Saturday, March 9, 2013

KU men look to defend Big 12 title streak today at Baylor

Kansas forward Kevin Young comes in to defend against a three-point shot from Baylor center Isaiah Austin during the second half on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Kevin Young comes in to defend against a three-point shot from Baylor center Isaiah Austin during the second half on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


— Kansas University’s basketball players — the ones who chant “Big 12 champs,” at the end of every practice during the two-month conference season — today go for their ninth-straight league title.

“Extremely bad,” KU senior center Jeff Withey said, when asked by a media member “how bad” he wants yet another championship ring.

“It’s important to keep up the tradition. It’s been going on for eight years now. We don’t want to be the group that doesn’t keep it going.”

The Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats enter today — the final day of the regular season — on the road tied for first place at 14-3, two games ahead of Oklahoma State (12-5).

K-State, which is 24-5 overall, meets OSU (22-7) in a 12:30 p.m. contest in Stillwater, Okla. At 5 p.m., the Jayhawks (26-4) will tip it up against sixth-place Baylor (17-13, 8-9) in Ferrell Center. By game time, the Jayhawks will know if they need a victory to tie KSU or to win the league outright.

“I think anything is possible,” KU senior Kevin Young said of final-day wackiness. “They (Bears) will come out strong and we are going to come out strong as well. It’ll be a fun game.”

KU hopes to keep alive the country’s longest active streak of conference titles and longest streak in school history. Ohio State, Belmont and Murray State entered the season having won three league crowns in a row.

“A lot of people thought it was Kansas and everybody else for the league race. Those people that thought that really didn’t get it, at least from our perspective,” said KU coach Bill Self. “Our league is good and you know it is good. The Big 12 just did not have a good preseason, but teams have played better since we got into league play.”

The Jayhawks, who have won seven straight games since a three-game losing streak, face a Baylor team, which is, at best, on the NCAA bubble. The Pierre Jackson-led Bears, who advanced to the Elite Eight in both 2010 and 2012, opened conference play 5-1.

However, BU has since dropped eight of its last 11 games and has work to do to convince the NCAA Tournament committee it deserves an invitation to the Big Dance.

“Yes, I think Baylor still has a shot to get in,” Self said. His Jayhawks won the first meeting between the teams, 61-44, on Jan. 14, in Allen Fieldhouse. “I know the league’s reputation doesn’t get talked about a lot, but I’ve studied it some here of late. We want to get six teams in from our league, without question. I just don’t want them (Baylor) to get in at our expense. But they probably need to play well from this point forward.

“They’re playing at home and this (a victory over KU) would be a great feather in their cap. We know we’ll get a great effort. It’s one thing to say, ‘Hey, we need to do this, (and) we need to do that,’ but when it gets down to the final deal and this has to happen, usually the focus is the best it’s been all year and I’m sure it will be for them.”

Jackson, a 5-10 senior from Las Vegas, who scored 10 points off 2-of-12 shooting with four assists and four turnovers in the first KU meeting, averages a league-leading 19.1 points and 6.5 assists a game.

“Pierre Jackson has had an unbelievable year,” Self said. “He is as talented as any guard in the country, period. The kid gets 20 (points) and seven (rebounds) every night and Isaiah Austin (7-foot freshman, 13.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg) is a lottery pick. There are a lot of teams in America that don’t have that.”

Asked how KU can slow Jackson, KU forward Young said: “I think we’ve got to pressure him, keep him on his heels, don’t let up the whole game. We’ll probably guard him with multiple players. Hopefully he doesn’t get too comfortable.”

KU coach Self actually picked Baylor to win the league in the preseason coaches’ poll in which coaches couldn’t pick their own teams.

“I think they are right there at the very top (talent wise),” Self said. “I picked them to win and OSU second and K-State third if I remember right going back.”

Baylor has lost two straight home games, to Kansas State (64-61) and Iowa State (87-82).

“It’s real frustrating because we want to win every game,” Baylor junior guard Gary Franklin told the Waco Tribune. “There are some of those we should have won and that’s pretty devastating.”

“One thing about this team is we’re not scared or going to back down,” senior guard A.J. Walton told the Tribune. “We’ll continue to work on our game plan and execution and try to make a good run.”

“We’ve got to regroup,” BU coach Scott Drew told the paper. “We knew what we had left and we put ourselves in this position. At the end of the day, the air is in the ball and as long as it’s bouncing, we’ve got a chance. So let’s just make the most of it and keep getting better.”

Austin excels: BU freshman center Austin is a 7-1, 220-pounder from Grace Prep in Arlington, Texas. KU tried to get involved in recruiting Austin, but never received a campus visit.

