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Big 12 Conference

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jayhawks open Big 12 tournament against Red Raiders

Texas Tech forward Dejan Kravic (11) celebrates with teammates after making the game-winning basket during an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia in the Big 12 men's tournament Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. Texas Tech won 71-69.

Texas Tech forward Dejan Kravic (11) celebrates with teammates after making the game-winning basket during an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia in the Big 12 men's tournament Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. Texas Tech won 71-69.

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— Texas Tech’s basketball team faced the unenviable task of playing Kansas University on the Jayhawks’ Senior Night a mere 10 days ago.

“Obviously we didn’t play great on Senior Night. One of the worst places to play on Senior Night is in Phog Allen (Fieldhouse),” Red Raider interim coach Chris Walker told the Big 12 Network TV crew after Tech’s 71-69 Big 12 tournament opening-round victory over West Virginia on Wednesday night in Sprint Center.

His squad, which was plastered by KU, 79-42, on March 4, today meets the Jayhawks in a 2 p.m., Big 12 quarterfinal in KC.

“On a neutral court ... like I told our guys before (playing) West Virginia, anything can happen,” Walker added. “As a matter of fact, it’s ‘March Madness.’ Anything can happen. I’ve been in those situations (as assistant coach) at Villanova playing against those great Syracuse teams ... having to win a game to get into the tournament. You know what? That’s what the ‘Madness’ is and that’s what our guys are looking forward to.”

KU coach Bill Self’s Jayhawks, who enter with a 26-5 record compared to Tech’s 11-19 mark, also beat the Raiders, 60-46, on Jan. 12 in Lubbock, Texas.

“We labored at Tech. We were up two at halftime,” Self said Wednesday after exiting the team bus at the Kansas City Downtown Marriott Hotel. “We played them on (KU’s) Senior Night and played them very, very well. The great thing about playing Tech for us is we just played them a few days ago. They are fresh in our guys’ minds.”

Not only that ... the Jayhawks figure to be a motivated bunch after losing to Baylor, 81-58, last Saturday in Waco.

“I think our whole team is excited,” Self said at the team hotel. “I know I am. Although we got a piece of the championship (with Kansas State at 14-4) and we shouldn’t apologize for that, it kind of leaves a bittersweet taste. We’d like to come over here and perform well in Kansas City to set the table for what will be hopefully bigger things to come moving forward for all the teams who qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

“We’ve had a good three days of practice,” Self added. “Our guys are ready to get into our third season (after nonconference and conference). I don’t know if I’ll use it (tying for league crown) as motivation. I do think in the mindset of our guys, there’s still some things to prove.”

The Jayhawks say they won’t take Tech lightly.

“Tech is physical,” KU senior center Jeff Withey said. In fact, Red Raiders big man Dejan Kravic, who was 0-for-6 shooting 10 days ago vs. KU, rebounded a miss from the corner and scored a stickback layup with 0.4 ticks left to beat West Virginia on Wednesday. “When we played them at Tech it was very physical. They rebound the ball well. Even at Allen they were a tough team. They run similar plays to ours.”

KU outrebounded Tech, 45-23, in Lawrence after getting outrebounded 28-26 in Lubbock.

“The No. 1 thing we have to do is rebound,” Walker said. “We’ve got to do a really good job keeping them off the glass. That’s where they kill you.”

Camo on tap today: KU officials confirmed the Jayhawks today will be wearing adidas’ funky camo uniforms. The Journal-World’s Matt Tait reports the uniforms have been selling well in Lawrence. Former KU guard Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat has asked Jock’s Nitch in Downtown Lawrence to secure him some white camo shorts.

McLemore honored: KU freshman Ben McLemore on Wednesday was named to the USBWAA Freshman All-America Team. Others: Anthony Bennett, UNLV; Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA; Nerlens Noel, Kentucky; Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State. Smart was named the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year.

Interim may be promoted: Walker, who was given the “interim” tag after replacing Billy Gillispie, could be named permanent Tech head coach in coming weeks.

“I’ve got a one-day contract with God. Every day I wake up I’m happy to be alive,” Walker told the Studio 66 TV crew. “I wake up tomorrow and I’ll still be coach of Texas Tech basketball. It’s an unbelievable university, an unbelievable opportunity. I take it day by day and whatever happens, happens.”

Practice time: KU practiced in Lawrence on Wednesday afternoon. The Jayhawks did not use their allotted time slot to shoot in Sprint Center.

