The Big 12 had 14 players taken in the NFL Draft, by far the lowest among the Power Five conferences. The league’s low numbers could have been predicted three and four years ago, when the Big 12’s recruiting rankings were also low.
North Carolina won its sixth NCAA basketball title with a 71-65 victory over Gonzaga on Monday night. There was a bit of Kansas flavor to the weekend with the North Carolina connections on the staff and roster and Jayhawks Frank Mason and Bill Self on the awards circuit.
Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., hasn’t always been in college basketball’s mainstream and not often confused with the game’s blue bloods. But the Zags have been consistent winners over the last two decades, and on Monday they meet North Carolina for the NCAA championship
Oregon was known as the Webfoots in 1939, the year of the inaugural NCAA men’s basketball tournament. To prepare for the competition, Oregon went on a 10-game, 22-day tour of the nation to prep for regional officiating, and it paid off with the first NCAA title.
Wayne Duke, who died this week at 88, was a change agent in college sports, as an NCAA administrator and commissioner of the Big Eight and Big Ten. He had to deal with some of the major decisions in college sports history, but his strongest legacy is his influence of the growth of the NCAA Tournament.
Two of the coaches in the Final Four — Oregon’s Dana Altman and South Carolina’s Frank Martin — are former Kansas State head coaches. In all, five of the last seven K-State head coaches have taken teams to the Final Four. But none took the Wildcats to college basketball’s final weekend.
The Sprint Center opened in 2007 with an Elton John concert and no anchor tenant. A decade later, the building still doesn’t have a pro sports team, but it was the nation’s fourth-busiest building in the first half of 2016 and continues to attract major sporting events.
Kansas led Purdue by seven points at halftime and poured it on in the second half, easing to a 98-66 over the Big Ten champion Boilermakers. Frank Mason and Devonte Graham each finished with 26 points.
Purdue is coming off a second-round NCAA Tournament victory over Iowa State, the team that ended Kansas’ 51-game homecourt winning streak. That piece of information was used by Purdue coach Matt Painter as the Boilermakers prepared for the Cyclones. The Boilers seem split about how that plays into Thursday’s Sweet 16 game against KU.
The NCAA Tournament Midwest Region games will be played Thursday and Saturday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The tournament is coming home. More regional finals have been played here than any other city and Kansas, Oregon, Purdue or Michigan will advance from Kansas City to the Final Four.
Kansas and Michigan State are among college baskeball’s most prominent programs and although the Jayhawks are favored as the top seeed in the Midwest Region against the ninth-seeded Spartans, the game figures to be a battle.
The NCAA Tournament has arrived and some 70 million will fill out a bracket, most illegally. But the law tends to look the other way with office pools and challenges. How do you maximize your bracket success? Here are a few tips.
College basketball conference tournaments mean different things to different leagues. For the Big 12 and other power schools, most of their teams aren’t sweating out an NCAA tournament invitation. But for mid- and low-majors, the league tournament means everything.
The bottom two seeds of the Big 12 tournament, Oklahoma and Texas, were NCAA Tournament teams last year with the Sooners reaching the Final Four. That’s how competitive the Big 12 was last season. The tournament begins Wednesday at Sprint Center in Kansas City.
Gary Cunningham served as a longtime assistant under John Wooden and two years as UCLA’s head coach. Cunningham was part of 11 of the Bruins’ college-basketball record 13 straight Pac-8 championships. Kansas is about to tie UCLA’s record for consecutive league titles, and Cunningham has no problem with the record being matched.
Blue Valley football and track coach Eric Driskell died Wednesday at 43 when he was taken off life support after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm on Sunday. He touched many lives in his school and community.