Kansas will participate in an open practice on Wednesday, March 23 inside the KFC Yum! Center. The practice will begin at 2:10 (CT)/3:10 (ET) p.m. and last for 50 minutes. The session is the fourth and final open practice of the day and is open to both the public and media.
Pregame Party and Pep Rally Info
Join Kansas Athletics, the Williams Education Fund and the KU Alumni Association for a pregame party and pep rally on game day. Visit this page or follow @KUHoops and @WilliamsFund on twitter for updated information.
Kentucky International Convention Center
Room: Cascade ABC
221 S 4th St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Thursday, March 24
3:30 p.m. - Doors Open for Pregame Party
6:15 p.m. - Pep Rally
KUAD: Kansas Postseason Info for Fans
Look closely during warmups Thursday, and you will notice only one Kansas player goes through shoot-arounds wearing wristbands.
On Wayne Selden’s right wrist is a white-and-pink band, a reminder to be strong — and of a friend he’s kept close for the last three years.
“It really just puts things in perspective,” Selden said. “When things aren’t going as well, you can look down at that and just be like, ‘If she fought through all that, why can’t I?’ ”
That friend is 9-year-old Karis Selk of Topeka, who first met Selden in September 2013, nearly a year after being diagnosed with a form of brain cancer.
Karis, who still was weak after rounds of chemotherapy, was introduced to the team by KU coach Bill Self after he carried her over to the team huddle.
“It was the start of a great relationship and connection with all of them, but Wayne, him and Karis just kind of made that connection,” said Karis’ mother, Stephanie.
Selden, who also wears a yellow wristband to support Topeka high schooler Mia Miyamoto’s cancer fight, has broken Karis’ wristband three times and received replacements from the family each time.
…Selden also has shown his support on Twitter. He shared a picture of his wristband and later wished her a happy birthday two months ago on Jan. 16.
“To have that positive influence in her life in the most difficult time that she’s facing is incredible,” Selk said. “She needed it.”
Selden has done much more without others knowing.
One example was June of last year, as Selden reached out to the family via text to ask for the latest update. Karis, who has been in remission for 2 1/2 years — five years is considered cancer-free — completed her 16th MRI.
After it was over, Karis delivered a video message to Selden from her hospital bed: “Hi, Wayne. Hi, Wayne. How are you doing?”
Selk texted the video to him and apologized when Karis’ younger sister, Braylin, called him “Waynesie” in the video.
Wayne texted back to say the new nickname was just fine with him.
“He’s not just a basketball player to (Karis). I don’t think he ever has been. It’s more of a friend,” Stephanie Selk said. “She made a friend who plays really good ball.”
…“In four or five years, when I’m long gone from here, I’m still going to be in contact with her, just because it was a connection,” Selden said. “I just want to keep up with her.”
Stephanie Selk believes her daughter will continue to have a friend in Selden in the years to come.
“We’ve never met his family or his mom, but I hope to someday, just to tell her what a good guy she’s got,” she said.
“Kansas only has a couple of guys that would start for Maryland.”
ESPN 980 Audio Podcast: Gary Williams Breaks Down Kansas/Maryland
"There's no one that's No. 1 now, because any team can get beat," sophomore guard Melo Trimble said. "It's going to be another game. We're not worried about the number in front of the team, just like they're not worried about our number in front of our team."
Layman said the team had not yet begun to review film of the Jayhawks, whose personnel raises interesting questions for Turgeon, a former Kansas point guard himself.
How do you free up Trimble and senior Rasheed Sulaimon against guards Frank Mason III and Devonte' Graham, both Big 12 All-Defensive Team selections? How will Layman fare against former Amateur Athletic Union teammate Wayne Selden Jr.? And if it takes a perfect game to beat the Jayhawks, just how do you play it?
"We have games where we hardly miss shots," said junior forward Robert Carter Jr., who expects to be matched up against senior forward and leading scorer Perry Ellis. "And then we have games where we defended really well and we didn't make a lot of shots. And then we had some games where we scored half the time, didn't score, and we defended half the time and didn't defend and we won. So we've won in many different type of ways."
The Terps need to find just one.
If anyone had predicted in November that Maryland would be playing Kansas near the end of March, it wouldn't have rated more than a yawn. It seemed obvious at the time that both teams were headed in this direction.
If that prediction had included the fact that the Terps would be a decided underdog in their Sweet 16 matchup against the 30-win Jayhawks, well, that might have raised an eyebrow, since the Terps were ranked ahead of Kansas in both major preseason polls.
That's why Thursday night's game in Louisville, Ky., is such an interesting matchup. The Terps were the team with all the NBA-caliber talent at the outset. The Jayhawks are the team that has played much better over the course of the season.
