(2) Kansas vs. (15) New Mexico State
New Mexico State
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▪ WHEN/WHERE: 11:15 a.m. Friday at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.
▪ TV/RADIO: CBS (Chs. 5, 13); KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (26-8): Kansas’ streak of 26 straight NCAA Tournament appearances is the longest active streak in the nation — and the second-longest of all time. If the Jayhawks make the tournament next year — which would appear likely — they would tie North Carolina’s streak of 27 straight NCAA Tournaments from 1975 to 2001. Duke currently has the second-longest active streak, with 20 straight appearances. The Jayhawks are a No. 2 seed for the seventh time since seeding began in 1979. They were also a two seed last season — and in 1990, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2012 and 2014. Kansas made the Final Four in three of those seasons (’93, ’03 and ’12). The Jayhawks have struggled from three-point range in recent NCAA Tournaments. In 11 tournament games since 2012, Kansas has shot just 26 percent from deep. The Jayhawks are also 0-13 from three in the opening game the past two seasons.
▪ ABOUT NEW MEXICO STATE (23-10): The Aggies feature a lineup of experienced players, including three senior starters, but forward Pascal Siakam might be the team’s most productive weapon on offense and defense. Siakam, a redshirt freshman from Doula, Cameroon, leads the team with 5.9 win shares, a metric that attempts to measure a player’s total value. Siakam scores in double figures, is a weapon on the offensive glass, and can help protect the trim. Remi Barry, a senior small forward with size, is second on the team with 4.5 win shares. As a team, the Aggies shoot a more than respectable 36.3 percent from three-point range. That ranks 83rd nationally. But they don’t shoot many of them. Just 25 percent of their field-goal attempts come from behind the three-point line. And just 20 percent of their points come on threes. The good news for KU: The Aggies don’t profile as a team that will spring an upset with three-point shooting.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org