Monday, March 16, 2009

Minneapolis it is

Jayhawks land No. 3 seed in Midwest

Kansas coach Bill Self shares his thoughts on the Jayhawks’ selection as the third seed in the Midwest Regional following the NCAA Tournament selection show. KU learned Sunday it will face North Dakota State at 11:30 a.m. Friday in Minneapolis.

Kansas coach Bill Self shares his thoughts on the Jayhawks’ selection as the third seed in the Midwest Regional following the NCAA Tournament selection show. KU learned Sunday it will face North Dakota State at 11:30 a.m. Friday in Minneapolis.



KU gets No. 3 seed

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Complete coverage of Kansas' No. 3 seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

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2009 KU Selection Sunday


Kansas center Cole Aldrich, right, laughs as he and guard Sherron Collins talk about whether hockey or basketball is the favored sport in Minnesota, Aldrich’s home state.


Kansas coach Bill Self meets the press to discuss the Jayhawks’ selection to the NCAA Tournament. Self attended a news conference Sunday after he learned the Jayhawks were headed to a first-round tournament game in Minneapolis.

Cole Aldrich’s cell phone started ringing in the Naismith Room of Allen Fieldhouse late Sunday afternoon — just seconds after CBS-TV revealed that Kansas University’s basketball team would be playing North Dakota State at 11:30 a.m. Friday in the Metrodome, located in Aldrich’s beloved home state of Minnesota.

“I had a few friends say, ‘Congratulations being in Minnesota and being a No. 3 seed,’” Aldrich said.

Kansas is seeded third in the Midwest Region.

Aldrich hails from Bloomington, Minn., which is located 10 miles from the ’Dome, site of the first-round NCAA Tournament contest.

“It’s a warm feeling knowing all my friends are excited to see me play and excited to see us as a team play,” Aldrich added.

Just as Cole patiently answered calls from well-wishers Sunday, so did his dad, Walter, back home in Bloomington.

“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing,” Walter Aldrich told the Journal-World in a phone interview two hours after the Selection Sunday show.

“I feel like I’m working at Ticketmaster.”

“This is not a real surprise. We had a good hankering KU would be playing here. I know a lot of Cole’s friends and relatives want to see him play. Have you got any connections for tickets?” Walter cracked.

Cole’s allotment of four tickets will go to his mom and dad, brother and grandmother. It’s possible Cole can round up some other tickets from teammates.

“I’m excited,” Cole Aldrich said of playing in the Metrodome, where he remembers watching the Minnesota Vikings as a youngster, but has yet to play in a game.

“I hope it’s 85 (degrees), but it’s probably going to be 15. I’m not worried about going back home and it being home. I’d loved to have played in Kansas City. Whether in Boise, Kansas City or anywhere else, we’re just excited to go out and play again.”

Oklahoma was the Big 12 team to land a spot at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. The Jayhawks were shipped to Minnesota as a No. 3, and Missouri also was sent packing to Boise as another 3.

“I don’t have anything against the location. I selfishly would have liked to have been in Kansas City, but we knew that probably wasn’t going to happen after we didn’t do well in Big 12 tournament,” KU coach Bill Self said, noting KU would have flip-flopped locations with Oklahoma had the Jayhawks garnered a No. 2 seed and OU a 3.

“Certainly it’s good for Cole. It’s a good chance to go back and play in front of his friends and family. I told Cole we were going to try to schedule Minnesota, but I didn’t know we would get him back home this way.”

Self has no beef with the NCAA Tournament committee for awarding the Sooners a better seed than the Jayhawks despite the fact KU beat the Blake Griffin-less Sooners in the regular season.

“I think if you look at the entire year and don’t break it down to nonconference and conference, I think that you could say that OU had a better year,” Self said. “I think when you look at conference, I think it's obvious that we had a better conference year than they had. But I think that their nonconference was better, that the separation was probably a little bit better than our separation during conference play.

“What we needed to have happen for us to be a 2 seed in Kansas City was to play better in the Big 12 tournament. We didn't have to win it, but I think beating Baylor (in first round) would have gotten it done. I think we got exactly what we should have gotten, to be honest with you, so I'm not complaining one bit at all.”

Self did note that the Jayhawks did “have as many Top-25 wins, maybe more than anybody in the country. We were 6-3. If we had done better in that setting (Big 12 tourney), I think there would have been evidence to support us maybe being a little higher seed.”