“We’ve been to 10 Big 12 tournaments since I’ve been here. I’ve never gone a day early to practice,” Self said. “If you don’t play on the first day, to get ample time to practice you need to come in two days early. Why would we come in two days early when we live 45 minutes down the road? Today we had 50 minutes allotted time (in Sprint Center). I can talk for 55. That wasn’t enough time. We needed to practice at our place. Maybe it’ll backfire. Maybe it won’t. I didn’t see any reason we should practice twice today.”

Wide open tourney: The winner of the KU-Texas Tech game will play the winner of today’s 11:30 a.m., Iowa State-Oklahoma game at 6:30 p.m., Friday, in Sprint Center. Finals are 5 p.m., Saturday.

“I’d say this is the most open the tournament has been since I can remember,” Self said. “In most years you look at it and say, ‘This team or that team would have the best chance to run off three in a row.’ I really think you can make a strong case if you poll people who have seen all the teams play that six different teams (KU, K-State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State) ... no one would be surprised that they run off three in a row. There are more than six teams capable of winning three in a row. I’m talking about where there’s absolutely no shock value to it. I think it makes for a pretty interesting tournament.”

Comments

Phoghorn 1 year, 1 month ago

REMOVED IN LESS THAN FOUR MINUTES. WOW!

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Phoghorn 1 year, 1 month ago

Oh, how neat. Highway Man lives in Lubbock, now.

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IH_27 1 year, 1 month ago

Not only will the Chickenhawks look awful in those childish Adidas unis, they'll look awful when we pull another shocking upset today! GO RED RAIDERS!

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Ryan Shelton 1 year, 1 month ago

"KU officials confirmed the Jayhawks today will be wearing adidas’ funky camo uniforms."

I was looking for a positive for being stuck at work while the boys play this afternoon. That's as close as it gets.

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KanKu 1 year, 1 month ago

Completely off topic.....and may have already been mentioned and I missed it......but did anyone see John Calipari's comments after they lost to Georgia a week ago today? I saw this on ESPN's College Basketball tonight. He was outside of the locker room in a hallway BASHING coach Self. He said something to the effect of, 'I'm not going to blame the players...this is on me and our coaching staff. I am not going to go out and say 'we have no point guard.....or we're the worst team in school history....this is on me....'. I may not be quoting it exactly, but it was clearly a slap in the face to Bill Self and his comments after the OSU loss regarding not having a point guard as well as having the worst team KU has put on the floor since the Topeka YMCA teams played Naismith's team.

Look at the timing on this....a month since it happened, and Calipari was keeping this in his head to use at a later date when his team is clearly inferior to KU's team, regardless of their struggles. WHAT A TOOL.....as bad if not worse than Bruce "High Pitch" Weber's comments.

It seems (to me) like a clear ploy to push guys like Randle and Wiggins away from KU, by showing what a happy-go-lucky, hang out and chill with Jay-Z kind of guy he is........yet a month prior, I recall Calipari saying "My guys are uncoachable". Like that is not a slap in the face of current player in and of itself.

If I could, I would love to tell this scumbag what I think of him in person......Calibrate the Tool called Calipari......

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jfos4 1 year, 1 month ago

Or what about a site to watch it online?

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kloag44 1 year, 1 month ago

Anyone know if you can get the game on iHeart Radio? Or is there a radio station online where you can listen to the game?

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sasnak 1 year, 1 month ago

KU will not make it very far, as they don't have the talent and coaching.

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hawkmoon2020 1 year, 1 month ago

IMHO, this team needs to bring the fire and energy they displayed on Senior Night to every remaining game they have left this season. I was COMPLETELY surprised they didn't show that fighting spirit vs Baylor when an all out Conf. Championship was at stake. Sure Baylor shot lights out, but the team still lacked sufficient effort.

I know the Post Season Tourn. is not a make or break for this team, but we will see what mettle they possess today and/or this weekend. BRING IT Hawks!!!!

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Glenn Moore Jr 1 year, 1 month ago

i am in need of a web site where i can listen to the game on the radio for free in information would be appreciated thanks in advance

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Cameron Cederlind 1 year, 1 month ago

At least 6 teams could win 3 games in a row? First time I've heard that quote.

1

Brett Forreal 1 year, 1 month ago

Any free link to watch today's game at two, other than Watch ESPN? Thanks.

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dhinkansas 1 year, 1 month ago

Anyone else tired of Hoiberg still hashing the calls/no calls in the Iowa St game? Dude...get over it. Your team had a 7 point lead at the 1:50 mark and didn't close it out.

