University of Kansas

Previously-scheduled Kansas-Villanova game part of Big 12-Big East ‘alliance’

Bill Self on what he expects from KU-Villanova matchup

Kansas Jayhawks coach Bill Self talks about his team's upcoming home game Saturday against the Villanova Wildcats. KU is ranked No. 1 after starting the season 8-0.
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Kansas Jayhawks coach Bill Self talks about his team's upcoming home game Saturday against the Villanova Wildcats. KU is ranked No. 1 after starting the season 8-0.

Next season’s Kansas-Villanova men’s basketball game, set for Dec. 21 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, will be part of the inaugural Big 12/Big East “scheduling alliance” set of games, the leagues announced Thursday.

The game, which was scheduled in November of 2017 as part of a home-and-home series between the schools, is a rematch of KU’s 74-71 victory over the Wildcats on Dec. 15, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU leads the all-time series against Villanova 4-3.

Other pre-existing matchups in the alliance, which will be contested next season through 2022-23: Marquette at Kansas State, Oklahoma at Creighton and Texas at Providence.

Games that were scheduled by Big 12/Big East conference officials for the upcoming 2019-20 season: Butler at Baylor, Seton Hall at Iowa State, Georgetown at Oklahoma State, Xavier at TCU, Texas Tech at DePaul and West Virginia at St. John’s.

KU, which generally tries to schedule two marquee nonconference games at home and two on the road each season, will travel to Stanford’s campus arena — Maples Pavilion — for a nonconference clash Dec. 29. That game will complete a four-year series with the Cardinal. The Jayhawks have won the initial three games in the Stanford series.

One of KU’s two marquee home games in the 2019-20 season will be a yet-to-be-announced matchup in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The pairings for the challenge will be announced this summer.

It’s been rumored KU will play host to Kentucky since the Jayhawks traveled to Kentucky’s Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., last season. KU has not revealed its second marquee home game.

The Jayhawks will meet Duke in the Champions Classic on Nov. 5 in New York and also travel to the Maui Invitational, Nov. 25-27, at Lahaina Civic Center in Maui. The Maui Field: KU, BYU, Dayton, Georgia, Michigan State, UCLA, Virginia Tech and host Chaminade.

The Maui bracket will be released this summer.

Thomas Robinson back from China

Former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson’s NBA dreams have been rekindled after a highly-productive season with the Beikong Fly Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Robinson, who turned 28 in March, averaged 21.9 points and 13.6 rebounds a game across 26 games. He returned to the U.S. at the conclusion of the season and signed with Maine of the NBA D-League. Robinson averaged 19.0 points and 13.5 rebounds across four games for the Red Claws, an affiliate of the Boston Celtics.

“Confidence-wise, it helped me a lot,” Robinson said of his season in China in an interview with Boston.com. “I’m in good shape and ready to come back and try to keep it rolling.”

Robinson said in a perfect world he’d join former KU teammate Marcus Morris in the frontcourt of the Celtics.

“I’d be more than grateful to be back on any roster. Of course, playing with Marcus would mean a lot to me,” Robinson told Boston.com.

Morris said: “We definitely could use him on this team. I think he’d be perfect, honestly. He’d bring that energy and bring more size. He’s a guy that can defend the rim, has got a lot of energy, just being a dog. Every team could use a dog.”

Robinson was chosen fifth overall (by Sacramento) in the 2012 NBA Draft. He also played for Houston, Portland, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Lakers. He played in 2017-18 in the Russian United League before heading to China this past season.

Vick thanks fans on Twitter

Former KU guard Lagerald Vick, who left the team on indefinite leave of absence on Feb. 6, said goodbye to the fans via Twitter on Thursday.

“I truly appreciate everyone who supported me and embraced me during my 4 year stay at the University Of Kansas. Thank You to my coaches, family & friends, but most importantly thanks to the best fans in the world!!! #RockChalkJayHawk,” Vick wrote in a Tweet.

He will graduate on May 19.

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