LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -One year after losing to Kansas in the NCAA championship game, Memphis can finally say it got something the Jayhawks wanted.
As regular-season Big 12 champions, Kansas was hoping to play the opening-round games in this year's NCAA tournament in always-friendly Kansas City. Just a 30-minute drive from their own campus, the Sprint Center would have been crammed with supportive fans.
Instead, they're being shuttled off to Minneapolis as a No. 3 seed in the Midwest.
Memphis, the No. 2 seed in the West, is coming to KC.
``I was real hopeful, but after we lost in the Big 12 tournament, I knew there was a good chance that it wouldn't happen,'' said Kansas guard Sherron Collins. ``But we're fine with going to Minnesota. We've got good fans. They'll follow us wherever we go.''
rney.
Memphis, riding the nation's longest winning streak into the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row, was hoping for what would have been its third No. 1 seed in four seasons. The Tigers may have been penalized for playing in the unheralded Conference USA.
But coach John Calipari brushed aside any disappointment and set his sights on the task ahead.
``I like what I see. I like where we're going Kansas City,'' he said. ``I have no problem being out West. I just want our team healthy and ready to go. And if that's the case, let's throw it up and let's go. We're just ready to go. It's been a long season.''
Kansas will open against No. 14 seed North Dakota State on Friday in the Metrodome. Memphis draws No. 15 Cal State Northridge on Thursday.
The Tigers, who have won 25 in a row, lost most of the team that came within one point of beating Kansas in regulation last year, but disappointment has not faded.
``We have a couple guys that played in that game and know what it's like for us to lose,'' said Robert Dozier, Memphis' 6-foot-9 senior. ``It definitely brings some hunger because we do want to get back in that championship game. We get there, we want to win it.''
After getting the announcement of their seeding, Calipari took his team upstairs at his home for a quick meeting. He promised last year's title game would not come up.
because we're a different team,'' he said. ``We want to win the national title, but that game, the way it unfolded, we moved on. ... We won't talk about it in any meetings we have.''
Nevertheless, he wouldn't mind if it creates a certain urgency.
``I think they think they're good enough. What I think right now with my team, there's an expectation we're going to be right there. We're going to be in the same position we were. That's all I try to build on,'' he said.
Oklahoma, which Kansas beat in their head-to-head meeting this year and which also lost its first conference tournament game, gets to play its first games in Kansas City. But coach Bill Self insisted he was not bitter.
``I selfishly would have liked to be in Kansas City. But we knew that probably wasn't going to happen after how we did in the Big 12 tournament,'' he said. ``I think, starting with the opening game, it's going to be very difficult to win our bracket. But I'm sure everybody, whatever seed they are in their respective region, feels the exact same way.''
While Memphis may be using last year's loss in the title game as a motivator, Kansas is deliberately not setting itself up as the defending champion.
erested in us trying to hope that we hold onto something. I'd rather us go out and take it, take what we feel like we want and our team can have. All I've done is talk about taking.''
His young players appeared to take the attitude to heart.
``We have the championship as a school. I didn't do anything for that championship,'' said freshman Tyshawn Taylor. ``It's a whole new team. We're trying to get a championship, not defend one.''
---
AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Memphis contributed to this report.

Recent NCAAB Discussions

hey mike ? on Mon, Feb 2017 by Michael Cash
COLL PLAYS 4 SUN on Mon, Feb 2017 by MichaelF12
ADDED COLL PLAT 4 SUN on Sun, Feb 2017 by Michael Cash

NCAAB Headlines

NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Utah vs. Oregon State Prediction Will tonight's matchup between Utah and Oregon State be a low-scoring affair for bettors at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech Prediction Can Georgia Tech pull off a small upset as a home underdog versus Syracuse tonight at 6:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Michigan vs. Minnesota Pick Can Michigan remain hot when the Wolverines hit the road today to face Minnesota tonight at 7PM ET?
Thumbnail UConn vs. Temple Prediction Will the combined score go over the betting total today when Temple hosts UConn at 4:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Bluejays hope for rebound this afternoon With road tests against Villanova and Marquette looming before the Big East tourney, Creighton’s path to a top NCAA seed suddenly seems fraught with danger....

NCAAB Team Pages