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Matt Tait

Stories by Matt

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Game Day Breakdown: No. 4 seed Kansas vs. No. 5 seed Auburn

A look at some of the keys for 4th-seeded Kansas in tonight's second-round NCAA Tournament clash with No. 5 seed Auburn at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. By Matt Tait

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Quick turnaround: Jayhawks embracing all aspects of rapid-pace preparation for Auburn

Salt Lake City – By the time the 4th-seeded Kansas men’s basketball team had moved on to preparing for No. 5 seed Auburn in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the hard work was already done. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Jayhawks' defense rises to challenge on big stage in route of Huskies

Salt Lake City — Defense, defense, defense. That was the focus all week for the 4th-seeded Kansas men’s basketball team ahead of its first-round, NCAA Tournament matchup with hot-shooting Northeastern.

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'My boys are winners': Lawson brothers carry Kansas to 87-53 win over Northeastern in NCAA Tournament

Salt Lake City — They combined for 38 points, 14 rebounds and one big victory while helping lead No. 4 seed Kansas to Thursday’s 87-53, first-round victory over No. 13 Northeastern at Vivint Smart Home Arena. But the one statistic that made the whole thing possible may have been an assist from mom. Matt Tait

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Game day breakdown: No. 4 seed Kansas vs. No. 13 seed Northeastern

A look at some of the keys for 4th-seeded Kansas in today's first-round NCAA Touranment matchup with No. 13 seed Northeastern at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. By Matt Tait

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Sophomore guard Marcus Garrett continues to serve as KU's ultimate X-factor

Kansas coach Bill Self hinted this week that he may be looking at tweaking his starting lineup ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. NCAA Tournament opener against No. 13 seed Northeastern at Vivint Smart Home Arena. But whether he switches things up or starts the same five he has for the past 11 games, Self can rest easy knowing he has a player on his roster named Marcus Garrett, who gives him maximum lineup flexibility, from the bench to pregame introductions and the backcourt to the paint. By Matt Tait

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Carrying Kansas: Junior forward Dedric Lawson born and bred for what lies ahead

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has a saying he uses this time of year that probably applies to this KU team better than most during his 16-year run with the Jayhawks. “When you’ve got a great player, which we do, you can always ride that guy." By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks arrive in Salt Lake City more 'under the radar' than in recent years

Salt Lake City — Usually, by now, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has done a dozen different radio and television interviews and talked until he was blue in the face about his team’s status entering the NCAA Tournament, both as a top contender and as a general representative of one of the greatest sporting events on the calendar each year. But there’s been nothing typical about the 4th-seeded Jayhawks’ pre-tourney status this season.

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3-point D: KU was better by the numbers than you might think

In 13th seeded Northeastern, No. 4 Kansas will face one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. The Huskies enter Thursday's 3 p.m. game with Kansas in Salt Lake City shooting 38.8 percent from 3-point range, which ranks them 14th in the nation. KU's 3-point D will be put to the test for 40 minutes. Here's a quick look back at how the Jayhawks' 3-point defense fared during the first 34 games of the 2018-19 season. By Matt Tait

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KU's streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances reaches 30

The consecutive Big 12 Conference title streak might be dead, but by earning a spot in this year’s NCAA Tournament, the Kansas men’s basketball program kept alive another impressive streak. When things get going in the Big Dance later this week, the Jayhawks will be playing in their 30th consecutive NCAA Tournament, dating back to the 1989-90 season.

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5 reasons KU can make a run in the 2019 NCAA Tournament

What becomes of the Jayhawks this postseason remains to be seen, but here are five reasons KU fans can be optimistic about their team’s chances to make a run.

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Selection Sunday Notebook: Jayhawks forced to wait to find out NCAA Tournament fate

Kansas freshman Devon Dotson has looked forward to a day like Sunday for as long as he can remember. That was what made it a bit torturous for Dotson and his Kansas teammates on Sunday, when they had to wait through three sets of commercials and all the way to the final region to learn that the Jayhawks had drawn a No. 4 seed in the Midwest region and would play No. 13 Northeastern at 3 p.m. Thursday in Salt Lake City. By Matt Tait

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4th-seeded Jayhawks prepared for different path in this year's NCAA Tournament

Jayhawks to face No. 13 Northeastern at 3 p.m. Thursday in Salt Lake City

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self’s first thought when the 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed Sunday evening could be boiled down to a single word. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Jayhawks will turn their attention to NCAA tournament after loss to Cyclones

Kansas City, Mo. — All season, whenever the Jayhawks had a bad outing on a Saturday, the quickest they could hope to put it behind them and move forward from their latest loss was two days away.

