No. 2 seed Kansas arrived here Wednesday evening, charter busing into downtown and settling in for a weekend at the NCAA Tournament.
The Jayhawks hit the floor at the CenturyLink Center on Thursday afternoon, the final day of preparation for No. 15 seed New Mexico State. Yesterday, The Chalkboard examined 11 things you needed to know about the Aggies. Today, while Bill Self and Co. awaits tomorrow’s 11:15 a.m. matchup, here are 11 things you might not know about Kansas.
1. What’s wrong with the Kansas offense? A fully healthy Perry Ellis could provide a lift this weekend, but the Jayhawks’ offensive inconsistency predates Ellis’ knee injury. A quick breakdown: The average D-1 team averages 1.02 points per possession. In Kansas’ last 12 games, the Jayhawks have been worse than average seven times.
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Big 12 tourney
Big 12 tourney
Big 12 tourney
2. As a result of recent offensive struggles, the Kansas offense enters the NCAA Tournament ranked 37th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. The Jayhawks average 1.11 points per possession. For historical context: In the last 10 years, the 40 Final Four teams have ranked, on average, 23.9 in adjusted offensive efficiency entering the NCAA Tournament.
3. For Kansas, there’s better news on the defensive end. The Jayhawks rank seventh in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing 0.90 points per possession. The historical context: The last 40 Final Fours teams have ranked, on average, 23.3 in defensive efficiency.
4. Recent history, though, is on Kansas’ side. In the last two years, two teams have reached the Final Four with an offense ranked outside the top 20. UConn won the NCAA title last season with an offense that ranked 80th nationally entering the tourney. And then there was Wichita State in 2013. The Shockers’ offense ranked 59 in KenPom.
5. Kansas’ streak of 26 straight NCAA Tournament appearances is the longest active streak in the nation — and the second longest 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.
6. 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).
7. 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.
8. Kansas is 29-2 in its last 31 opening games of the NCAA Tournament. The two losses, of course, came in successive years, in 2005 and 2006.
9. KU has faced off against 10 teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament field. The Jayhawks are 12-5 against other tourney teams: Baylor (3-0), Georgetown (1-0), Iowa State (1-2), Kentucky (0-1), Michigan State (1-0), Oklahoma (1-1), Oklahoma State (1-1), Texas (2-0), Utah (1-0) and West Virginia (1-1).
10. Former Kansas guard Jerod Haase, known for his hard-nosed style and floor burns, led 14-seed UAB over No. 2 Iowa State on Thursday. Nearly 18 years after Haase finished out his career in 1997, Kansas still keeps a sort-of-official “Floor Burns” stat. Here’s the leaderboard this season: 1. Jamari Traylor, 61; Frank Mason, 58; 3. Kelly Oubre, 45.
11. Kansas is 4-0 in the NCAA Tournament here at the CenturyLink Center. The Jayhawks won both games in 2008, when it was called the Qwest Center, and both games in 2012.