Sunday, March 13, 2011

BU to face No. 1 seed Kansas in first round of NCAA Tournament

By Craig Meyer and René Reyes/DFP Staff

After much tension, anticipation and deliberation, the brackets have been drawn and the No. 16 seed Boston University men's basketball team will face the No. 1 seed University of Kansas on Friday, March 18 in Tulsa, Okla.

The Terriers (21-13) will be making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, a year in which they were also a No. 16 seed, losing 90-52 to the No. 1 seed University of Cincinnati.

"I haven't had this feeling in a long time since I was at Villanova the one year we were the last team in," said BU coach Patrick Chambers. "You're sitting there with butterflies and the suspense. ... And then you see Kansas, you're like, 'Wow, we get to go to Oklahoma to play Kansas.' What a great thrill for these guys, this program, this university."

This marks the second straight year that Kansas coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks (32-2) will be a No. 1 seed, having been the tournament's overall No. 1 seed last year, only to lose 69-67 in the second round to the University of Northern Iowa.

"I know Bill Self pretty well," Chambers said. "I know what he likes to do. I'm friendly with his staff. I know they're a very talented group. They like to push the ball. We just gotta get better tomorrow, work on defense and rebounding and just compete."

Kansas, the Big 12 regular season and tournament champions, have responded well in the 2010-11 campaign after losing top players in guard Sherron Collins, guard Xavier Henry and center Cole Aldrich to the NBA. It is led by the Morris twins -- forwards Marcus and Markieff -- who average 17.3 and 13.6 points per game, respectively. Markieff leads the team in rebounds with 8.2 per game, while Marcus ranks second with 7.2 rebounds per game.

While BU is playing in its first NCAA Tournament in nearly a decade, Kansas will be making its 22nd straight tournament appearance this March.

"I just want to compete," Chambers said. "I think we have a young group that hasn't reached their potential yet. We haven't shot the ball well in a couple of weeks, so I don't think we've really played up to our capabilities. I'm just hoping tomorrow to come to practice, get better, get better, and who knows? Just compete, play hard and see what happens."

Keep up with Full Court Press' exclusive coverage of the game throughout the week, leading up to tip-off on Friday.

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