“He’s terrific. Everybody in the league who coaches against him feels the same way,” Self said. “He’s so long and so skilled and has touch. He can stretch the defense, play with his back to the basket. He’s a terrific prospect. We tried to recruit Isaiah like a lot of people did. He’s one of the better ‘gets’ that anybody in our league has gotten since the inception of the Big 12.

“He’s a guard that plays 6-11,” Self added. “He’s continue to mature physically and part of that is natural maturation process that everyone goes through. He’ll get bigger, stronger. He’s a force. He’ll play this game a long time.”

He could turn pro after his frosh season.

“I thought about it (the NBA draft) a little, but that’s not where my mind is right now,” Austin told the Waco Tribune. “We’re struggling in the Big 12 and hopefully we’ll make the tournament. That’s what everybody wants to do in college, play in the Big Dance and show everybody what they have. That’s what we’re focused on.”

Tourney talk: If KU is the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, the Jayhawks would play a Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal at 2 p.m, Thursday, in Sprint Center. If KU is the No. 2 seed, it would play in a 6 p.m., quarterfinal Thursday.

Randle cuts two: Julius Randle, a 6-9 senior forward from Prestonwood Christian High in Plano, Texas, has eliminated Oklahoma and North Carolina State from his list of schools. He will choose either Kansas, Kentucky, Florida or Texas on March 20 on ESPNU.


nostradavid 8 years, 7 months ago

We will win tonight, and everything will be ...

Hunky Dory !

Hunky Dory ! by nostradavid

okiedave 8 years, 7 months ago

KU and KSU are both on the road with KSU having the toughest road test. Much more likely, in my humble opinion, there will be a tie for the XII championship -- either both KU and KSU will win or both will lose. KSU definitely does not deserve to share the title with KU. Today I'm routing for OSU and KU.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 7 months ago

OSU and KU. Don't want either a 2 or 3 way tie.

jayhawkinnc 8 years, 7 months ago

glad to see Randle still has us on his list. having to beat out 3 other schools is better than having to beat out 5. Come on know you want to come play for The Phog!

Steve Quatrocky 8 years, 7 months ago

Glad we kicked the crud out of one of the others on his list, on GameDay no less! KY is going to be a little crowded next year, with or without Noel, minutes will be tough to get, while we have five starting positions open. If he is really the deal, he starts and has plenty of competition for the four guys who get to play with him! Thats true for Wiggins too.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 7 months ago

Agreed...not as many OADs at KY this year as most previously thought.

ollerfarm 8 years, 7 months ago

Wiggins and Randle and BenMcLe sounds pretty good.

nicka 8 years, 7 months ago

Sounds good, too bad we will have none of those 3 next year.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 7 months ago

We will have at least one of the three next year in Lawrence.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 7 months ago

I've watched bracketology last few months and I have noticed of all the potential seeding placements Kansas keeps ending up with a KC showing. How does that work? Do they go out of there way to schedule that way?

okjhok 8 years, 7 months ago

If you're a 4-seed or better, you'll likely get the closest spot 1st and 2nd round, or 2nd and 3rd, or whatever the first 2 "real" rounds are called these days. It's a pod of 4 teams, so if you're a 4-seed or better, you're automatically the highest seed of your pod. Also, it doesn't matter what region you're in. Duke could be in West bracket, but will still get to play their first two games in Charlotte or Greensboro, or wherever the closest site is to them...same for KU playing in KC.

jgkojak 8 years, 7 months ago

They have figured out that for the first 2 rounds if they let teams play close to home, they'll sell more tickets - so seeds 1-4, who will always be the higher seed in the first 2 rounds, are given the advantage of preferential scheduling - so expect to see K-State also playing in KC.

I still am betting if MU is an 8/9 seed that KU will be seeing them in the 2nd round.

Kip_McSmithers 8 years, 7 months ago

No way they give an 8 or a 9 seed a game that close to their campus. Like okjhok said, if you're a 4 or better they try to give you the home court advantage.

Luke Kading 8 years, 7 months ago

I have had that same feeling for a while now too. I don't think it would be fair if Missouri got rewarded for a mediocre season by playing in KC, but I could definitely see the selection committe putting Kansas and Missouri in the same bracket as a potential second round game. The story lines and ticket sales would be through the roof, and that's probably the only they really care about.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm not sure how it works, but I do know this - if your name is Duke or North Carolina (maybe not this year) - you will play your first round game within 8 miles of home, even if it means they have to book a high school gym or the local playground.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 7 months ago

so it's safe to buy some tickets for the kc venue then ?