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Scott Smetana 1 year, 1 month ago

One of the first things I'll look at on Sunday is who is our #7 or #8. That game terrifies me. Just think Purdue last year when we had an arguably better team. As much as I loath Mizzery, I don't want to face them. There will be a few awesome #7-8's and a few bad ones.

7-8's as of 3/13/13

Good to play - Colorado St, Creighton, N. Dame, Memphis Bad to play - Illinois, N. Carolina, Missouri, NC State

In my opinion, many of the 6 seeds are worse than these. Therefore, I really don't care if we're a 1, 2, or 3. I just want a good matchup. I'm not afraid of any 1 seed except Duke, but that's WAY down the road.

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tis4tim 1 year, 1 month ago

“I’ve got a one-day contract with God ... "

I love this statement. There are many variations on this wisdom, of course, but I'd never heard it framed in sports terms before. I dig it.

That said, I hope our team makes wise use of this day and pummels Tech into oblivion.

2

Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago

WOW!! Huggy Bear misses another chance to add to his o-fer lifetime win/loss record against Bill Self!!

Baylor loss may be a blessing in disguise....wake-up call, motivation, rally point, revenge..whatever you want to call it, makes KU a very dangerous team.

Sports Illustrated has Kansas, #1 in the South playing Missouri #8 in the South in the second game in Kansas City!!! If that happens, we better friggin' win or the "The Highwayman " will be all over this board using every Interstate, State, County and local route names he can find!!

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soapisurfriend 1 year, 1 month ago

If any of you are in the NYC area, it looks like Jo Embiid is giving away tickets to watch him play in the Jordan Brand game. Also, only 6 days until we hear from Mr. Randle!

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Ron Franklin 1 year, 1 month ago

Nine More Wins.

Defense.

Defense.

Defense.

Toast Tech.

3

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

This is the scariest KU team that I can remember.

We can beat virtually any team in the country on a given day.

We can lose to virtually any team in the country on a given day.

How about for the next 9 games we be the team that can beat any team?

3

Kent Richardson 1 year, 1 month ago

As kool as Shaft and super nice ghetto sled with porta walls.

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nostradavid 1 year, 1 month ago

You have to admit, in the picture with all the schools lined up in the new uniforms, ours looked the best! I feel like Mario; give me a pair. The chicks will love them.

Adidas is worried about Puma sneaking up on them. Remember this: Customized for Walt Frazier in 1973, the Clyde was the first signature basketball shoe.

Clyde

Clyde by nostradavid

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Tech needs to hire Chris Walker.

KU needs to watch out for Chris Walker.

KU needs to be ready for the next step up in physical aggression.

Which b12 tourney games will Self give a full amp for?

KU's new Adidas whites will hardly be noticeable at all. It's the blues that will shock and awe!

Who cares about practicing for Sprint? KU needs to get the team in a dome ASAP to avoid bad shooting in the Madness.

Will the refs even carry whistles from here on out?

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

"jaybate's Sports Bottom Line: Uniforms Hypothesis "

Europe reputedly is adidas core market.

EU reputedly is in depression.

Adidas revenues reputedly significantly down in Europe.

Adidas might need to spike USA revenues to off set European revenue declines.

Reputed Euro currency crisis might compound adidas' problem by spiking currency and financial risk and threatening stock price.

NeoCon German Chancellor Angela Merkel reputedly threatening to issue Reich Marks to manage Euro currency crisis.

Huge currency risk increase and revenue decline might drag stock price down and make Adidas a vulnerable take over target.

Black Rock, reputedly the biggest, baddest capital manager (think T. Boone Pickens on untraceable Federal Reserve bailout money steroids) reputedly has big and rising stake in Adidas.

Adidas might need to spike revenues fast to avoid financial regime change.

Uniform and marketing blitz in USA might be aimed to spike revenues and keep current adidas management in control.

Management might be hoping to throw enough different kinds of uniform ensembles against the wall in order to find one or more that stick.

D1 programs like KU, etc., might go along with adidas marketing blitz to try to be "good teammates" of Adidas.

(Note: the above is only a hypothesis suggested to enable future thought about the uniform phenomenon. It is not a verified theory.)

(Note: shameless repost of post on Matt tait's blog.)

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texashawk10 1 year, 1 month ago

I suppose KU's uniform situation could be worse. They could be wearing those AAU looking knockoffs Tech was wearing or the practice jerseys Nike handed out for teams this year.

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