Check out highlights from the 10th annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, played Thursday night at Free State High.
Crimson - 128
Drew Gooden 19, Jeff Withey 7, Elijah Johnson 18, Ben McLemore 52, Travis Releford 2, Conner Teahan 5, Sherron Collins 12, Devonte’ Graham 8, Kid from the stands 5.
Blue - 109
Keith Langford 32, Tyrel Reed 16, Mario Chalmers 29, Jamari Traylor 6, Jeff Graves 3, Jeff Hawkins 5, Nick Bradford 9, Clay Young 4, Rex Walters 5.
The Kansas men's basketball team competed in a scrimmage with former players at Horejsi Family Athletics Center on Wednesday.
The Red team had little trouble blowing out the Blue team.
Sam Cunliffe 9, Udoka Azubuike 14, Dedric Lawson 10, Charlie Moore 26, K.J. Lawson 2, Devon Dotson 7, Mitch Lightfoot 6, Ochai Agbaji 2, Marcus Garrett 4.
Wayne Selden 6, Devonte’ Graham 8, Mario Chalmers 0, Travis Releford 4, Silvio De Sousa 10, Elijah Johnson 5, David McCormack 8, Chris Teahan 3.
San Antonio — Bill Self's post game speech was every bit a reminder to his team of what it had accomplished.
The Jayhawks finished the season 31-8. They won the Big 12 regular season and tournament championships and reached the Final Four under Self for the first time since 2012.
"Of all the teams that have gotten to a Final Four that we've had," Self said, "this one was probably the least expected one to do it."
Villanova, on the other hand, is still dancing.
The Wildcats knocked down a Final Four record 18 3-pointers en route to a 95-79 win over KU on Saturday.
"Today was a perfect storm early," Self said. "Unfortunately for us we were on the wrong end of it."
San Antonio — Mikal Bridges was just a freshman the last time KU played Villanova. Two years later, he still has a pretty good memory of the game.
“It went down to the end, took 40 minutes,” Bridges said. “They were tough — on both ends.”
Bridges was credited with five steals in the game, but really he came away with four.
The fifth was a controversial play in which Bridges poked the ball away from Graham. The ball bounced down the court until Graham collided with Josh Hart.
“The ball was loose,” Bridges said. “Graham dove on it and got a foul.”
San Antonio — Jalen Brunson’s last two NCAA tournament opponents have featured Big 12 standout guards Keenan Evans and Jevon Carter.
This time, though, he’ll be matched up against the Big 12 player of the year — recently-named AP first team All-American Devonte’ Graham.
“He’s a great player. He’s well deserving of all his accolades,” Brunson said. “His career over the past four years has been great. I really respect his game.”
Brunson knows he’s part of the prime-time matchup on Saturday. Still, the talented guard — and Bill Self’s pick for National Player of the Year — wanted to make sure that fans were paying attention to the right things.
“I’ve been asked a lot about it,” Brunson said. “I just know it’s Kansas vs. Villanova. It’s so much more than that one-on-one matchup.”
Since the clock reached zero on Sunday and Lagerald Vick threw the ball up into the air with two hands, Devonte' Graham has been ready for what comes next.
"I"ve been excited ever since we've won," Graham said. "I've played with a lot of good players who wasn't able to get over that hump."
Some of those players, including Frank Mason, have reached out to the team to express their congratulations. Graham, who was also named a first team All-American by the Associated Press on Tuesday, said the outpour of well-wishes has been widespread.
"I've heard from all of them," Graham said. "Even guys I didn't play with."
Omaha, Neb. — Devonte' Graham isn't sure one loss sticks out past the other.
One thing is for sure, though. The senior is hoping to have better luck in his third chance at the Elite Eight, as KU takes on Duke on Sunday with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
"We here again," Graham said, "and we're going to take another stab at it."
One key to the game, Graham said, will come in how the Jayhawks set their mindset.
Graham said coach Bill Self has been vocal about KU playing loose and with a free mind, something Graham echoed when asked if he felt any more pressure playing in the Elite Eight in what will be his last college season.
"Can't play with pressure," Graham said. "Been in too many of these situations to feel pressure."
Omaha, Neb. — Grayson Allen hasn't thought much about the individual matchup of senior vs. senior he'll take part in on Sunday.
Still, the Duke guard had plenty of praise for KU's Devonte' Graham, the 2018 Big 12 player of the year.
"He does a lot of things on the court for them," Allen said.
Allen and the Blue Devils faced off against Kansas last season in non-conference play.
In that game, then-KU guard Frank Mason hit the game winner before going on to have a monstrous senior season. While Mason and Graham have different styles, Allen said there isn't too much of a difference when it comes to defending them.
"They're both very dynamic offensive players," Allen said. "It's very similar. You have to focus in on him, know where he is at all times."
OMAHA, Neb. — Devonte' Graham didn't have his most efficient games in the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. Still, the KU guard wasn't worried about having to shake off his combined 10-for-31 shooting performance against Penn and Seton Hall.
"I'm fine. That game (against Seton Hall) didn't bother me," Graham said. "At the end of the day it's all about winning. Stats don't really matter at this time of the year."
Speaking off winning, Graham was asked about the success of the Big 12, which has four teams in the Sweet 16. Graham said he was happy for all the Big 12 teams, a statement that piqued the interest of one nearby reporter.
"Even K-State?" the reporter asked.
"Even K-State," Graham repeated.
Wichita — Malik Newman took a pause so Devonte' Graham jumped right in.
Moments after scoring 28 points to lead the Jayhawks over Seton Hall, Newman was asked if he was back to his Big 12 form.
From a nearby locker, Graham made his voice heard:
With the win, the Jayhawks advanced to the Sweet 16, doing so for the first time in Newman's on-court career.
"This is what you dream of," Newman said. "I'm proud of it. I'm proud of this team."