March 17: News Headlines Digest
approxinfinity last edited by dylans
The Kansas University men’s basketball team earned a No. 2 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and will open its run at 3:10 p.m. CDT on Friday in St. Louis against 15th-seeded Eastern Kentucky. The game will be broadcast on TBS.
The Jayhawks (24-9), who won their 10th straight Big 12 regular season title earlier this season, were put into the South regional, where Florida sits as the No. 1 seed.
The good news for KU is that Eastern Kentucky ranks 129th in KenPom’s rankings, which isn’t that scary of a number.
The bad news? The Colonels exhibit a unique style that lends itself to a high variance of outcomes. They shoot a lot of 3s and force a lot of turnovers, and because of that, they landed on ESPN’s Giant Killers list earlier this month.
###** It’s go time: Bill Self talks March Madness**###
Even though Self barely had time to read up on KU’s Friday opponent, Eastern Kentucky — let alone scout the Colonels by watching some game video — a room full of reporters awaited him at 6 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse to talk about the matchup between No. 2-seeded Kansas (24-9) and the No. 15 seed, EKU (24-9), out of the Ohio Valley Conference.
LAWRENCE — The screaming is more connected now. With more context. More understanding.
The same mistake that caused Bill Self’s face to turn tomato red and practice to stop for three minutes now causes him to roll his eyes and use a sort of angry shorthand.
A man can only go nuclear so many times and, besides, at this point in the season Wayne Selden knows he can’t let the ball stick for this particular play to work. He knows what he did wrong before anyone says anything.
Believe it or not, this is just the second time in KU coach Bill Self’s 11 seasons that the Jayhawks received a No. 2 seed.
Since Self took over the program in the 2003-04 season, Kansas has entered the Big Dance as a No. 1 seed five times, and now two times apiece on the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seed lines.
###Video: NCAA chairman Wellman explaining seeding###
###Pattani: NCAA, BPI correspond, to a point###
Comparing the top of the NCAA men’s basketball championship field to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index shows a lot of similarity in how the selection committee and ESPN’s rating system evaluated teams. Although 31 of the 36 at-large teams in the field would also have been selected had only BPI been used to select the field, there are notable differences in the seeds of some prominent teams and how BPI would have placed them.
BPI rankings corresponded with the first three No. 1 seeds, as Arizona, Florida, and Wichita State are the top three teams in BPI (in that order). But unlike in the previous two official seasons of BPI, the No. 1 overall seed (Florida) is not the No. 1 team in BPI as of Selection Sunday.
###Keating & Brenner: Giant killers: South region###
No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks (88.2) vs. No. 15 Eastern Kentucky Colonels (18.5) Upset Chance: 5.6 percent
If our model could weep or drink, it would be crying in its beer over this matchup. We had an eye on Eastern Kentucky way back when its extreme stats lit up our spreadsheets last year, and then this season, the Colonels bombed their way to the OVC championship. Their defense, relentlessly pressuring, forces bushels of turnovers (24.2 percent of opponent possessions, ranking fourth in the country), while their offense, relentlessly passing, opens shots on the outside (38.6 percent on 3s, ranking 28th) and under the basket (56.2 percent on 2-point attempts, ranking second). Eastern Kentucky’s aggression constantly puts opponents on the line (55.3 percent of points on free throws, ranking 343rd) and lands the Colonels in foul trouble. And their lack of size (effective height: minus-3.0 inches) leaves them markedly vulnerable to box outs and blocks. But on the whole, their tradeoffs threaten to make them a much more lethal Killer – against the right kind of Giant. The Colonels are an example – in fact, the only halfway decent example this season – of a “Steph Curry Killer,” the kind of David that uses sharpshooting to fell a Goliath. And they badly needed to face a Generic Giant, an opponent without dominant rebounding tendencies, to have a shot at an upset.
Instead, they got Kansas. The Jayhawks are tall, blast opponents with 55.6 percent inside shooting (ranking eighth in the nation), and seize 37.1 percent of offensive rebounds. They’ve also played the hardest schedule in the country, while Eastern Kentucky’s SOS ranks 301st. The sad truth is that Killers similar to Eastern Kentucky have beaten Giants similar to Kansas just twice in 13 tries since 2007, and never by overcoming a gap as yawning as the canyon between the Jayhawks and Colonels. Eastern Kentucky is always fun to watch, but sometimes the best advice is to avoid picking an upset that’s not going to happen.
ESPN Sport Science examines what sets Andrew Wiggins apart from everyone else in college hoops.
