The 16th-seeded Boston University Terriers will look to shock the world as they encounter the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks in a second round Southwest Regional matchup of the NCAA Tournament from the BOK Center.
Boston University currently boasts the nation's third-longest active win streak at 11 games. The Terriers finished the regular season with a 21-13 record and an American East Conference Tournament title, on the strength of a 56-54 comeback victory over Stony Brook this past Saturday. Tonight's game marks their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2002, where they have posted a 2-6 overall mark.
Kansas boasts the longest active NCAA Tournament appearance streak at 22 years and holds a top-seed for the 10th time. The Jayhawks sport an 85-38 all-time tourney record and have won three national championships (1952, 88, 08). This season, Kansas finished with a 32-2 record, marking the fourth time in the last five years that it has won 30-plus games. The Jayhawks also picked up their school-record seventh straight Big 12 regular season title and their eight Big 12 Tournament title.
The Terriers and the Jayhawks have never met previously on the hardwood.
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).
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.
Kansas, once again, appears poised to make a deep tournament run. The Terriers are not devoid of talent, but should be overwhelmed by the Jayhawks' deft mix of skill, leadership and balance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas 78, Boston University 68