Bradly Moore 8 years, 7 months ago

Randle will go to Kentucky, Wiggins will go to FSU, and if you think Ben is here next year, I would love to have some of the stuff you are smoking.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 7 months ago

Any other bad news for us Debby Downer?

Tim Marshall 8 years, 7 months ago

Do you know something we don't? Amazing how you can see into the future.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 8 years, 7 months ago

I think Randle is KU bound. Wiggins has a chance to win a championship at KU and i'm not so sure about anywhere else (has the biggest change).

That being said we would like to have both but no ill will on whatever their choice is.

Steve Quatrocky 8 years, 7 months ago

Not likely, there is a better chance that Randle would have to compete for minutes with Nerlens Noel at KY next year, than BMac at KU. KY may miss the freaking tournament, you have any idea what that does to their buzz with recruits, once the magic has been lost? The competition for Randle is Texas, and if he picks them after the GameDay but kickin, we dont want him and have plenty of kids in the cubbard that want to be Jayhawks!

Wiggins and his whole family had a very cold look whenever I saw them on camera, a cold analytical look that made me think that they were impressed but we were competing for number 2. The snow didnt help.

And yes, not that I want it, but BMac going pro will be a no brainer anywhere in the Top 10, just like Rush before he ripped his ACL and gave us two more years, barring injury Ben is gone, gone gone.

Chris1955 8 years, 7 months ago

They're from Canada. The snow won't matter.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 7 months ago

Noel and BMac will both be playing ball in the NBA next year. Cauley-Stein will probably leave also.

kufanman88 8 years, 7 months ago

I have read recruiting analysis on Randle and Wiggins. We are currently either tied or leading recruiting for Randle (depending on who you read), but Wiggins is a long shot at best. My prediction is that Ben goes to the draft, we pick up Randle, and Wiggins goes to either Kentucky or FSU.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 7 months ago

Cedar, I have a better idea...pass along what you're smoking.

Steve Quatrocky 8 years, 7 months ago

If they miss the tourney, the aura is gone, gone, gone. The only way to restore it is for Noel to come back and win it all next year.

jayhawkab 8 years, 7 months ago

Congratulations HornedFrog820 on your win over Kansas your season is complete. The season is not complete for the Jayhawks until they have won the league, the big 12 tournament and another national championship see the difference in Kansas and TCU?

Marc Frey 8 years, 7 months ago

Another difference is the74-48 beatdown KU handed TCU. 26 points for you mathmatically challenged.. Another difference is that your season will end before Kansas plays their first Big 12 Tournament game. But, hey kuddos to TCU, they have that one victory and can hang a banner, print T-shirts, and use it for the 2013-2014 Season Ticket drive as well. And there always your women's team to follow. Try that.

JHawk74 8 years, 7 months ago

TCU is happy with 1 win. KU is only happy with Big 12 Championship and a National Championship.

SDSurferFan 8 years, 7 months ago

Congrats on the great season. Did they hang a banner? Way to follow up the win with losing the rest of the season.

As an SDSU guy and huge KU fan I welcomed the door mat of the MWC to join the b12 so I could continue to watch the toads!

jhox 8 years, 7 months ago

No question it's K 177. TCU fans have too much class and intelligence to post something so stupid. He is clearly a K State or Missery guy. That low IQ will give them away every time.

At the end of the day, when the Mildcats have lost, we'll be celebrating another outright title. How sweet it is.

Thirty seven years and still waiting for another conference title. That really has to give fans a massive inferiority complex.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 7 months ago way a KSU troll comes on here as himself/herself/itself considering the TWO beatdowns we've already given them this year. OK, OK...the win in M'hattan is a stretch to classify as a beatdown, I know.

PVJayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

mu colors: "yellow for cowardice, black for villainy"


B0B 8 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately, I don't think coach is going to put me in today. So I can obsess over whatever I want.

ParisHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Are you the same person who keeps taking the "roads less traveled by" and getting banned?

Talk about someone who's all over the map...

Try route 330, Piilani Highway, Hana, Maui, Hawaii. It goes to:
View Larger Map

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 7 months ago

HornedFrog: Did you sign up just so you could talk a little trash on this article? Amazing.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 7 months ago

HorneyFrog is just a KSU troll in disguise, folks.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 7 months ago

The Toad is right about one thing...the loss to TCU ranks as probably the biggest upset in the last 20 years based on the RPI of both schools at the time, according to ESPN.

jhox 8 years, 7 months ago

Just the wake up call our team needed. We're much more focused now and playing better.