He is concerned about the first-round foe — N.D. State (26-6). Winner plays the winner of a first-round matchup between West Virginia and Dayton at either 1:30 or 4 p.m. Sunday at the ’Dome.

“I like Minneapolis fine, but it’s pretty close to North Dakota,” Self said. “Based at how many people they had at their selection show (2,000 in Bison Sports Arena in Fargo), you know they’ll have some fans there.

“Hopefully since the game is on Friday I’d think it’s better for KU fans to travel because they’d miss just one day of work.”

Self appreciates the story of the Bison, champions of the Summit League.

“It’s a great story,” Self said. “It’s their first year to be eligible for the tournament. Not their first year in Div. I, but you have to kind of go through a probationary period. This is their first year to be eligible for the tournament, to win it. They also red-shirted multiple guys to play for this moment. As an outsider looking in, that’s totally objective, I was really happy for them. I'm not nearly as happy for them now as I was last week when I watched them play in the tournament.

“They shoot the ball extremely well. Of course they have the player of the year in their league (senior guard Ben Woodside). You look at their stats, the top-four scorers hit a ton of threes, and they shoot 41 percent as a team from three-point range. We will definitely have our hands full.”


Blake Post 10 years, 10 months ago

Although the mighty buffalo is our State animal, it must be taught who is the master.

NYhawk13 10 years, 10 months ago

My buddy lives in Minneapolis and sent me a text talking about how this will be a home game for NDSU blah blah blah. I told him how well KU fans travel and I expect to not be disappointed...

joeloveshawks 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree that it would not be a surprise if we are two and done, but I think that if we get past the first two rounds we will give MSU a hell of a game. Obviously they beat us soundly in East Lansing, but that was a different KU team. We have matured a lot since then and I really don't think they have become much better. With that said, we need to focus on our 1st round opponent and take care of business. There will be plenty of KU fans who make the trip and I guarantee that it will not feel like a NDSU home game. Hawks!!

rtwngr 10 years, 10 months ago

Is Sherron Iverson going to go NBA this year?

nocaljayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't like this matchup, and I fear Mr. Woodside and his first-year-of-D1-ball-squad will quickly become the new CBS postseason darlings, via the repeated use of terms like "scrappy," "overachievers," and "underdogs."

Timmay97 10 years, 10 months ago

I won't lie......this North Dakota State team scares me. If this is a three point shooting team, this will be an adventure for KU. After watching past KU games, I just feel our best on ball defender on the perimeter is Morningstar. We need to make sure we get through screens and put a hand in the face.

Cole will control the middle.....this game is going to be whether or not KU can guard the three. I expect a huge game for Aldrich. He should dominate the paint!

Let's get this thing going! God I love this time of year. I've been going to Houston with friends to hang with my brother.......8 years running.....for the madness. It's the one time of year I can hang out in the pool, play some pong, drink and not have to worry about the wife and kids. Woohoo!

meastland 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm not sure if it has already been mentioned, but the last time we were a 3 seed and played a team called the Bison was Bucknell in 05. And I think we all still have the emotional scars leftover from that game.

We really need to put it on this team and leave no doubt.

chadku 10 years, 10 months ago

This is a very scary game. It will be a very pro NDSU crowd. I used to sell sports licensed products to sports memorbilia stores in MN and the stores in Minneapolis really stocked up on NDSU stuff. They had a lot of people come over because there was nothing to do in ND.

Everytime we lose a game it seems like it always comes down to another team making 10 + threes a game. This is going to be a very tough game and I expect it to be a single digit game. With WVU looming getting to the Sweet 16 would be very tough, but not impossible...It would be a huge confident boost and could cause us to play really well that following weekend.

craigers 10 years, 10 months ago

This team plays the best when challenged the most. I expect the loss to Baylor to kick them into high gear and run. Morningstar will hold Woodside to under 20. Pound the ball inside and dunk the energy out of this North Dakota team. NDSU will do their homework and focus on Sherron and maybe Cole. Look for Morningstar, Reed, and Taylor to hit some huge threes to move KU forward.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Nice article in USA today highlighting just how difficult it is to be where this team is after losing the core of players.

