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Notebook: Kansas Mauls Final Four Media Day

Even though I sell rocks, it feels good putting money in your mailbox

NCAA Men's Final Four - Previews Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Kansas news

Graham vs. Brunson: All-American point guard battle matches speed vs. power |
The way Kansas basketball coach Bill Self sees it, KU point guard Devonte' Graham has prepared for Saturday's Final Four showdown with Villanova point guard Jalen Brunson about 10 times already this season and nearly two dozen times before.

Azubuike vs. Spellman: A different defensive challenge for Udoka |
Azubuike’s Final Four matchup against Villanova big man Omari Spellman will present some new challenges when the two teams play at 7:49 p.m. Saturday at the Alamodome. Spellman, listed at 6-foot-9, 245 pounds, has the size to fight for position in the paint, but he’s not afraid to stretch the floor by shooting 3-pointers

Mykhailiuk vs. Paschall: A matchup that will travel inside the arc and out |
“And then our power guy, Svi,” Self will banter with Mykhailiuk, a senior guard from Ukraine, “you’re going to guard their power guy.”

Vick vs. Bridges: From biding their time to prime time |
This Final Four, devoid of one-and-done players and featuring 13 out of 20 starters who are juniors and seniors, has a throwback feel to it. Work hard and your turn will come.

Newman vs. Booth: How resiliency shaped both KU's red-hot guard and Villanova's lockdown defender |
“I had a bike tire. I broke the little spurs or whatever it’s called,” Newman said. “I broke that off and I put it on a tree.”

Chop Talk: KU coach Bill Self relives fond memories of KU's most famous play | Tale of the Tait |
Given that this was, after all, the very venue that it all went down, it seemed only fitting for Kansas coach Bill Self to talk a little — or, perhaps more appropriately, to be asked a little — about the now famous “Chop” play that helped win Kansas the 2008 national title.

Udoka Azubuike says it'll be an 'emotional moment' when he sees his mom at Final Four |
Still only 18 years old, he hasn’t seen his mother since he left for the United States about six years ago. Communication is difficult via FaceTime or Facebook because of the internet connection back home. The NCAA will pay up to $3,000 in travel expenses for players’ families to watch the Final Four and that means Azubuike's mom, Florence Azuonuwu, will watch him play basketball for the first time.

Sasha Kaun, others recall triumphant trip to San Antonio for 2008 Final Four
“It’s crazy. We won on the 20th anniversary. They cut it down to 10 years now,” former KU center Kaun said of the 2017-18 Jayhawks, who are in the hunt for the 2018 NCAA title (in the same city as 2008) — an even 10 years after the school’s last championship celebration.

'Pushing and shoving' Doke is this KU walk-on's job. He has bruises to prove it
If this is the only season James Sosinski plays for the Kansas basketball team, he will have a few lasting memories: the four points he scored at Allen Fieldhouse against Omaha, this current run to the Final Four, and the bruises.

Other Sports

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has orbital fracture, concussion, will need surgery
ESPN's Zach Lowe reported that, pending the results of the surgery, Embiid could return in two to four weeks. The 76ers have clinched a spot in the playoffs, which begin April 14.

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant ejected in first game back
In his first game since a six-game absence to recover from a rib injury, the All-Star small forward picked up two quick technical fouls late in the first half of the Golden State Warriors' 116-107 loss Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks and was sent to the showers with 2.4 seconds left in the second quarter.

Coach Tyronn Lue to rejoin Cleveland Cavaliers as observer
Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue is planning to rejoin the team as an observer against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, league sources told ESPN.

Emergency goalie Scott Foster pressed into action in Blackhawks win
Scott Foster thought it was going to be just another night. Then the 36-year-old accountant signed a contract, put on his goaltender gear and waited in Chicago's locker room. Then he got into the game.