March 14, 2007

Top-seeded KU to play Niagara

The NCAA tournament officially kicked off Tuesday night with the play-in game, which would determine who gets to play the top-seed seed in the West bracket, the Kansas Jayhawks (30-4, 14-2). After a slow start, the Niagara Purple Eagles defeated the Florida A&M Rattlers in Dayton, Ohio, 77-69. Now that Kansas knows their opponent in Friday's opener in Chicago, Ill., Brandon Rush and company will begin to focus on winning their first tournament game in three years. Game time is set for 6:10 pm CST.

A No. 16 seeded team has never defeated a No. 1 in the history of the NCAA tournament. While it doesn't look like that trend will change, anything can happen in March.

Kansas was the only team who didn't know their first opponent in the tournament. After Tuesday's victory, the Jayhawks can now study tape on the Purple Eagles who feature and undersized, but athletic roster.

Niagara has just one player 6-foot-8 or taller in junior center Benson Egemonye. Niagara may not have the size to compete with the Jayhawks, but they have eight players who average at least 15 minutes per game, five of which who score at least 10 points per game.

Junior guard Charron Fisher leads the Purple Eagles in scoring at 21-points per game. The 6-foot-3 combo guard pulls down just over eight rebounds per game, which is second on the team. Against Florida A&M, Fisher scored 13-points to help his team advance to Chicago.

When watching Niagara, their athleticism becomes very apparent.

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