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Benton Smith

KUsports.com reporter

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Benton Smith was born in Kansas City, Mo., and bounced around in the years that followed, living in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina, before moving to Lawrence in 2006. Along the way, he lived in Sanford, N.C., for a huge chunk of his life and graduated in 2002 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — an institution, he assures die-hard Kansas fans, which he attended primarily for its in-state tuition and journalism program. Shortly after moving to Lawrence, Smith began working part-time at the Journal-World, initially covering youth sports. Next, he covered Free State High athletics and area sports for the J-W, before taking on the position of sports editor for one of The World Company's weekly newspapers, The Mirror, in Tonganoxie. He worked there from 2008 to 2011, until returning to the Journal-World to lead its high school sports coverage. In 2013, Smith took on a new role with KUsports.com, as a digital editor, blogger and writer and that role changed again in 2016, when Smith was promoted to KU football beat writer.

Recent Stories

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Big man Jordan Bell a game-changer as Oregon topples Kansas

Almost as a forewarning of how he planned to dominate the paint Saturday night at Sprint Center, 6-foot-9 Oregon forward Jordan Bell denied a Josh Jackson layup and snagged an offensive rebound within the first minute of the Midwest Regional Final, against top-seeded Kansas. The junior’s energetic approach on both ends of the floor injected his upset-minded Ducks with the kind of punch it would take to knock the Jayhawks out of the NCAA Tournament. By Benton Smith

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Quack attacked: Oregon ends KU's season in Elite Eight

Masters of the comeback during the regular season, the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks couldn’t dig themselves out of their first massive hole of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night at Sprint Center. The Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks scored with ease for stretches, led by as many as 18 points in the second half and ended KU’s season one game away from the Final Four, with a 74-60 victory by the No. 3 seed in front of an angry, hostile, pro-Kansas crowd. By Benton Smith

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One-time Oregon fan Landen Lucas ready to take on dad's alma mater

By the end of Saturday night at Sprint Center, one team Richard Lucas loves will advance to the Final Four. And the other’s season will be over. The proud father of KU's Landen Lucas said Friday he’s certain the scene will feel a bit bizarre just before tip-off. It wasn’t all that long ago that his son wore Oregon colors just about every day and openly cheered for his dad’s alma mater. By Benton Smith

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Ducks, like Jayhawks, aim to rectify last year's Elite Eight setback

The top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks won’t be the only team on the floor tonight at Sprint Center with memories of coming up short on the Elite Eight stage one year ago driving them to achieve something greater this time around. Third-seeded Oregon, too, finished just one victory short of the Final Four twelve months back. By Benton Smith

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Sweet finish: Jayhawks pound Purdue in second half

The top seed in the Midwest is one victory away from the biggest stage in college basketball. Kansas put on a Sweet 16 show Thursday night at Sprint Center, flying by Purdue for a 98-66 victory. By Benton Smith

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Ducks and Jayhawks to battle for Final Four berth

The Big Ten flavor to the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks’ run through the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Region ended Thursday night at Sprint Center, thanks to the Pac 12’s Oregon Ducks, who edged Michigan, 69-68, in the Sweet 16. By Benton Smith

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Boilermakers bracing for KU-friendly environment at Sprint Center

When the Midwest Region’s fourth-seeded Purdue Boilermakers took the floor at Sprint Center Wednesday afternoon for practice, they received what freshman guard Carsen Edwards deemed a nice reception. No discernible boos. Just some cheers from a small contingent of Purdue supporters. Edwards and his teammates know not to expect the same when they return to the arena Thursday night for their Sweet 16 matchup with top-seeded Kansas. By Benton Smith

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Kansas set to face Caleb 'Biggie' Swanigan — or Mr. Double-Double

When Purdue sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan steps onto a basketball court his individual production has become a foregone conclusion. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Big Ten Player of the Year goes by his lifelong alias of “Biggie,” but one could accurately also call him Mr. Double-Double. His surname or nickname could be heard on a near-constant loop inside locker rooms at Sprint Center Wednesday, as he, his teammates and Purdue’s upcoming opponents, the Kansas Jayhawks, spoke at length about their Sweet 16 showdown. By Benton Smith

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Newest KU football additions already impressing Beaty

Typically enthusiastic any time he gets to talk about his Jayhawks, third-year Kansas football coach David Beaty came across predictably excited this past week at the start of spring practices. While the Jayhawks’ exuberant leader entered spring ball curious to check in on the development of returning players, he paid closest attention on the first day to mid-year additions, to see what they had to offer. By Benton Smith

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Marching on: Jayhawks handle MSU, advance to Sweet 16

Kansas City, here they come. The Midwest’s No. 1 seed, the Kansas Jayhawks, took care of business Sunday at BOK Center, running away from Michigan State late in a 90-70 victory, that sends KU to Sprint Center for a Sweet 16 matchup with Purdue. By Benton Smith

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