Clemson and Kansas will meet in the Sweet 16 on Friday. Here is what you should know about the Jayhawks:
1. Kansas owns the Big 12
Kansas has won 14 consecutive Big 12 titles under Bill Self dating to 2005, which is the longest streak in NCAA history. Self has led Kansas to two Final Fours since taking over the program before the 2003-04 season, and the Jayhawks won the 2008 national title. In addition to winning 14 consecutive regular-season Big 12 championships, the Jayhawks have won eight Big 12 tournament titles dating to 2006, including this season.
2. A senior leads the way
Kansas has had its share of one-and-done prospects in recent years, including Josh Jackson, Kelly Oubre, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid. But this year’s squad is led by senior Devonte’ Graham. The 2018 Big 12 Player of the Year, Graham is the only player in the country averaging 17-plus points, 7-plus assists, 1.7-plus steals and fewer than three turnovers per game. Kansas has four other players averaging in double figures: Svi Mykhailiuk (15.0), sophomore Malik Newman (13.4), sophomore Udoka Azubuike (13.2) and junior Lagerald Vick (12.1).
3. Kansas isn’t overly deep
While the Jayhawks have five players scoring in double figures, there is a big drop off after that. Marcus Garrett and Mitch Lightfoot are the only other players averaging more than 10 minutes per game. Kansas’ rotation goes about seven players deep, which could be trouble if the Jayhawks get in foul trouble.
4. The Jayhawks are used to playing in the Big Dance
Kansas has made the NCAA Tournament 29 consecutive seasons from 1990-2018, which is the longest streak of all time. North Carolina is second with 27 consecutive appearances from 1975-2001. This is the 15th time Kansas has reached the NCAA Tournament under Self. In that time, the Jayhawks have lost in the first round twice, lost in the second round three times, lost in the Sweet 16 two times, lost in the Elite 8 five times (including the past two years) and reached the Final Four twice, with one national title.
5. Kansas will be close to home
The Sweet 16 matchup between Kansas and Clemson will be played in Omaha, Neb., which is about a three-hour drive from Kansas University. The tickets for the Sweet 16 matchups in Omaha are more expensive than the ones in Boston, Atlanta or Los Angeles on the secondary market, and the reason is so many Kansas fans are in search of tickets.