LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas' men's basketball regular season schedule is now complete with the release of the Big 12 schedule which was announced by the conference Thursday. The season's highlights include four games on CBS as well as 20 games on the ESPN family of networks, which include four Big Monday appearances and an ESPN Gameday contest.
The Jayhawks' schedule will feature at least 14 games against teams that played in last year's NCAA tournament, and at least 15 games against schools that were in the top-100 of last season's RPI rankings.
Besides the network and national cable telecasts, four KU games will air on the Big 12 Network, while three contests will be shown on the in-state Jayhawk Television Network (JTV). The Big 12 Network and JTV contests will be available nationally on ESPN's Full Court package. Additionally, KU's two exhibition contests will also air on JTV but will not be shown nationally.
Kansas TV Notables
- For the sixth-straight season and 13th time in the 17-year history of the Big 12 Conference, the Jayhawks will play in four ESPN Big Monday games with an additional Monday conference home game against Texas Tech on ESPNU. KU's ESPN Big Monday contests will be Jan. 14 against Baylor, Jan. 28 at West Virginia, Feb. 11 against Kansas State and Feb. 25 at Iowa State. Kansas is 45-16 all-time on Big Monday (25-1 at home, 20-15 on the road), including 26-8 under head coach Bill Self.
- Kansas will make multiple regular season appearances on CBS for the 12th-straight year, dating back to the 2000-01 season. Under Self, the Jayhawks have appeared on CBS 45 times, amassing a 33-12 record (8-1 home, 7-5 away, 18-6 neutral).
Other Kansas 2012-13 Schedule Notables
- Kansas could play up to 24 games against schools from BCS conferences: three from the Pac 12, two from the Big Ten, possibly Texas A&M (SEC) in the second game of the CBE tournament and 18 from the Big 12.
- Kansas will play four non-conference opponents that won their respective league titles in 2012: Michigan State and Ohio State (Big Ten), Belmont (Atlantic Sun) and Temple (Atlantic 10).
- For the second-consecutive year the Jayhawks will play as part of the Champions Classic when they go up against Michigan State in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. The Spartans lead the all-time series 5-4, claiming the most recent contest in the 2009 NCAA Sweet 16.
- Kansas is the only school in the Big 12 to have a winning series record against every conference team in men's basketball.
· The Big 12 is coming off another outstanding season in which it ranked No. 3 in the RPI rankings, had six teams with 20 or more victories and advanced six teams to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Kansas won the 2012 Big 12 regular-season championship with a 16-2 record.
· Kansas and Texas, the two winningest programs in Big 12 history, will square off twice in the regular season for the second consecutive season. The Longhorns will host the first match-up at 1 p.m., Jan. 19 on CBS. The series will then move to Lawrence on Saturday Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. and will be featured as part of ESPN Gameday. Kansas is first in the conference with a combined 249-49 record against Big 12 competition (regular-season and league tourney play), while Texas is next at 197-98. Kansas has won the last eight Big 12 regular-season titles, yet Texas tied KU for two of those in (2006 and 2008) and the two teams met in four of the last seven Big 12 Championship title games, all won by the Jayhawks.
Three seniors comprise Kansas’ returning starters in guards Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford and center Jeff Withey. Johnson is KU's leading returning scorer having averaged 10.2 points per game in 2011-12, while Releford scored 8.5 points per contest and pulled down 4.2 rebounds per outing. Withey broke the Kansas and Big 12 Conference single-season blocked shots record with 140 blocks last year while he averaged 9.3 points per game. Withey's 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocked shots per contest make him the leading returning stat leader in those categories. Other KU regulars from last year include senior forward Kevin Young (3.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and junior forward Justin Wesley (1.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg).
Kansas has 10 freshmen on its roster this season with two - Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor - who were NCAA partial qualifiers last season. The duo is redshirts for 2012-13 and practiced with the team following the fall 2011 semester. Both know Bill Self's system, will have an immediate impact on the rotation and could crack into the starting lineup.
Kansas has won four of the last six Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships. This year's event will be held at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., March 13-16 and NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday will be Sunday, March 17.