Kansas Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Kansas Jayhawks
Big 12 (29-5, 14-4)

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Once again Bill Self has the Jayhawks atop the conference.  He has upheld the great winning tradition that has been in place for decades in Lawrence.  He has a great mixture of young talent to go along with his veteran leaders that helped plow the way through a long season.  Kansas is constantly a threat in the tournament, and this year should be no different.  Kansas has not been considered a favorite to win it all this season, especially after a mid-season lull, but the Final Four is an annual goal.  They have a legitimate shot to make it two straight years.

Big Wins: 12/22 at Ohio State (74-66), 1/22 at Kansas State (59-55), 2/20 at Oklahoma State (68-67)
Bad Losses: 2/6 at TCU (55-62), 2/9 at Oklahoma (66-72), 3/9 at Baylor (58-81)
Coach: Bill Self (10 seasons at Kansas)

Why They Can Surprise:
Talent tends to shine through on deep runs through the tournament, and Kansas is stacked with talent.  Self always seems to reload every season no matter how many guys he loses.  This team goes pretty deep on the bench and plays seniors all the way down to freshman.  In fact, Self’s best player, Ben McLemore, is a freshman guard that is most likely going to be a very high draft pick in the 2013 NBA Draft if he opts to go pro.  He leads the team in every major offensive category.  Pair him with Jeff Withey and his effectiveness increases greatly.  Withey might be one of the country’s most improved big men.  He affects the game in such a major way with his ability to block.  He is third nationally in blocks per game.  He can also run the floor and play clean-up on the rim.  Supplemental players like Elijah Johnson, Kevin Young, and Travis Releford round out a highly effective, well-rounded team.  The Jayhawks can score, but their defensive field goal percentage is ranked first in the nation.

Why They Can Disappoint:
As much talent as Kansas has, they still are not quite the caliber team that Self had when they won the title in 2008.  They have shown weakness at home this year.  The heartbreaker they lost to Oklahoma State snapped a 33-game home win street.  The youth on the squad may come back to bite them as well.  The Jayhawks struggle with turnovers.  In a high-stakes game, a late turnover could be all the difference.  They also do not rely on shooting the long ball which could be a problem if the Jayhawks fall behind.  Throwing water on an opponent’s shooting streak may be difficult.  They lost three straight games in February to lesser opponents, two of them on the road.  Away from Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks are not the same team.

Probable Starters:
Elijah Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 10.1 ppg, 4.8 apg
Ben McLemore, Freshman, Guard, 16.4 ppg, 2.0 apg, 5.3 rpg
Travis Releford, Senior, Guard, 11.5 ppg, 2.6 apg
Kevin Young, Senior, Forward, 7.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Jeff Withey, Senior, Center, 13.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 3.8 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Naadir Tharpe, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 3.0 apg
Perry Ellis, Freshman, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Jamari Traylor, Freshman, Guard, 2.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.6 (28th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.3 (49, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.3 (24, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.8 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (186, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.3 (68, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.4 (72, 4)
Rebound Margin: 6.5 (19, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.3 (27, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (190, 7)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Detroit
2012    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Purdue
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over North Carolina State
2012    NCAA    Regional Final win over North Carolina
2012    NCAA    National Semifinal win over Ohio State
2012    NCAA    National Final loss to Kentucky
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Boston U
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Illinois
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Richmond
2011    NCAA    Regional Final loss to VCU
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Lehigh
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Northern Iowa
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over North Dakota State
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Dayton
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Michigan State
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Portland State
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over UNLV
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Villanova
2008    NCAA    Regional Final win over Davidson
2008    NCAA    National Semifinal win over North Carolina
2008    NCAA    National Final win over Memphis

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules