No. 2 seed Kansas vs. No. 7 seed Wichita State
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 4:15 p.m. Sunday at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.
▪ TV/RADIO: CBS (Chs. 5, 13); KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (27-8): Two days after an impressive victory over No. 15 seed New Mexico State, Kansas will attempt to maintain the momentum against Wichita State. The Jayhawks drilled nine of 13 three-pointers Friday, and another strong performance from deep could mean a fourth Sweet 16 appearance in five years for KU coach Bill Self. In his first 11 seasons at Kansas, Self failed to reach the Sweet 16 just four times. The Jayhawks are 7-2 in round-of-32 games during Self’s tenure. Sophomore forward Landen Lucas has stepped up in the absence of freshman forward Cliff Alexander. Lucas is averaging 8.6 points and 7.8 rebounds while starting the last five games. Lucas and Kansas could do damage on the boards against Wichita State. The Jayhawks have outrebounded three of their last four opponents and 22 of 35 this season.
▪ ABOUT WICHITA STATE (28-4): Here’s one word to describe Wichita State: balance. The Shockers enter Sunday ranked in the top 20 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. With point guard Fred VanVleet leading the way, the Shockers rarely turn the ball over. They rank sixth in the country in turnover percentage, coughing it up on just 15.1 percent of possessions, and ball security is one reason Wichita State ranks 19th nationally in offensive efficiency. Wichita State starts a smallish lineup — forward Darius Carter is the only starter bigger than 6-feet-4 — but the Shockers hold their own on the boards. They rank 50th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. Wichita State, of course, should be motivated. Sunday marks the first matchup between the two schools since 1993 — and Wichita State hasn’t beaten Kansas since Jan. 6, 1987, in Wichita. Kansas is 12-2 all-time against Wichita State, with the Shockers’ other victory coming in the 1981 NCAA Tournament.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org