It would be nice if someone like Reed or a Morris twin would have one of those "career" play like a man possessed games, on our side for a change.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

We know how these games go. KU won't get any calls until the game is close or they are behind, so it's going to be hard to fight for every loose ball, and play tough defense. But that's still what they've got to do.

Teams that shoot a lot of threes are always in position for long rebounds too. So we need get all of those.

KU cannot rely on the three, because they historically go cold away from AFH. They must get inside, either to Cole, or by driving the lane. They need all the easy points, and lot's of transition buckets to help balance the lack of help from the refs.

The one thing I do like so far, is that this game is getting the kind of attention it deserves. Unlike KU's other two terrible losses to Bucknell and Bradley. I don't think KU will be looking past this NDSU squad.

And I actually like the 11:30 start time. If they do win, they have the rest of the day to watch their potential competition. That's extremely helpful, say, for a guy like Morningstar. He'll get to watch the man he's expected to shut down.

omng392 10 years, 10 months ago

Here is the key... Texas Tech had a lights out night. That's going to happen once or twice a year. It happens and when a team catches fire, watch out. Baylor had a couple of stud athletic guys who could go off. NDSU doesn't have any multi-deminonal players who can go off like Baylor does. Plus, shooting threes in a dome takes a bit of practice so that could hurt NDSU. Depth perception is a bit tricky.

I like our chances on the first round. The second round, maybe maybe not. If we play WVA, we'll play a more athletic version of NDSU ie. Baylor. There are no easy games in the tourney. Most of the teams that made it into the second day of their conference tournement played 80 to 120 mins worth of basketball, plus practice time. The hawks were wore down and a couple of extra days of rest this time of year, might be just what the doctor ordered. I use to think that when the championship game was on Sunday that it didn't do us any good. Heck, play four days of hard basketball only to get up sore and wore out on Monday, try to recover Tuesday and start preping for an opponent on Wednesay and possibly Thrusday with a game on Friday. At least this way, the hawks had Friday and Saturday off. Maybe a light walk through on Sunday. Prep for a team Monday and Tuesday. I just see this past weekend as maybe a blessing anyway.

I'm proud of how my baby jays have played this year. I really didn't expect much from these guys this year and the way the've come together is awesome and it shows the leadership and coaching job the Collins and Self have done.

Steve Hilker 10 years, 10 months ago

Way over thinking this one. KU will beat the bejeebers out of NDSU!

NewtonJayhawker 10 years, 10 months ago

Steve4ku, you are correct, way to much thinking going into this one! A severe beating will be adminstered to the lowly Bison. NDSU will have virtually no points in the paint, chuck up more threes than any opponent thus far, and will not be able to handle the on ball pressure applied by the Jayhawks, they will fold like Superman on Laundry day! Cole will tear them a new one, and the back cut alleyoops will get out of hand.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

The game against N.D. St. scares the crap out of me. Six seniors on the squad.... I don't care if they aren't as athletic. The way we have played lately, we could be one and done. But face it, our chances to win it all are slim and none anyway. (Not that I don't have fantasies of winning it all like every other fan)

Brian Skelly 10 years, 10 months ago

Anyone who doesnt think this doesnt have "trap game" written all over it is high off their arse.

We should handle them easily, but assuming we will is what will get us in to trouble.

We have a young, talented team. But 6 Seniors who've played together forever for this moment are going to play like they have nothing to lose... just like Tech and Baylor have the last few weeks.

Forcing the Jayhawks to have to bring it mentally isnt a bad thing though. It's probably exactly what we need.

KU_Chronic 10 years, 10 months ago

exactly... we SHOULD handle them easily... but i dont think it will happen like that. does anyone know what kind of pace NDSU plays at? if they slow it down we could be in even more trouble but as long as we pound it inside with cole and the twins we should be okay.

beenahawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Cole, Collins, Brady and Reed.....tell you what...if the TWINS don't show up this weekend, we come home early!

mahkmood 10 years, 10 months ago

I see five keys to this game, and the entire tournament for KU

1) A quote from the movie Hoosiers: "Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team - no one more important than the other." (I don't want to hear any more about this being Sherron's team - it's the team's team - each person with a role to play, whether big or small). Maybe Mangino could help explain this to the basketball team - he never glorifies a single player over the team, no matter how talented one person is I've never heard Coach Mangino say something like, "This is Todd Reesing's team"

2) Stop dribble penetration to prevent kick-outs for open three's - make them hit tough shots over the top where we're in good position to box out

3) Big guys need to stay out of foul trouble

4) Our guards need to shoot the ball in situations where our big guys have offensive rebounding position - even on a great day a team is going to miss at least half their 3's - just because a 3 is open doesn't necessarily mean it should be taken

5) Whoever plays the point guard position for us needs to break down the defense with the dribble drive, then look FIRST for the open teammate. No more forcing shots into 2 or 3 defenders (if 2 or 3 guys are trying to block our point guard's shot then obviously someone is wide open)

Theutus 10 years, 10 months ago

mahkmood, i couldn't have said it any better....

kennethst 10 years, 10 months ago

Cracks me up-all of you saying KU may lose on Friday......Are you kidding me??? KU is going to destroy NDSU.....take a look at their schedule before you post any more of your doom and gloom predictions.

kvskubball 10 years, 10 months ago

My guess is that ND State isn't athletic enough to hang with KU, but they are very experienced and have very good shooters. Sound familiar? That would pretty much summarize TTech. Voskuhl has a great game against us on their Senior Night...

Shouldn't be able doesn't mean ISN'T able, especially if we come out as if we were going to be handed the victory, or without energy. Anytime you let a jump shooting team hang around, you're asking for a possible heart-break, dagger deep 3 putting us out at the end.

I want our guards to be up in their faces. Remember, we want this team to drive it rather than throw down threes. Too often, our guards are stepping back or back on their heels as if protecting against dribble penetration, even when they should know that is the last thing a Voskuhl, or Baylor Bear's guard, or the Bison's Woodside & Co. want to do.

Let's rock the Dome!

It's simple really, if our team plays with energy and defends with intensity, this should be an easy victory. Dance time!

lagnaf 10 years, 10 months ago

Let's be objective-the foe as a team shoots 3's at +40%...KU is not taller than...Reed can't defend...hmmm, home by Saturday is all too real a possibility...

indijayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

can some one help me in finding last years final four games online?

Yakihawk 10 years, 10 months ago

For a KU fan board there sure are alot of naysayers up in here! For me the 'Hawks are always going to win by 20 and NCAA Champs every year in my bracket! Keep the Faith! You doubting Thomases need to take your negative energy elsewhere.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Digger Phelps has KU making the elite eight. I am shocked. He was never on the Rock Chalk bus last year with the team's team, and now he throws out this prediction. I hope he is right, but man am I puzzled.

addlime 10 years, 10 months ago

I live in Minneapolis, and I can assure you the the Bison fans come here in herds for football games at the dome. There will be a ton of them here, plus I'm sure a ton of them already live here. Everybody in this town is from the upper midwest. It will be a home crowd at the dome for the Bison and I hope to single handedly counteract them. Get up here Jayhawk fans!!! Don't look past this game. These Bison have more talented and more experienced players than the Bison that beat Wayne and Co. a few years ago.

NewtonJayhawker 10 years, 10 months ago

People, people, get a grip. Many of you already have us losing to this lowly team. I could understand the lack of confidence if KU was playing for the National Championship in Curling, but this is Basketball, KU Basketball!! Yes the Bison host an arsenal of Seniors, and an impressive 3pt. %.......against Centenary, Stephen F. Austin, IPFW, and the powerhouse that is Valley City State......exactly, they play nobody. They will play zone, try to press KU, and will attempt 30-40 treys. KU will shred their zone, run them to death, pressure them as they have never been pressured before, they have no where near the athletes we do, and will fold like a cheap Japanese fan, mark my words, NDSU has no chance, and HCBS will have the Hawks pumped and ready for action. So buck up fellow fans, Elite 8 here comes KU!

Scott Smetana 10 years, 10 months ago

Easy on Valley City State.. I don't see them in their schedule. I do see IPFW. Not even Wikipedia has heard of them:)

Rock Chalk, let's win like champs.

indijayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

You will remember this day when "indijayhawk" predicted Jayhawks as 2009 National Champions !

WeAreTheChamps 10 years, 10 months ago

Anyone else think that the pic of Bill at the top looks like Ricky Bobby when he's like "I don't know what to do with my hands"

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

We will beat them on the boards. We will beat them on the run. We will beat them at the rim. We will beat them and have fun.

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