It’s the Sweet 16 for Kansas–the first time in two years, and the top overall seeded Jayhawks are playing their best basketball of the season.
Conveniently enough, KU is headed to the Sweet 16 riding a 16-game winning streak, and with a matchup against Maryland set for Thursday night, the favored Jayhawks are aiming for a 17th straight victory.
In two wins in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament, Kansas, along with teams such as North Carolina and Villanova, looked dominant.
In the opener against Austin Peay, Perry Ellis and Co., jumped out early and set the tone against their 16-seed opponent. In fact, it was early in the first half when Austin Peay’s players began to develop a deer-in-the-headlights look, knowing they were dealing with a different animal in college basketball.
Not sure what to make of it as it was happening, KU fans witnessed their Jayhawks control the game throughout and run efficient offense led by reserve Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and fairly mediocre performances from the starting 5.
Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham, in particular, were almost non-factors in the scoring column, simply playing defense and distributing the ball. Still, even with that said, Kansas put up 105 points in the victory led by Svi’s 23 points off the bench.
It was a fascinating game from the standpoint of KU being able to score 105 with much of the production coming from its bench. For other potential opponents in the South region watching, it’s a scary thought seeing the top team in the country have bench players capable of dominating a game when several of its starters didn’t.
Kansas took their momentum into Saturday’s game against a streaking UConn team which appeared to have a slight advantage in the low post with its size and athleticism–at a minimum a wash between the two programs–with KU having the edge in nearly every other category aside from free-throw shooting.
It was the Jayhawks which dominated the boards, completely taking UConn out of its game and forcing bad shot after bad shot on their way to a 20-point halftime lead.
Per usual in the NCAA tournament, the Huskies made a bit of a run in the second half, getting the lead down to nine on a couple of occasions, but with every big shot from UConn, Kansas fired back with a mini-run to stretch the lead back out.
Wayne Selden, Jr., who has had a tremendous tournament thus far, led KU against the Huskies and made several highlight plays, most notably a nasty one-handed ally-oop dunk in the second half off an assist from Graham.
No headed to the second weekend of the tournament, KU has the best odds of advancing and are playing solid basketball on both ends of the floor and proving a number of players can step up on a different night and lead the team to a win.
As you continue to cheer on the Jayhawks while they march through the NCAA tournament, don’t forget to make Tickets For Less your source for KU tickets during the 2016-2017 season. When the schedule is released, ticketsforless.com will have tickets to each and every home game in Allen Fieldhouse available with a variety of seating and parking pass options.