Matchup: No. 1 seed Kansas (35-2) takes on No. 16 seed Boston university (24-13) on the second full day of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in Tulsa.
Date/Time: Friday, March 18, 2011 - 6:50 p.m. EDT
Broadcast Information: Friday evening's tilt between the Jayhawks and Terriers will be broadcast on TBS, with Marc Albert and Steve Kerr serving as the play-by-play and color commentator, respectively. Craig Sager will serve as a sideline analyst for TBS. The game can also be heard on the radio at WWZN 1510 AM in Boston.
Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, OK (17,839 capacity). The $196-million multipurpose arena currently serves as the home to the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA, the Tulsa Talons of the AFL and the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL.
Series History: Friday's match-up between Kansas and Boston University is the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Odds: In short, the odds aren't good for BU. Never in the history of the NCAA Tournament has a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed, and the odds-makers don't see a reason why that should happen on Friday night. The opening line listed Kansas as a whopping 22.5-point favorite, while 5Dimes.com also has Kansas as a 22.5-point favorite and Bodog.com lists Kansas as a 23-point favorite.
Boston University In The NCAA Tournament: This is the seventh time in school history that the Terriers have gone to the NCAA Tournament. BU owns a 2-6 record in the Big Dance, and have never gone to the Final Four or won a national championship. The last time the Terriers went to the NCAA Tournament was in 2002.
Kansas In The NCAA Tournament: The Jayhawks own the nation's longest streak of going to the NCAA Tournament, as this is their 22nd straight season in the Big Dance. Kansas is an impressive 85-38 in the tournament and has been to the Final Four a total of 13 times and has won the national title three times in 1952, 1988 and most recently, in 2008. This marks the 39th time in program history that the Jayhawks are going dancing.
Road To The Big Dance: Boston University struggled mightily to start the season, winning only five of its first 15 games. However, the Terriers flipped the switch in the latter part of the season, winning 16 of their final 19 games. In addition, BU has won its last 11 games, marking the third-longest winning-streak in the nation, including the America East Championship game against Stony Brook. The win over the Seawolves gave the Terriers the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas' path to the tournament was much less turbulent. The Jayhawks won their first 18 games before losing to then 11th-ranked Texas, 74-62. Nevertheless, Kansas rebounded to win six games in a row and 14 of their last 15 games. The Jayhawks beat Oklahoma State, Colorado and Texas to win the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship.
Breaking Down Boston University (via Sports Network):
Senior John Holland is the driving force behind Boston University's success. Recently appointed the American East Player of the Year, Holland ranks first in the conference in scoring (19.2 ppg), while leading the Terriers in rebounding (5.9 rpg), three-pointers made (72) and steals (47). He was also named the conference tournament's Most Outstanding Player after recording his 10th career double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds in the title game. Holland is blessed with capable support, as junior Darryl Partin ranks sixth in the league in scoring (14.5 ppg). A fellow First Team All-Conference selection, Partin ranks second on the team in three-pointers made (62). Jake O'Brien contributes 11.6 pg and 5.8 rpg. Overall, Boston U ranks in the top- five in the league in both scoring offense (65.2 ppg, third) and scoring defense (63.2 ppg, fourth).
Breaking Down Kansas (via Sports Network):
The Jayhawks field a conference POY of their own in junior forward Marcus Morris. The All-Big 12 Player of the Year, Morris ranks fifth in the league and first on the team in scoring (17.3 ppg) and second on the team in rebounding (7.2 rpg). He was named the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player after averaging 17.7 ppg and 10 rpg during the event. He is aided by blood, as twin brother Markieff, a Second Team All-Big 12 performer, ranks second on the squad in scoring (13.6 ppg) and first in the league in rebounding (7.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (60.1). Tyrel Reed adds 10 ppg, as the Jayhawks average a league-leading 82.4 ppg, enabled by the nation's best field goal percentage (51.4). Kansas' exploits are not limited to the offensive end of the floor, as they rank eight in the country in rebounding margin (plus 7.8), while holding teams to 65.2 ppg.
National Rankings: Boston University is not ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll or the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Terriers are ranked 270th in the nation in scoring (65.2 PPG), 309th in field goal percentage (40.3%), 333rd in assists (9.9 APG) and 117th in team rebounding (36 RPG).
Kansas is ranked No. 2 in both the AP Top 25 Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Jayhawks rank first in the nation in field goal percentage (51.4%), fifth in scoring (82.4 PPG), second in assists (17.9 APG) and 19th in rebounding (38.6 RPG).
Predicted Outcome (via Sports Network): Kansas 78, Boston University 68