Jayhawks look to live up to March Madness expectations

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

In the first March Madness appearance in the program's Division I history, the UC Davis men's basketball team defeated the North Carolina Central Eagles 67-63 in an NCAA Tournament First Four matchup on Wednesday evening.

Entering the NCAA Tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks didn't know if they were going to face the UC Davis Aggies or the North Carolina Central Eagles.

Senior guard Brynton Lemar added 15 points and made three 3-pointers and five rebounds, while Lawrence White finished with 14 points in the for UC Davis, which moves on as a 16th seed to take on Kansas in the Midwest Regional on Friday in Tulsa.

Les is in his sixth season at UC-Davis, which will make its first Division I appearance in the NCAA Tournament after claiming the Big West Tournament.

His players, however, have at least incorporated the possibility of beating KU, and becoming the first 16-seed to ever upset a one-seed, into their studies.

- North Carolina Central head coach LeVelle Moton didn't think his team had earned a shot at the NCAA Tournament after finishing the regular season with back-to-back losses to Savannah State and North Carolina A&T, which ranked second from the bottom in national RPI rankings.

Villanova and Gonzaga cruised to victories Thursday to make 1 seeds 130-0 all time vs. 16s. "We're proud of how far he came throughout his year and we're just focused on today and not really anxious about anything off the court". And, like I said, the chips will fall where they may. "Tough loss, tough way to end the year, but we're excited to be back in the same position, and we're ready to play". "I need to try to play to my athletic ability, run in transition, try to find open guys, be a facilitator". They have really good habits.

"A year ago at this time, I was on spring break, watching them in the tournament", Vang said of his teammates.

"I think our guys are great about, as we prepare for a team, respecting all of our opponents", UC Davis coach Jim Les said.

"They (Aggies) will be fired up to play", Jackson said. Not only did he guide Bradley into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2006, the Braves upset Kansas in the first round after tying for fifth in the Missouri Valley. "We should've been better prepared for this game".

"He told me that he liked what he saw, and he was surprised that a lot of people weren't helping me out to come to America", Moneke said. "He gave me that offer, and I took the offer because it was the only offer I had".

"I think my greater value to them is having been a player and all the things I've experienced just helping them deal with their mindset", he said.

Just as the Aggies looked to seize the moment, the Eagles forced three consecutive turnovers out of a half court 1-3-1 trap, getting them right back into the contest. "And he found out that it's something that I always wanted to do". So I'm not sure back in the day I would have got into UC Davis, so they're a lot smarter than their coach. "And I have a lot of coaching friends around the country".

"I feel like we got a good grasp on it and we got a lot of things figured out", he said. Jodi and I knew about it, but we didn't really know about UC Davis.

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