Devonte' Graham helps Kansas hold off Clemson in the second half


It is the eighth time Self has gotten to this level as KU head coach, and the 10th in his career.

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The Big 12 has placed at least two teams in the regional finals in six of the past 11 NCAA Championships, including this season (2008, '09, '10, '12, '16, '18).

Did I leave anything out? Nobody gets anything easy this month.

Sophomore guard Malik Newman scored a team-high 17 points Friday as Kansas edged Clemson 80-76 in a Midwest Regional semifinal game of the NCAA Tournament at Omaha, Neb. "I think that's just his mentality of I'm going to keep going". "It just goes against the grain from the teams we've had in the past", Self said. I do expect this game to be extremely close but I think that Kansas will squeak out a victory. We were OK were against Penn.

Clemson probably needed to play its best game to beat Kansas on Friday night. We played pretty good tonight, except how it closed. "Even workers who aren't deskbound will be distracted by these games".

Kansas coughed up most of a 20-point, second-half lead before holding off No. 5 Clemson, 80-76 in the Midwest Region at Omaha. From there, Kansas made its free throws and overcame a dogged Clemson press just long enough to ensure that the Tigers couldn't pull any closer until the tail end.

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During that stretch, Azubuike also picked up his fourth foul at the 7:13 mark and sat a little more than a minute before re-entering with 5:57 to play, then exiting for good after picking up his fifth foul with 2:30 to play and KU leading by just six points. The Jayhawks feature a talented and balanced team, which could see four or five players end up playing in the National Basketball Association next season, based on draft projections. And so, hey, we're in this game.

This was not the team Self imagined he would have. Kansas inbounded to Graham, who was fouled and made both his shots. Then freshman Billy Preston got himself suspended a game, then he got into a auto accident, and then KU began to wonder about the provenance of the automobile. When we're able to throw it in and the defense collapses on him, he is able to kick it out and find an open shooter.

In an unforgettable NCAA tournament that has delivered unprecedented upsets (UMBC stole our hearts) and unbelievable last-shot drama (Loyola-Chicago has kept them beating), we finally have a main event.

The Wildcats' 13 3-pointers give them 432 for the season, putting them 11 away from a Division I record. Seven of those boards were on the offensive end and led to second-chance baskets. Graham is now averaging 17.4 points per game along with 4.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists. He's in the Elite Eight, which lately seems a given for those who wear this uniform. I'm the kind of guy who is watching basketball at 7 PM and then watching tennis at 1 A.M.

Texas Tech are headed to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. KU won the league by two games.

Center Udoka Azubuike is back in the lineup for KU after being unavailable for the Big 12 Tournament. And here is Bill Self in the Elite Eight again. "I'm not really out there thinking anymore, just playing, doing what Coach asked me to do and just trying to make plays", he told the media following the Clemson win. "It's been great, but it would be nice to make it special, special", Self said of this season. I've always thought that.

"We'll get somewhere between a 10 percent and 14 percent pickup in revenue, so it will be better afternoon-wise than evening-wise for the first round", Mowery said. There's no reason we shouldn't.