olsen he essentially said Kansas City would make the tournament a success.
“I have never had charge of any tournament that we have ever lost money on, and I’m not boasting in saying that…” Allen wrote.
He wasn’t. As an 18-year-old, Allen had organized the 1905 challenge series between the Buffalo Germans and the Kansas City Athletic Club that drew huge crowds to old Convention Hall and turned a tidy profit. He was a fixture at the national AAU tournaments in Kansas City in the 1920s that drew huge crowds, and he also had seen how the NAIA Tournament had quickly grown at Municipal.
Bring the NCAA Western playoffs and championship to Kansas City, Allen said, and the event will profit.
The tournament was awarded to the Heartland.
NCAA March Madness on Demand will provide live streaming video of every game of the new 68-team tournament as they are broadcast by CBS Sports and Turner Sports.
All times ET.
FIRST FOUR GAMES
TUESDAY, MARCH 19
6:40, truTV, Dayton: NC A&T vs. Liberty (Albert/Kerr/Sager)
9:10, truTV, Dayton: Middle Tennessee State vs. St. Mary's (Albert/Kerr/Sager)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20
6:40, truTV, Dayton: LIU Brooklyn vs. James Madison (Nantz/Kellogg/Wolfson)
9:10, truTV, Dayton: Boise State vs. La Salle (Nantz/Kellogg/Wolfson)
ROUND OF 64 GAMES
THURSDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 21
12:15, CBS, Auburn Hills: No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 14 Valpo (Lundquist/Raftery/Nichols)
12:40, truTV, Lexington: No. 6 Butler vs. No. 11 Bucknell (Eagle/Spanarkel/LaForce)
1:40, TBS, Salt Lake City: No. 8 Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 Wichita State (Dedes/Gottlieb/Maggio)
2:10, TNT, San Jose: No. 4 Saint Louis vs. No. 13 NM State. (Anderson/Bonner/Snider)
2:45, CBS, Auburn Hills: No. 6 Memphis vs. MTSU/SMC winner (Lundquist/Raftery/Nichols)
3:10, truTV, Lexington: No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 14 Davidson (Eagle/Spanarkel/LaForce)
4:10, TBS, Salt Lake City: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Southern (Dedes/Gottlieb/Maggio)
4:40, TNT, San Jose: No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Oregon (Anderson/Bonner/Snider)
THURSDAY EVENING, MARCH 21
6:50, TBS, Lexington: No. 1 Louisville vs. NC A&T-Liberty winner
7:15, CBS, Auburn Hills: No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 South Dakota State
7:20, TNT, Salt Lake City: No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 11 Belmont
7:27, truTV, San Jose: No. 5 UNLV vs. No. 12 California
9:20, TBS, Lexington: No. 8 Colorado State vs. No. 9 Missouri
9:45, CBS, Auburn Hills: No. 5 VCU vs. No. 12 Akron
9:45, TNT, Salt Lake City: No. 3 New Mexico vs. No. 14 Harvard
9:57, truTV, San Jose: No. 4 Syracuse vs. No. 13 Montanta
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 22
12:15, CBS, Philadelphia: No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Albany (Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Johnson)
12:40, truTV, Kansas City: No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Ole Miss (Albert/Kerr/Sager)
1:40, TBS, Dayton: No. 8 NC State vs. No. 9 Temple (Nantz/Kellogg/Wolfson)
2:10, TNT, Austin: No. 2 Miami vs. No. 15 Pacific (Brando/Gminski/Livingston)
2:45, CBS, Philadelphia: No. 7 Creighton vs. No. 10 Cincy (Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Johnson)
3:10, truTV, Kansas City: No. 4 K-State vs. Boise State-La Salle winner (Albert/Kerr/Sager)
4:10, TBS, Dayton: No. 1 Indiana vs. LIU Brooklyn-JMU winner (Nantz/Kellogg/Wolfson)
4:40, TNT, Austin: No. 7 Illinois vs. No. 10 Colorado (Brando/Gminski/Livingston)
FRIDAY EVENING, MARCH 22
6:50, TBS, Philly: No. 2 G'town vs. No. 15 Fla. Gulf Coast (Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Johnson)
7:15, CBS, Dayton: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Iona (Nantz/Kellogg/Wolfson)
7:20, TNT, Kansas City: No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Villanova (Albert/Kerr/Sager)
7:27, truTV, Austin: No. 3 Florida vs. No. 14 N'western St. (Brando/Gminski/Livingston)
9:20, TBS, Philadelphia: No. 7 San Diego St. vs. No. 10 OU (Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Johnson)
9:45, CBS, Dayton: No. 7 Notre Dame vs. No. 10 Iowa State (Nantz/Kellogg/Wolfson)
9:50, TNT, Kansas City: No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Western Kentucky (Albert/Kerr/Sager)
9:57, truTV, Austin: No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Minnesota (Brando/Gminski/Livingston)
CBS Preseason Picks (LOL Matt Norlander picking Mizzou as National Champ)
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For what it's worth, those out on west coast I spoke to feel that UK not a legitimate player in Aaron Gordon sweepstakes. UW, AZ, Oregon.
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