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Kansas Jayhawks News and Notes 4.08.15

I've never been a kiss up. It's just not how I operate. I mean, I've always subscribed to the idea that if you really want to impress your boss, you go in there and you do mediocre work, half-heartedly.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

- Kansas Sports -

Cliff Alexander leaving Kansas -

"We all feel bad for Cliff for what he and our team had to go through because it was difficult for him to sit and watch his teammates play without him," Self said. "During his time here, Cliff certainly got better. I loved coaching Cliff. But we support his decision 100 percent to move on and take his ability to the next level."

Analysts expect KU hoops to be right in the mix in 2015-16 | Tale of the Tait |

With that in mind, let's take a quick ride down Prognosticator Place, where several national college basketball writers were bold enough to post their “way too early Top 25” lists for the 2015-16 season. As you'll see, the Jayhawks were given a lot of love from these guys, just like they seemingly always are. (Mr. Ed says: I can't wait to see what RCT's fetchstradamus has to say. If you follow RCT on Twitter you know that he nailed Duke and Wisconsin this year.)

What caught my eye at Day 6 & 7 of KU football's 2015 spring practices | Tale of the Tait |

By far the most hilarious portion of Tuesday's practice came when “Fortunate Son” by Credence Clearwater Revival blared over the loud speaker. Kane, who must be a CCR fan, started barking at the players at his station at the time, “Who sings this?” “Who sings it?” “Who. Sings. This. Song.” Each time, the Jayhawks delivered a shake of the head and a shrug of the shoulders. I can't say I expected any of them to know the answer, but watching Kane try to coach it out of them was hysterical. Finally, after about a minute, he gave up and told them. I'm not sure the actual answer rang any bells either. Good stuff.

Football - Jayhawks Reach the Halfway Point of 2015 Spring Campaign

Kansas football completed practice number seven of the 2015 Spring season Tuesday afternoon in Memorial Stadium. The Jayhawks, who moved practice up an hour with possible inclement weather in the area, had the opportunity to work out under nearly perfect conditions as it turned out to be a sunny 85-degree afternoon in Lawrence.

Rock Chalk Weekly: Speeding Into a New Era of Kansas Football

"Effort is a minimum expectation," Beaty said. "We tell the team we're not going to spend a lot of time on effort because we expect that every day. That's something that when you look across the world, it applies. It's the guys that produce that are winners and we're trying to find the production guys. That's what we're working on."

Baseball - Kansas Rallies Late to Defeat New Mexico, 10-9

Senior right fielder Dakota Smith and a disciplined offense paced the Kansas baseball team to erase a three-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning, clinching a 10-9 win over New Mexico Tuesday night at Hoglund Ballpark.

Baseball - Rock Chalk Weekly: The Canadian

"He is the toughest guy in our program," head coach Ritch Price said of Pidhaichuk. "He literally wears pitches like he is playing hockey and he is getting hit with a puck. If you throw it inside, he's going to let it hit him. The guy is incredibly tough. He takes pride in being Canadian and being tough."

- College Sports -

NCAA official -- Refs didn't see TV broadcast view of out-of-bounds video replay

"We had been told time and time again, 'Nobody at home will see anything you didn't see.' And I will tell you that's not what happened last night. That is not an excuse. That is just laying it out for you."

Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels open as Las Vegas favorites for 2016 national championship

On Tuesday, the William Hill sportsbook opened the Wildcats as 8-1 favorites to win next year's NCAA tournament. North Carolina is second at 9-1, followed by Virginia at 10-1.

Bold predictions for the 2015-16 season college basketball season - Men's College Basketball Blog - ESPN

It's over, Kansas fans. I know, I know. You hear that every season. The Jayhawks have won 11 Big 12 titles in a row. So why would that change? Well, Iowa State will return a strong nucleus. And last season's other Big 12 contenders should be competitive again, too. Bill Self will lose Kelly Oubre, and he could lose Perry Ellis, too. Of course, Kansas will be in the mix. It always is. But it won't be No. 1.

College football conference title game restrictions to be relaxed by 2016 -

The move would directly impact the Big 12 and ACC, which developed the legislation. The Big 12, which is the only Power Five league without a championship game, is merely seeking the option of staging such a contest with 10 teams. The ACC's ultimate intentions with a 14-team league in football, one which already holds a championship game, are not clear.

Conference championship game deregulation expected to pass by 2016

Under current NCAA rules, leagues must have 12 teams and two divisions to hold a championship game. But deregulation would allow conferences to run their league title games no matter how many teams they have. The Big 12, at 10 teams, would consider adding a title game, commissioner Bob Bowlsby told's Heather Dinich.

Illinois State assistant Torrey Ward dies in plane crash after title game -

Illinois State associate head coach Torrey Ward died early Tuesday in a plane crash while returning from the Final Four, multiple sources told Ward was one of seven people on the private plane. There were no survivors.

- Professional Sports -

2015 Masters: Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are the betting favorites -

Masters week is upon us, which means the favorites for the tournament are now set in place.

- Pics and Videos of the Day -

Mariners fan snags David Freese foul ball with full tub of popcorn -

Baseball is back, which means it's time for another segment of "Fans Catching Foul Balls with Concession Items."

LOOK: Beer prices at every MLB ballpark -

Via Business Insider comes the following graphic, which shows you the price for a small-sized wholesome, nutritious beer at every major-league ballpark. (Mr. Ed says: Umm... where is the $6.50 beer at Royals Stadium? Seems like they're all $9-10.)

WATCH: WVU's Taylor Munden makes stellar play, remains chill -

During the course of West Virginia's Friday victory over Kansas State, Mountaineers shortstop Taylor Munden made a ranging snare on a grounder up the middle and then went Magic Johnson for the flip to second.

WATCH: President Obama talk trash to Paul Pierce -

On the opposing team was Paul Pierce, who could only smile after the President hit the game-winning shot and started talking smack to him.