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Kansas Favored To Win Ninth Consecutive Big 12 Title
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Story line
Kansas winning the Big 12 regular season title wasn't a surprise, considering that the Jayhawks have won eight consecutive league championships. What was a surprise was KU battling its way to the national championship game before falling to top-seeded Kentucky, 67-59. Double-double machine Thomas Robinson and dynamic point guard Tyshawn Taylor must be replaced but this year's team will be an intriguing mix of four seniors along with a talented group of freshmen.

Coach: Bill Self, 269-53 in nine seasons at Kansas.
Last season: 32-7 overall, 16-2, 1st in Big 12.
NCAA Tournament: Lost championship game to Kentucky.

Top players
Senior center Jeff Withey (9 ppg, 6.3 rpg; 140 blocked shots), senior guard Elijah Johnson (10.2 ppg, .338 3FG%, team-high 69 3-pointers), senior guard Travis Releford (8.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg), senior forward Kevin Young, junior forward Justin Wesley, freshman forward Perry Ellis, freshman guard Ben McLemore, freshman forward Jamari Taylor, freshman guard Rio Adams, freshman guard Andrew White.

Coach Self says
"We have great experience with our senior class that's been through a lot of battles, and we have a lot of puppies. Seven freshmen, so I think it will be a good team in time. I don't think that we'll be great early. I think we have a process that we have to go through. But I do think there is some talent, and I do like the possibilities of us competing hopefully for another championship."

Notable
Kansas advanced to its 14th Final Four last season and reached the championship game for the 9th time. ... KU's eight consecutive Big 12 titles is the longest stretch in a major conference since UCLA won 13 straight titles from 1967-79. Kansas has won 55 conference titles, the most in NCAA history. ... Kansas has won 197 games over the last 6 years, the most victories over a 6-year span in NCAA history. ... Senior center Jeff Withey set a Big 12 record with 140 blocks overall and 65 blocks in conference games. He also set an NCAA record with 31 blocks in 6 Tournament games. ... Kansas averaged 73.5 points per game last season. Three departed players - Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor and Conner Teahan - combined to average 39.8 points per game.

Season opener
Nov. 9 vs. Southeast Missouri State

Top nonconference games
Nov. 13 vs. Michigan State
Nov. 19 vs. Washington State
Nov. 30 vs. Oregon State
Dec. 8 vs. Colorado
Dec. 22 at Ohio State
Jan. 6 vs. Temple

Conference opener
Jan. 9 vs. Iowa State

 

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