So you can probably forget about the point spread. It won't come down to the records and individual statistics. It will be all about whether the Terps can avoid another bad shooting night and play 40 minutes of solid basketball.
…While Maryland has struggled to play consistent basketball down the stretch, the Jayhawks have won their past 16 games — nine of them against Top 25 teams.
The Terps need to embrace their underdog status and play Thursday as if they have nothing to lose, but they haven't lost their swagger.
"I don't really feel like we're the underdog,'' junior Robert Carter Jr. said.
"I think we're a really talented team, one of the best teams in the country playing another team that is one of the best teams in the country. ... We feel it's a good matchup. This is the Sweet 16. The best teams in the country are playing right now."
The welcome-back rally was set for approximately 4 p.m. Monday. The bus didn’t pull to the curb at Xfinity Center until about 5:44. This was the Maryland men’s basketball team, after all. Sometimes the Terps can take a bit longer than expected to get to their destination.
Less than 24 hours after Maryland secured its first Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2003, the Terps arrived in College Park after a long flight back from Spokane, Wash., to a cheering crowd of about 100, all eager to wish them luck or thank them for the season or just get a selfie together.
…The Terps celebrated after their win Sunday — “A bunch of videos and different pictures and stuff,” Carter said — and were happy to have Monday off. On Tuesday, they would begin preparing for the Jayhawks and the South region semifinals in Louisville, Ky.
The Terrapins remain a work in progress — incremental progress. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said he is still asking his players for "total buy-in" on defense.
"Really our biggest thing right now is rebounding," Turgeon said of his team, which ranks No. 220 in the country in rebounds per game (35.3), according to NCAA statistics. "Being physical, rebounding, everybody helping us rebound. That’s really the next step for us. If we can figure that out, we’ll be even better defensively.
"We’ve been talking about it for months. But we’re getting better. We’ll work on it this week, and we’ll try to be better Thursday night."
…Kansas coach Bill Self said he’s impressed.
"Maryland is without question one of the most talented teams in the country," he said. "They are very strong on the perimeter and play through both bigs. They have been ranked nationally in the top 10 for the majority of the season. We know how talented they are and certainly it will be a great test."
But Sulaimon suggests what Maryland displayed in the NCAA tournament is not enough to secure a trip to the Final Four and rid itself of the underachiever label.
"With our length and our athleticism, we have the capability to really shut teams down," he said. "Right now we’re showing spurts of it at different times. But I think especially going into Louisville playing a tough Kansas team, we’re going to have to be dominant defensively throughout the game to give us a chance."
Meanwhile, more than five months into the season, Turgeon is still asking the Terrapins for total buy-in.
"Now’s the time," Sulaimon said. "It’s now or never."
Sometimes, he'd rather be golfing. Given the option of just watching college basketball or hitting the links, Lucas would rather play 18 holes. Or go bowling. Or maybe watch football, or poker. He's fascinated by the calculations made by competitors with deliberately empty stares.
"Poker is awesome," Lucas says, "because you can see how people think as they play."
When he must watch college basketball, he doesn't mind. Lucas is happy to be a responsible teammate studying film, because that is detective work, each game an educational exercise. He wants to learn how an opposing player is successful. Then he can imagine how to position himself against that.
His imagination is good: In overall single-coverage post-up defense scenarios—which account for 44.8% of Lucas's defensive possessions, per Synergy Sports—opponents have managed 0.615 points per possession, which puts Lucas in the 90 th percentile nationally. Offensive players shoot just 26.8% in these situations (11 of 41 from the floor). In essence, Lucas wants to see how people think as they play. And then he out-thinks them.
"He's smart enough to say, 'O.K., the guy wants to go over his left shoulder with a right hand jump hook; I'm not going to let him get to that shot,'" Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts says. "He wants to back me down—well, I'm going to hold position and not let it happen. Out on the perimeter, he's going to try to lift me—I'm going to stay down. He's good at analyzing and taking things away."
…It may be odd that the son of a basketball player—Richard Lucas played at Oregon from 1987 to '91—wouldn't live and breathe the game. "He has his own little world at times," Kansas freshman Carlton Bragg says with a smile. And Lucas acknowledges that he likes to spend his days differently than most of his teammates. But there's something about him that is recognizable and relatable to everyone.
Many college players would struggle to stand in the back of the line for so long. Many won't even suffer the middle of the line for more than a moment. And if they don't get what they want, they're gone. Yet here is Lucas, nearly four years into his time at Kansas, just now finding his place. That takes stubbornness. That requires a conscious decision to go against the trend and to permit yourself to fight a little.
"Really, it's a good feeling, just because you know in order to do it, you had to go through the best," Lucas says. "It's not like you're just going to a team where it's given to you. That's why I came here. Because I wanted to play for the best and not leave any doubts in my mind, like, 'Could I have done it here?'"
SI Campus Rush
LJW Keegan: Starting lineup a good fit for Kansas
Asked to define what the phrase “killer instinct” meant to this team, Lucas’ explanation sounded an awful lot like the Jayhawks have looked during the past month and a half.
“It’s really just always treating the game like it’s a tie game,” Lucas said. “If we go out there and play a possession like we’re up 15 or 20 points, that’s when you can let a team come back into it. If you play every possession like it’s a tie game, that’s when you extend the lead and that’s what we need in a tournament like this.
“You never want to level off. The good teams that make deep tournament runs always get better and improve.”
Before calling this week's NCAA tournament South Regional games at the KFC Yum! Center, Bill Raftery talked to The Courier-Journal the teams headed to Louisville -- a group headed by Kansas
Given the teams coming here, do you see a scenario where Kansas doesn't make it out and go to the Final Four? What would have to happen?
Nothing surprises me anymore when you see the crazy shots at the end of games. I don't think anybody runs away from anybody. You can find a game or two that's an exception, but as we said all year, there's a lot of good teams -- no great teams. I think Kansas is one of those teams where, when I watched them last week, has their act together. They will not be an easy team.
Who are the players people should be watching for? We've seen Miami in ACC play, but with the others not so much.
With Kansas, take your pick. Perry Ellis is just like a constant contributor. He's tough to explain. He does whatever needs to be done. I guess the best thing you can say about the kid: He's a winner. (Wayne) Selden is one of those big, strong type of kids that now he's really making 3s and getting to the rim. Hellacious dunks, too. Being from Louisville, with the Doctors of Dunk, they should get a kick out of him. At 6-foot-5, he's had some this year that were amazing. Baylor, against Oklahoma, UConn during the tournament he did one of those Grant Hill jobs. Throw it in the air and somehow he finished it.
...Lately, Melo (Trimble) has had the kind of year where if he plays well, Maryland's very good. His shot's inconsistent, but he was preseason pick in the Big Ten as Player of the Year. On that team, (Jake) Layman is pretty darn good -- at 6-foot-10 plays inside-outside. Diamond Stone's a monster for that team. He's a big, strong freshman. (Robert) Carter's another solid inside-outside guy. He can really make shots, too.
The four teams that will gather in Louisville have far more similarities than differences. They have veteran, tough guards who love to defend. They all have legitimate centers who can protect the rim and convert in the post. They are all well coached and operate in a culture that emphasizes toughness. The result, I believe, will be three games in which luck (there's that word again) plays a huge role. Who will be making outside shots that day? Who can avoid injury and foul trouble? Who gets the lucky bounces, the more favorable whistles? Let's just toss it up and see what happens, because the guesswork involved in predicting here is even guessier than usual.
SI Seth Davis: Review and Preview
So, which of these four teams should you expect to advance to the Final Four in Houston? Well, that hasn’t changed. It’s still the Jayhawks. While there hasn’t been a clearly dominant team this season, the Jayhawks are as close as it gets. Their four losses have all come on the road or on a neutral court, and the last time they lost was back in January. Since then, they’ve won 16 straight games including their two opening wins in the tournament.
What’s been more impressive in the tournament has been the defensive and rebounding intensity. The last time out, Kansas suffocated UConn on the boards doubling them up 42-21 and allowing the Huskies just three, yes three, offensive rebounds. Giving your opponents only one shot per possession seems simple. Yet it’s in stark contrast to what the other prospective three teams have done so far. Maryland lost the battle of the offensive boards in both games, so did Villanova, and Miami was out-rebounded by a much smaller Wichita State squad.
Defensively, the Jayhawks are allowing opponents to shoot just 37% from the field and three point land through two games. Miami is comparable in that regard with their percentages allowed as mentioned above. That defense is why I pinpointed the ‘Canes vs Jayhawks as the Regional Final match-up before the tournament began, and it’s the one that I still think will play out this coming weekend. In that battle, The Jayhawks have just a bit more depth than the Hurricanes which I think gets them over the top and into the Final Four.
That neither the University of Kentucky nor Indiana University basketball teams will play this week Louisville has made for a soft online secondary market for NCAA tournament games at KFC Yum! Center.
With Wildcats and Hoosiers fans trying to unload their NCAA tournament South Regional tickets, marketplace Vivid Seats shows listings for Louisville are the cheapest of four sites this weekend.