Dale Kroening 8 years, 7 months ago

Pretty sure the Penn State win over Michigan was a bigger upset if your talking RPI at the time.

FL_Jhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes, Horney, our loss to you was a total embarrassment, and many of us have put it out of our minds, but it in no way taints another championship. It doesn't taint it since even with that humiliating loss, we came out of it stronger than ever are still in the running.

I am wondering though if you would have rather lost to KU both times and instead win a total of 6 games, ending up in 6th or 7th place?

If you prefer the lone KU victory and losing 17 out of 18, then you are a pathetic fan.

Now, I would think you would be rooting for KU henceforth. You ought to be hoping we will win the NCAA finals, then you can say you guys beat the National Champions!

KU fans like your coach and we would appreciate your support. Further KU loses only degrades you guys even more.

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Hang a banner, Toad, right there above your DVD. And design another for the toilet seat. If you are fortunate beyond credibility, perhaps next season your squad will win another league game so that you can fill the house with banners, scrunch back in the recliner, clinch a cold one in your mitt and shriek Yee-Haw!

Zhawkzz 8 years, 7 months ago

Gary...last I looked the KC pod games are on Friday, not Thursday. Sprint Center, NCAA and my tickets say that anyway. Or did they change it? If they did, a few folks like me will have to scramble to make hotel room changes.

Zhawkzz 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks Jeep. It's a Jeep thing...

Gary needs to make that correction. He doesn't miss much so we will give him a pass this time.

Jesse Newell 8 years, 7 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you are talking about different tourneys. Gary is talking about the Big 12 tourney; you are talking about the NCAA tourney the next week.

Zhawkzz 8 years, 7 months ago

Jesse....oops you...and Gary are correct. Was thinking about the BIG dance. The one that matters.

And by the way, both you, Gary and Matt do a GREAT job.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 7 months ago

BTW...was hoping to start off my day watching the Cats get thumped by the Pokes, but alas the major networks FAILED AGAIN by not booking the matchup between #9 and #13.

Marc Frey 8 years, 7 months ago

That because we have to watch the CBS-Kentucky lovefest. CBS is willing KTY into the Dance for the ratings.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 7 months ago

Watching UK get thumped by UF is not a bad consolation, I guess.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 7 months ago

Cool...just found out it will be on

jayhawkab 8 years, 7 months ago

I said congratulations HornedFrog820 be proud of your accompishment it is something you can treasure all your life. I know beating KU will probably help your recruiting so good luck next year.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

Actually, they got Karviar Shepherd before beating us ... minor point.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 7 months ago

I know I'll get removed for violating the usage agreement, and you can all click the suggest removal button if you'd like, in fact you can call me a troll, a KSU fan, an illiterate gap toothed incestual, meth addict (gasp) mesery fan, but I still miss playing the kittens from columbia and wish we'd have scheduled them this year.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 7 months ago

Hey, they were often our best game of the season, and I miss that. And hate to say it but $$$ talks and if the big 10 came a callin we'd have chased the dollars that conference has to offer also.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 7 months ago

We should chase down the B1G regardless after that nonsense surrounding 1 call in the ISU game. No reason for KU to stay in the B12 after that.

741hawk 8 years, 7 months ago

No malice for you opinion. My opinion is that you are misguided. Rock Chalk.

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm neutral. Play them....don't play them.....whatever. Remember Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka.....when the kids are getting lost......He says ' No . Don't . Stop . Come Back".......about as lazily and apethetically as possible? That's me.

kay_you 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm surprised at how indifferent I've become to mizwho. I'm sure if I watched them I'd get a kick out of seeing them lose but I've not really paid attention. K-State has proven to be a more worthy opponent in both sports, albeit without the same degree of repulsion.

kay_you 8 years, 7 months ago

^ that was poorly worded. Given that they are handing it to us in football what I meant to say was they are better in both sports than mizstool.

Janet Olin 8 years, 7 months ago

Go, Jayhawks! Rebound, defend, rebound, defend, repeat. Make it 9. C'mon, Ben, show something good in a road game. RCJHGKU

Steve Reigle 8 years, 7 months ago

" By game time, the Jayhawks will know if they need a victory to tie KSU or to win the league outright."

Actually, KU cannot win it outright without winning today. If both KU and KSU lose today, they're tied. If KU loses and KSU wins, then we get 2nd. If KU wins and KSU loses, then and only then we have 1st outright.

on edit - after re-reading the article I see I misinterpreted what was being said. Sorry.

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

Anyone else nervous about this game? I am. Then again......I'm always nervous.

