11:15 a.m. Sunday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis
CBS (Chs. 5, 13); KCSP (610 AM)
• ABOUT KANSAS (25-9) :
When the NCAA Tournament bracket was released, many wondered how Kansas would match up with No. 7 seed New Mexico without freshman center Joel Embiid, still recovering from a stress fracture in his back. The better question: How will they match up with Stanford? The Jayhawks can advance to their fourth straight Sweet 16 with a victory, but first they must vanquish a long and solid opponent. Freshman guard Conner Frankamp has played himself into the rotation with a strong and steady performance against Eastern Kentucky in the opening-game victory. Frankamp had 10 points and zero turnovers, just the kind of productivity Kansas needs from the point guard spot. Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor had a career game with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and the Jayhawks could use another strong performance against a Stanford team that starts two players 6 feet 10 or taller. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis, Kansas’ second leading scorer, has struggled against bigger, more physical frontcourts. He’ll need to play big against Stanford.
• ABOUT STANFORD (22-12):
The Cardinal, which defeated No. 7 seed New Mexico 58-53 on Friday, is 4-4 in its last eight games. After finishing 10-8 in the Pac-12, Stanford bowed out to UCLA 84-59 in the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cardinal doesn’t do anything exceptionally well — except protect the rim. Big men Stefan Nastic and Dwight Powell anchor a back line that ranks fifth in the nation in block percentage. In other areas, Stanford is solid, but not spectacular. The Cardinal ranks 52nd nationally in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com, and 53rd nationally on defense. It also does not have much depth. But it doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. Leading scorer Chasson Randle, a 6-foot-2 guard, and Anthony Brown, a 6-6 guard, played 40 minutes against New Mexico. Forward Josh Huestis played 36 minutes, while Powell played 29.
• BOTTOM LINE: Bill Self was 7-1 in the round of 32 during his first 10 seasons at Kansas. If the Jayhawks can score consistently inside — and they limit the turnovers — they should have enough to move on to the South Regional semifinals in Memphis.