10:35 PM ET, March 23, 2012
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
C.J. Leslie -- or Calvin, as Gottfried refers to him -- who had been saddled with a reputation as a problem child.The sophomore forward has openly credited Gottfried with making him grow up."He basically told me to step up and be a leader," Leslie said. "Be a leader for our team, do the things that I need to do to make my team get better."It's little surprise that the Wolfpack's postseason run has coincided with some breakout performances from their best player. Leslie is averaging better than 18 points and shooting nearly 60 percent from the field over the past 10 games."I think we are a Cinderella team," he said. "Nobody expected us to be here. We just keep believing in ourselves that we're going to make it to at least the Final Four."That's the expectation every season at Kansas.Still, even coach Bill Self tried to temper high hopes this year. The Jayhawks lost a bevy of talent from last season's team, and the returning players included a former walk-on in Teahan and a couple of guys who'd spent most of their careers riding the bench.Then March rolled around and the Jayhawks were ready for another NCAA tournament."One thing about coaching at my school is even though faces change, expectations don't," Self said. "They have great pride, and I really think between their ears and their effort and all those things have had as much to do with our team's success as it has been raw talent."Kansas secured its eighth straight Big 12 regular-season title and was seeded third or better in the NCAA tournament for the sixth consecutive year.Not that seeds matter all that much.The Jayhawks know that as well as anybody."I don't think there's really any upsets this time of year, like a lot of the so-called prognosticators think there is," Self said. "Once you get to the weekend, all the teams are good."
NCAA Mens Tournament
|Avg Points Allowed||68.0||61.9|
|» Mar 23, 2012||@KU 60, NCST 57||Recap|