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Shooting struggles doom Kansas in loss to Iowa State during Big 12 title game

Kansas City, Mo. — If you’re looking for black-and-white examples of how Iowa State handed Kansas its latest loss in the Big 12 tournament title game on Saturday night at Sprint Center, look no further than the 78-66 final score and the fact that the Cyclones led for more than 36 minutes of the 40-minute game. Matt Tait

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KU's Bill Self expecting Sprint Center to be slanted Iowa State's way for Big 12 title game

Kansas City, Mo. — The stage is set for the 2019 Big 12 tournament title game and it’s No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 5 Iowa State for the hardware and confetti. But Kansas coach Bill Self is not exactly planning on his team having the home-court advantage in today’s 5 p.m. final like the Jayhawks are accustomed to inside Sprint Center. By Matt Tait

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Late run in first half lifts Kansas past West Virginia in Big 12 semifinals

Kansas City, Mo. — The shot was big, the foul was foolish but the pass was pristine. Late in what was, in just about every way, a sluggish offensive half for the third-seeded Kansas Jayhawks in Friday’s Big 12 semifinal against West Virginia at Sprint Center, freshman point guard Devon Dotson darted his way up the floor after a West Virginia miss and needed about three steps to know where he was headed. Matt Tait

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Mighty McCormack: Freshman center helps Kansas power past Texas in Big 12 quarterfinals

Kansas City, Mo. — Bigger was better for the 17th-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Big 12 tournament. In addition to playing with a bigger seed than they had in a decade, the third-seeded Jayhawks got a major lift from freshman big man David McCormack to power past 6th-seeded Texas, 65-57, Thursday night at Sprint Center. Matt Tait

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Game day breakdown: No. 17 Kansas basketball vs. Texas (Big 12 Tournament)

A look at some of the keys for 17th-ranked and 3rd-seeded Kansas in tonight's quarterfinal Big 12 matchup with No. 6 seed Texas at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. By Matt Tait

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KU coach Bill Self says college basketball in better shape than it might appear

Kansas City, Mo. — As college basketball heads into its postseason, where a champion will be crowned and uncertainty will follow, Kansas coach Bill Self said Wednesday that the state of the game was strong. By Matt Tait

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Bring on the pressure: Young Jayhawks bracing for different feel in postseason play

Kansas City, Mo. — Throughout his college career, Kansas junior Mitch Lightfoot has sort of become the unofficial spokesman for the idea that, when you sign up to play basketball at Kansas, you agree to take on all of the pressure that comes with it. By Matt Tait

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Edged Again: KU's Dedric Lawson earns second Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honor this week

After two and a half months and 18 games for each team, the writers who cover the Big 12 Conference saw it the same as the coaches who watched from the sidelines. By Matt Tait

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Let it fly: Jayhawks hoping for hot shooting at Big 12 tournament

Winning three games in three days at this week’s Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo., will be no easy task for any of the 10 teams attempting to do it. But Kansas coach Bill Self on Monday outlined a blueprint that he thought would take KU to the title. By Matt Tait

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KU's Dedric Lawson named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year

Guards Devon Dotson, Marcus Garrett also honored on 2019 all-Big 12 teams

In the running for Big 12 player of the year after posting 20 double-doubles during his first season with the Jayhawks, Kansas junior Dedric Lawson had to settle for being named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year on Sunday. Lawson also earned a first-team all-Big 12 nod in the awards voted on by the Big 12 coaches. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Jayhawks finish off perfect season at home by beating Bears

With Saturday’s 78-70 victory over Baylor at Allen Fieldhouse, the 2018-19 Kansas men’s basketball team achieved something that not even last season’s Final Four bunch did — a perfect record at home.

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Dynamic duo: McCormack, Lawson lift Kansas past Baylor in regular-season finale

On a day when recent Oscar winner Kevin Willmott was honored on the court during a timeout at Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas coach Bill Self turned to a legendary Hollywood actress to describe the current state of his team following a 78-70 victory over Baylor in the regular-season finale for both teams. Matt Tait

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Game Day Breakdown: No. 13 Kansas basketball vs. Baylor

A look at some of the keys for 13th-ranked Kansas in today's regular-season finale at Allen Fieldhouse against the Baylor Bears. By Matt Tait

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KU coach Bill Self says senior Lagerald Vick should be remembered 'in a very favorable way'

While Saturday’s regular season finale against Baylor at Allen Fieldhouse will be the rare season-ender without a celebration of KU’s seniors, Kansas coach Bill Self took time in the days leading up to it to reflect on the lone senior on his 2018-19 roster. By Matt Tait

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This Is The End: Kansas overwhelmed by Oklahoma, ending KU's quest for another Big 12 title

Norman, Okla. — The Kansas Jayhawks left nothing to chance on Tuesday night. Instead of a spirited effort that would take the conference race down to the final day and at least give the Jayhawks a glimmer of hope of extending their NCAA-record streak of 14 consecutive conference titles to 15, the 13th-ranked Jayhawks showed up dead flat at Lloyd Noble Center and watched Oklahoma run away from them from start to finish during a 81-68 OU victory that put the Jayhawks two games behind Kansas State and Texas Tech with one game to play. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Dedric Lawson continues to deliver double-doubles for KU

Norman, Okla. — When KU forward Dedric Lawson first arrived at Kansas, he brought with him 36 career double-doubles from his two seasons at Memphis, where he both grew up and played before transferring to KU prior to the 2017-18 season.

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Senior guard Jessica Washington no longer with Kansas basketball

The once-promising, injury-riddled Kansas basketball career of Jessica Washington officially has come to a close.