As of Tuesday afternoon, get-in price to the Yum! Center was just $29 for Thursday's Sweet 16 session featuring Miami-Villanova and Kansas-Maryland. Median price for listings at Vivid Seats was $93, less than a 1/4 of the cost to get in Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, where IU will play in the Sweet 16.
Cost could be even less when Thursday's winners meet Saturday in the Elite 8 once many fans of losing Sweet 16 teams attempt to sell their tickets.
For a local TV market that has more than a decade led the nation in ratings, this presents the chance for Louisvillians to see high-level hoops at a price less than face value.
Another secondary market vendor, SeatGeek.com, tracks the actual purchase price of tickets - not only listings - and found fans are paying $112 on average to attend Thursday's games at the Yum! Center.
"The NCAA tournament had first and second round games in Louisville last year and in 2012, and both times Kentucky played at the venue," noted SeatGeek.com content analyst Chris Leydan. "Despite being earlier round games, the price were actually higher, with the 2012 Second Round session having an average resale price of $238, and the 2015 Second Round session having an average resale price of $198."
Leydan called South Region tickets a "bargain," adding that just 14.5 percent of those searching for tickets through SeatGeek.com were from Kentucky.
Kansas junior guard Wayne Selden Jr., has been named one of five finalists for the 2016 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.
Kansas senior forward Perry Ellis has been named one of five finalists for the 2016 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award.
VOTE HERE (Final day 3/25)
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!”
Big 12/College News
The Oakland basketball program received harrowing news on Tuesday morning, when word came in that one of its former players, Sebastien Bellin, was wounded in the terrorist attack that killed at least 36 people in Brussels, Belgium.
Oakland coach Greg Kampe heard the news of the attacks on his way into the office, but as he was getting ready to coach practice, he received a text from a mutual acquaintance of his and Bellin's that the former Oakland standout was a victim in the bombings.
The two had corresponded just a few days ago; Bellin, who helped Oakland win a conference championship in 2000, had a long and successful pro career overseas. He was reaching out to try and help Oakland senior Max Hooper -- who lost his father to cancer less than three weeks ago -- land a chance with a European pro team.
Bellin was at that airport on Tuesday morning so he could fly home to see his wife and two grade school-age children, and meet with Hooper to discuss pro options.
CBS (Photo embedded has been blurred but might be graphic to some)
The terrorist attacks in Brussels sent Overland Park parents Doug and Lynette Ubel into a panic.
The two huddled around their computer from Kansas, using Skype with their children, Brandon and Kayla, who were in Brussels.
Doug Ubel remarked, “You know, where can you go in the world that's totally safe anymore? But yeah, when something happens that close to where you are, you are a little uneasy certainly.”
Brandon Ubel graduated from Blue Valley West and played basketball in Nebraska. He now plays professionally in Brussels - just a few transit stops away from one of the explosions.
The college hoops crowd never has appreciated Barkley’s spontaneity, his ability to inform, instigate and entertain. Hoop Heads, graduates of Bilas University, view their audience in a monolithic sense — one nation, indivisible, consumed with X’s and O’s.
That definition ignores the rest of us eyeballs who also want to laugh, get angry, and be entertained. There are plenty of places to get the technical stuff, including broadcast venues that don’t have rights to air the tournament.
Now, there is only one place to go to get Barkley.
…On the other end of the Barkley spectrum is Clark Kellogg. This is a man with the unique ability to turn controversy into a tribute to the tournament.
Saturday, Greg Gumbel brought up the Cincy “dunk” and tried getting a debate going on the merits of replay. Enter Mr. Sunshine.
Cue the melancholy violin.
Kellogg: “But they got the call right. That’s what this tournament is. Celebrating with the victors in joyous ‘exuberation’ (sic). It’s mourning with the losers. It’s memories of abundance across the landscape. (Holds up a piece of paper) It’s this thin, the margin.”
Pass the Kleenex.
NY Daily News
Video below=Language NSFW
Plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and 11 major conferences likely will be seeking more than $240 million in damages to account for full cost of attendance scholarships that weren't available over the past five years, according to a report from USA Today.
The suit was originally filed in March 2014, and seeks to cover athletes in football and men's and women's basketball who are arguing that if cost-of-attendance- based scholarships had been in place years ago, they would have received more lucrative scholarships.
The case can reach back as far as five years, according to the report, and also seeks damages for athletes in those three sports that have received or are still receiving athletic scholarships that don't cover the full cost of attendance since the suit was initially filed.
KUAD: Postseason Information Hub for Fans
Find out the tournament history for specific seeds, teams, coaches or conferences.
