Saturday, March 13, 1999

UK-Kansas will be first in NCAAs


Stage set for classic

BY JOHN FAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Kansas kept up its end of the bargain. The Jayhawks demolished Evansville 95-74 in the first round of the Midwest Regional Friday night.

        That meant Kansas will play Kentucky in the second round. UK defeated New Mexico State 82-60.

        The matchup is one CBS wants. It will be the first time the two basketball powers have met in the NCAA Tournament.

        The two have nine NCAA titles and 23 Final Four appearances among them.

        The teams have met 21 times in the regular season. UK has won 18 of those games.

        Kansas (23-7) is having a down year for Kansas. The Jayhawks need to win two more games, or their win total will be the lowest under Roy Williams since his first season at KU (1988-89).

        The Jayhawks, in fact, dropped out of the Top 25 Feb. 1 after being ranked 144 consecutive weeks.

        But the Jayhawks, the sixth seed here, entered the tourney ranked No.22. That shows that they are on a bit of a roll.

        The Jayhawks won the Big 12 Tournament and Friday's win was KU's seventh in eight games. It may have been there best performance of the year.

        KU hit 63.1 percent from the field and outrebounded Evansville 45-15.

        “I don't remember a margin like that,” Williams said.

        Eric Chenowith, a 7-foot sophomore, leads KU in scoring (13.5) and rebounding (9.2).

        When KU and UK meet look for an up-and-down game.

        “We can win scoring in the 50s or 60s,” Williams said. “But we'd rather win in the 80s or 90s because it's more fun. We do like fast tempo.”

       



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