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Game day breakdown: No. 13 Kansas basketball at Oklahoma

A look at some of the keys for 13th-ranked Kansas in tonight's Big 12 road finale at Oklahoma. By Matt Tait

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KU freshman Ochai Agbaji takes small step back toward big production

Kansas freshman Ochai Agbaji rediscovered his scoring touch during Saturday’s 72-67 win at Oklahoma State, but his 11-point outing in 29 minutes against the Cowboys did not come without its rough patches. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Early win, full of clutch play, allows Kansas to watch Big 12 leaders

Stillwater, Okla. — Following Saturday’s wild, come-from-behind, 72-67 win over Oklahoma State at Gallagher-Iba Arena, Mitch Lightfoot’s eyes lit up with that, “You must be crazy,” look when asked if he and the Jayhawks planned to watch Big 12 basketball the rest of the day. By Matt Tait

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Stillwater survival: No. 15 Kansas dodges bullet with narrow win over OSU

Stillwater, Okla. — Sometimes you need a little good fortune to stay alive. Matt Tait

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Game Day Breakdown: No. 15 Kansas basketball at Oklahoma State

A look at some of the keys for 15th-ranked Kansas in today's key, Big 12 road clash at Oklahoma State. By Matt Tait

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Lightfoot's perseverance leads to popular, important role at KU

Everything you need to know about Mitch Lightfoot’s monster night that fueled Monday’s 64-49 Kansas victory over Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse first surfaced weeks ago, long after the old building had emptied out and far away from any television cameras or reporters’ microphones. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Bill Self not talking about conference streak with current KU team

It begins, in its infant stages, each summer, when the new freshmen basketball players first report to KU for summer workouts. And it gains steam each day, week, month and year from there. By Matt Tait

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Heavy Hand: KU junior Mitch Lightfoot leads KU to crucial win over K-State

The Kansas men’s basketball team’s hope of extending its streak of 14 consecutive Big 12 titles to 15 in the next couple of weeks is alive and well. And it’s all because of a man named Mitch Lightfoot. By Matt Tait

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Game day breakdown: Sunflower Showdown part two - Kansas vs. Kansas State

A look at some of the keys for Kansas in tonight's crucial matchup with Big 12 leader Kansas State on Big Monday at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks demolished by Red Raiders in worst conference loss under Bill Self

Lubbock, Texas — Three weeks ago, after his team’s 16-point loss to Kansas in Lawrence, Texas Tech coach Chris Beard called Allen Fieldhouse and the KU environment, “a hornet’s nest,” and said he knew his team was walking into a tough situation that day. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: KU sophomore Marcus Garrett plays 22 minutes in first game back

Lubbock, Texas — It took Kansas sophomore Marcus Garrett just eight seconds to get back into the scoring column following a five-game absence because of a high ankle sprain.

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Game Day Breakdown: No. 12 Kansas basketball at No. 14 Texas Tech

A look at some of the keys for 12th-ranked Kansas in tonight's massive Big 12 road battle with No. 14 Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. By Matt Tait

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Former LHS, KU standout Jason Thoren hired to lead Baker football program

Baker University now has an old, familiar face in place as its new head football coach. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks' next road test presents challenges beyond Red Raiders' tough D

With a defensive efficiency rating among the best in the nation and long, athletic, tough-minded defenders dotting the roster, Texas Tech has developed a well-earned reputation as one of the toughest defensive teams on Kansas’ schedule year in and year out. By Matt Tait

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The David McCormack Transformation

How a heavy high school freshman cut weight and climbed the ladder to Kansas

From 6-foot-7, 300-plus pounds as an 8th grader to the strong and lean frame currently starting in the front court for 12th-ranked Kansas, KU freshman David McCormack has traveled quite a journey to get from Norfolk, Va., to the top of the college basketball world. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks say 'it's all coming together' for Kansas basketball

While there are nearly a dozen basketball-specific reasons for KU's recent 3-game win streak, the Jayhawks themselves say one of the biggest factors in this team's turnaround has been the fact that everything has just started to come together. By Matt Tait

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Extra prep time and lots of rest up next for Kansas basketball

Riding a three-game winning streak and finally feeling good about the direction of the team and their play on the floor, the Jayhawks head into an off week with two monster games on the horizon. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Former Jayhawks watch KU roll over West Virginia

Saturday’s 78-53, runaway victory by No. 14 Kansas over West Virginia at Allen Fieldhouse took place in front of nearly two dozen former KU greats, who chose the NBA’s All-Star weekend as the perfect time to host a reunion in Lawrence.

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Mr. Opportunity: K.J. Lawson scores 15 points to help No. 14 Kansas trounce West Virginia

Kansas sophomore K.J. Lawson entered Saturday’s 78-53 victory by No. 14 Kansas over last-place West Virginia at Allen Fieldhouse averaging just 9 minutes per game and fighting to find opportunities to show what he could do. The Memphis transfer and older brother of KU’s leading scorer, Dedric Lawson, got 24 of them during Saturday’s victory and finished in a tie for the team lead with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting in a game where every Jayhawk who played contributed something positive to the cause. By Matt Tait

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