NCAA Tournament Brackets and History interactive tool
CBS Interactive Tool: Pick two teams to compare record, RPI and SOS details head to head. By default, the top two teams in RPI are shown.
The Grind Session National Tournament, which features Kansas University recruiting targets Thon Maker, Josh Jackson, DeAndre Ayton and others, will be held Thursday through Saturday at Free State High School.
The 11 teams that will compete are: Athlete Institute (Mono, Ontario), Prolific Prep (Napa Valley, Calif.), Sunrise Christian Academy (Wichita), 22ft. Academy (Greenville, S.C.), Hillcrest Academy (Queen Creek, Ariz.), Advanced Prep International (Dallas), Word of God (Raleigh), Quality Education (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Victory Prep (Houston), Victory Rock Prep (Sarasota, Fla.) and Evelyn Mack (Charlotte).
Here’s the schedule of games followed by a description of the teams.
Thursday, March 24 (play in games): Sunrise Christian v. Word of God, 5:30 p.m.; Athlete Institute v. 22ft Academy, 7 p.m.; Victory Prep v. Evelyn Mack, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, March 25 (quarterfinals): API v. Victory Rock, 4 p.m.; Prolific Prep v. Victory Prep/Evelyn Mack winner, 5:30 p.m.; Hillcrest v. Sunrise Christian/Word of God winner, 7 p.m.; Quality Ed v. Athlete Institute/22FT Academy winner, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 26: Semifinals 10 a.m., 12 p.m; championship game 7:30 p.m.
Athlete Institute: Features KU target Thon Maker, a 7-foot senior, who also is considering Indiana, Arizona State and others. His brother Matur, is a 6-10 junior who is a major college recruit. AI also features seniors Nikola Djogo, a 6-7 Notre Dame signee, and Cole Long, a 6-7 UMBC commit.
Prolific Prep: Features KU prospect Josh Jackson, a 6-7 senior who is ranked No. 1 in the class of 2016 by Rivals.com. He’s considering KU, Arizona and Michigan State. The team also boasts 6-8 UConn signee Vance Jackson and 6-5 Utah signee Devon Daniels. Top juniors include Abu Kigab, a 6-6 native of St. Catherine’s, Canada considering KU, USC, Oregon, Baylor and others, plus 6-9 Ira Lee, who is considering Arizona, Cal, Texas and others.
Sunrise Christian: Features Oklahoma signee Kameron McGusty, a 6-5 shooting guard, ranked No. 43 in the Class of 2016, as well as junior Isiah Jasey, a 6-10 forward who is considering KU and others.
22ft Academy: Features 6-10 South Carolina signee Sedee Keita and 6-5 Mississippi State signee Eli Wright. Jordan Bowden (6-5) is considering Eastern Kentucky, Utah, Southern Miss and others.
Hillcrest Academy: Features KU target DeAndre Ayton, a 7-foot junior ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2017, who is also considering Duke, Kentucky and others. Senior point guard Julian Payton (6-0), who holds an offer from Texas Southern, is the son of former NBA player Gary Payton.
Advanced Prep International: Features former Alabama commit Terrance Ferguson, a 6-6 senior, who is ranked No. 12 in the Class of 2016. Ferguson has KU on his list of schools. The squad includes 6-5 Baylor signee Mark Vital, 6-10 Cincinnati signee Nysier Brooks and junior Billy Preston, a 6-10 forward, who is considering KU and others. He’s ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com. The team also boasts the country’s top junior guard, 6-3 Trevon Duval, who is ranked No. 5 in the Class of 17.
Word of God Christian: Features Rawle Alkins, a 6-4 senior ranked No. 9 nationally who has committed to Arizona. Also, Blake Harris, a 6-2 junior who is considering LSU, Wake Forest and others.
Quality Education: Features Deshawn Corprew, a 6-5 senior who is being recruited by N.C. State, Virginia Tech and others as well as 6-5 junior Ranathan Embo. Quality Education big men include 6-9 senior Papa Ndiaye, who is considering Oklahoma and Mississippi State as well as 6-9 senior Malik Brevard and 6-7 senior Marsellis Purvis
Victory Prep, TX: Features KU target Jarred Vanderbilt, 6-8 junior, who is ranked No. 11 in the Class of 2017. He’s also considering Kentucky and others. Coach of Victory Prep is Rodney McCray, who won an NBA title with the Bulls in 1993.
Victory Rock: Features 6-10 Gorjok Gak, who is headed to Oklahoma State, plus 5-7 Long Beach signee Loren Christian Jackson.
Evelyn Mack: Features Darius Webster, 6-7 from Bronx, N.Y., and Isahia Whaley, 6-10 from Gastonia, N.C.
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2016)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube