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Kansas' Udoka Azubuike to Miss Big 12 Tournament Due to Knee Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2018

AMES, IA - FEBRUARY 13: Udoka Azubuike #35 of the Kansas Jayhawks dunks the ball in the second half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Hilton Coliseum on February 13, 2018 in Ames, Iowa. The Kansas Jayhawks won 83-77 over the Iowa State Cyclones. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)
David K Purdy/Getty Images

The Kansas Jayhawks are going to have a big hole up front during the Big 12 tournament, as 7'0" center Udoka Azubuike will be out due to a knee injury.

Kansas coach Bill Self announced the news on Wednesday:

Kansas Basketball @KUHoops

A statement from @CoachBillSelf on Udoka Azubuike ➡️ https://t.co/PFNNrc6Vo3

The sophomore from Nigeria averaged 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game this season in helping the program win its 14th consecutive conference title.

Adjustments must be made with Azubuike out. Kansas will need to find a way to protect the paint without their leading rebounder and shot-blocker.

While winning the Big 12 tournament could improve the Jayhawks' seeding come Selection Sunday, Self knows that the NCAA—not the conference—tournament is the top priority. A healthy Azubuike gives the team its best chance at cutting down the nets at the end of the season.

Kansas will open up its postseason play by facing the winner of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State showdown on Thursday.

  

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