My little 3 year old daughter drew a picture of her Baby Jayhawk sitting on top of a bear.....presumably the Baylor Bear ......My wife put her up to it. I think it's good.....and now is of course under a magnet on the refrigerator.

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

Born-Good job keeping track of the trolls. Thanks. Also....whatever happenned to that loser that uses the Tulane emblem? Can't think of his name. You know who I'm talking about?

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. If she somehow does not turnout a KU will not be for lack of trying! this point.....I think she just loves her stuffed Baby Jayhawk. But that's a start!

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

Current brackets show MU an 8 seed and getting to play in Kansas City??? Why is that?? And shows KU having to play them or Creighton in 2nd round? Either will be very tough. I don't like it.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 7 months ago

Fortunately those brackets don't mean anything. It'd be tempting I'm sure for the committee to match up Misery with KU in KC to ensure massive buzz, but it would go against their policies of only protecting the top4 seed lines. On the other hand didn't KU get UNI in St. Louis where they'd just finished playing Arch Madness? So yes, KU will get screwed into having to play a tough 2nd round matchup where they don't have a homecourt advantage unlike every other 1 or 2 seed in the tourney.

theend 8 years, 7 months ago

Good point.....I dont want to play MU....or any other rival.

Sam Constance 8 years, 7 months ago

We also had to play in California as a 1-seed facing 2-seeded UCLA back in 2007.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 7 months ago

They didn't score after the under 8 timeout I guess, and some people were saying they should be seeded ahead of KU. Their best road/neutral win is LSU. Vegas has been all about them, their odds to win it all last week were 3.5 to 1, lowest of all teams.

ParisHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Maybe you've got that backwards...

It appears that in Kentucky the shouting is never over.

When you say "it's all over" are you talking about recruiting or UK's chances of making the NCAA Tournament?

theend 8 years, 7 months ago

Stupid KState winning. Looks like they got this one.

theend 8 years, 7 months ago

I may have spoken too is my nature.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 7 months ago

It'll be interesting to see how this game turns out and their likely rematch in the Big12 tourney semis.

theend 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes! You know....after watching rthis.......I don't think OSU is that great.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 7 months ago

OSU has the potential to beat anyone, but too often Smart and Nash just take wild jump shots. They win that 2nd game against KU if Nash cools it on the jumpers. I won't be surprised if they win the Big12 tourney and/or make a deep NCAA tourney run.

theend 8 years, 7 months ago

Ummmmmm.....Yes. Definitely too soon. But I'm happy to be wrong!!!!!!!

Awesome!!!!! KU Big Champs(at least a tie)!!!!!!!

GreatJake 8 years, 7 months ago

It's all yours for the taking KU. Thanks OSU.

Did u see how angry KSUs coach was towards the end of the game.


theend 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes. He has issues. He seems very with all of his back-handed compliments when KU beat KSU last time. There is something off about him and that I don't like. I heard Self does not care for him. Don't know if that's true though.

MrPilot 8 years, 7 months ago

Woohoo! 9 Straight!!! Let's go win it outright!

Rock Chalk!

shottybotch 8 years, 7 months ago

kstate had a few crappy calls not go there way at the end....but who cares! b12 champs 9 and running

theend 8 years, 7 months ago

Here are a few teams I DO NOT want to play in the big tourney.......MU,ISU,OSU,Creighton.

K State? No....doesn't worry me much.

Who else should I be worried about?

Chris1955 8 years, 7 months ago

Congratulations to our Jayhawks on their 9th straight Big 12 Conference Championship!

Which talking head was it who said if Bill Self wins 10 conference championships in a row, KU will put a statue of him in front of Allen Fieldhouse? Does anybody know how many UCLA won in a row during their glory years?

We'll be leaving the Holiday Express in Woodway to head to the KU/Baylor game in just a few minutes. I hope to see some of you there!

ParisHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

13 conference championships in a row.

And what coach broke the streak? Larry Brown in his first year.

ParisHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Personally, I'll be glad to see Kentucky make it to the NCAAs. I don't want to see them up their win total with some soft victories in the NIT, the way UNC did a few years ago.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 7 months ago

Releford's younger brother Trevor hits half court 3 to win..Alabama beats Georgia.

kellerman411 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm embarrassed to be a Jayhawk. Only because Bill let them get comfortable. This was not KU basketball today.

Kevin Jenkins 8 years, 7 months ago

Wow, just watched another Ku-tcu game! Sorry I guess it was Baylor. I see EJ forgot to bring his car keys to start the car. No leadership from the seniors, but the freshmen played well. Maybe Billi let them watch the K-state game.

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