###Bedore: Kansas assistant Townsend recalls days at EKU###
Former Western Kentucky basketball standout Kurtis Townsend remembers catching a lot of flak during a reception held before his one and only season as assistant hoops coach at Eastern Kentucky University.
“There were a lot of hard feelings about that. One of the first things they did when they introduced me … they said, ‘Hey, a Western Kentucky grad,’ and they all booed me,” Townsend, Kansas University’s 10th-year assistant coach, said with a smile.
Orlando, Fla. — An annual study of the schools in the men’s NCAA tournament shows a slight increase in teams that fall below graduation rate standards.
The University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport said in its report Monday that eight teams that made the 2014 men’s bracket fall below the NCAA-mandated Academic Progress Rate score of 930, equivalent to a 50 percent graduation rate. Last year six teams didn’t reach that benchmark.
###Pattani: Filling out a bracket with BPI’s insight###
While ESPN’s Basketball Power Index wasn’t designed to be purely predictive, there has been interest in using BPI to help with picking NCAA Tournament brackets. It’s one thing to just look at the BPI rankings and pick the higher-ranked team to win each matchup. If you do that this year, you end up with a pretty chalky bracket with all four No. 1 seeds making the Final Four and Arizona over Florida in the title game.
A more nuanced way to look at things, however, is to determine the percentage chance of each team getting to each round. This can help not only by taking into account the effects of opponent strength round-by-round (beyond just “better BPI”), but it also helps illuminate what might be considered smart upset picks and undervalued or overvalued teams.
###Dodd: KU knows it has to win while awaiting Embiid###
If you believe in the aura of advanced statistics — the formulas and algorithms that dominate the modern sports landscape — the loss of a promising freshman center can be overcome.
approxinfinity last edited by
@bskeet You are the man, skeet!
bskeet last edited by
@approxinfinity my pleasure!
Reading between the lines (in the Andy Katz interview with Wellman) it looks like Embiid may be back sooner than later in the NCAA tournament.
Crimsonorblue22 last edited by dylans
KansasComet last edited by
@Crimsonorblue22 Very nice, thanks!
Crimsonorblue22 last edited by dylans
For what it’s worth, Jay Bilas picks KU to go to the Final Four in his bracket.
The Sports Science on Andrew Wiggins is pretty cool too.
@Crimsonorblue22 Maybe they should watch a few of his throw downs in the WV game.
drgnslayr last edited by
"On Feb. 1, Wiggins played poorly in a loss to Texas and, afterward, an opponent called him scared.
Wiggins heard it, and remembered.
Three weeks later at Allen Fieldhouse against the same Texas team, he unleashed a highlight reel – blocking shots, nailing three-pointers, throwing down thunderous dunks, sending the blue-clad Kansas faithful into a frenzy. With three minutes left in the first half, the Jayhawks led 35-14, with Wiggins’s 15 points alone outscoring the visitors on the way to a decisive triumph."
Okay… that’s the way it has to be… let’s all call him scared!
Lets call the entire team scared!
All we have to do is call all these kids scared 6 times in a row!
This is awesome!
@drgnslayr and one of my favorite plays of the year… Tarik’s dunk or throw down over Ridley! And, the benches reaction, priceless!!
icthawkfan316 last edited by
@Crimsonorblue22 Thanks for the link. Good stuff
drgnslayr last edited by Wishawk
Cry me a river! Poor John has to play the purple kitties then maybe the shockers… awe…
wissoxfan83 last edited by Wishawk
I haven’t figured out how to post these to the site other than this way, but this just appeared on Yahoo.
The video is talking but no video unfortunately, still some good stuff with Danny and Larry talking.
@drgnslayr I’m hoping my 2 favorite coaches meet head to head. Yeah, Marshall and cal!
@wissoxfan83 it worked for me. Awesome. That would make a great movie. Goosebumps and tears. It’s what KU bb is all about. Thanks!
As I continue to read about butt-hurt fans around the nation; I realize that I am probably in the minority in thinking that the tournament should shrink back to 32 teams. I feel that teams that couldn’t win their own conference either regular season or tournament don’t really deserve a spot.
I could be biased as KU would have qualified the last 10 years to a smaller field. This would slightly increase the odds of another N.C. trophy being in the foyer. Maybe I’m wrong and it’s best for the top seeds to get a warmup game in, but it just seems like another chance to loose focus. The season is long enough for the players (not me).
Anyone care to weigh in?
@dylans when fans gripe about teams not “getting up” for games, losing to a lower ranked team, etc. you can understand the rigors on these kids from the long season.