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Kansas Jayhawks News and Notes 1.27.15

A look-see around today's internets.

Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Our very own PenHawk will be on 1410 AM KSGO in Wichita (listen live here) every Tuesday morning at approximately 6:35 AM through the end of basketball season.  Give him a listen!

- Kansas Sports -

Alexander Named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week

Kansas freshman Cliff Alexander has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week in a vote by a media panel which covers the league, the conference announced Monday.

Happy-go-lucky: Freshman Graham always smiling |

“Nobody can be in that good a mood all the time, I don’t think,” Self said. “He is a great teammate and happy-go-lucky kid. I would be curious to poll all kids on our campus, because our players swear he’s the most popular kid on campus, just about. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not. In our players’ minds it certainly is.”

Big 12 race following all-too-familiar script | FOX Sports

"It's going to take a lot," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said of unseating the Jayhawks. "Kansas has hit a stride and they're playing as well as any team in the country with the win at Texas. Plus they know how to win with 10 straight. We know they'll be right there."

Baseball High Kicks Its Way to JayRock Title

Competing against other live performances and pre-recorded comedy videos, baseball edged softball and track and field for the top honor. JayRock is a student-athlete variety show put on by the Kansas Athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), with donations collected at the door for a designated charity.

Volleyball Adds Experienced Transfer

A native of Fairway, Kansas, Anna Church joins the Jayhawks after three years at Saint Louis University. In her time with the Billikens, Church tallied 1,073 career digs and 75 career aces. Last fall, she recorded a career-best 465 digs and 4.04 average for the season to rank third in the Atlantic-10 Conference.

Motivational speaker strikes chord with Jayhawks |

Rayna DuBose, now 31, was in town as the featured speaker for the KU athletic department’s annual diversity training on the topic of overcoming disabilities. A 6-foot-3 forward on the 2001-02 Virginia Tech team, DuBose played in 13 games that season, reached double figures four times and finished her career 15-for-15 from the free-throw line. Not long after the season ended, the Columbia, Maryland, native contracted the deadly bacterial disease meningococcal meningitis, which took all four of her limbs.

- College Sports -

College Football Playoff officials won't budge on semifinal, championship dates - ESPN

Officials from the College Football Playoff are standing firm behind their original dates for future semifinals and national championship games in spite of a report that officials from ESPN and the NFL would like to see the dates changed.

Texas Longhorns vs. Iowa State Cyclones - Recap - January 26, 2015 - ESPN

Georges Niang scored 19 points, Bryce Dejean-Jones had 18 and 15th-ranked Iowa State held off No. 19 Texas 89-86 on Monday night. Jameel McKay had 14 points for the Cyclones (15-4, 5-2 Big 12), who let Texas score 23 points in the final 2:58 and yet still managed to hang on for their fourth win over a Top 25 opponent.

ACC rivals North Carolina Tar Heels, Wake Forest Demon Deacons agree to nonconference series - ESPN

Rather than wait seven years until their next game, the two sides agreed on the nonconference series. Last year, ACC athletic directors began seriously discussing the idea of setting up nonconference games against league teams in the opposite division for two reasons: to avoid going so many years between games and to add another Power 5 opponent to the schedule.

UCF to add 10,000 square foot beach club to stadium -

Yes, UCF announced plans to build a beach-themed club at its home stadium called ESC. The club will feature a sundeck as well as a covered lounge and it will be a "social space to meet up with friends and clients alike on game day." Membership will be required, but membership will include everything from drinks, special parking, a VIP entrance to the stadium, private restrooms, and the most important thing of all, enhanced WiFi.

Poll Attacks: Can you explain why you have SMC on your AP ballot? -

Again, there are 15-to-20 teams that could be reasonably ranked in the 20s on anybody's ballot, which is among the reasons 43 schools received votes this week. But at least one of those 43 schools so clearly doesn't belong, and that school is Saint Mary's.

- Professional Sports -

NFL announces partnership with Google, YouTube: 4 things to know -

The league announced on Monday that beginning this week, the NFL will have its own YouTube channel that will feature in-game highlights, post-game recaps as well as clips featuring news, analysis, fantasy football advice.

- Potpourri -

"This Is A Serious Situation"

While the guy in the snowplow does donuts behind the reporter...

Why Running Alone Through Snow For 135 Miles Is Harder Than It Sounds

Now in its 11th year, Arrowhead regularly makes it onto lists of the world's toughest races by dint of its distance (135 miles on snow-covered trails), conditions (temps below -20 for much of the 60-hour limit), and the strictly self-supported format (no pacers, no crews, not even a cup of coffee from a spectator, of which there are few). Participants can choose to bike, ski, or run, but they carry everything they need from start to finish.