Jackson will be emblematic of a Kansas team that has won big on the court but dealt with multiple problems off of it.
“I thought we played hard”.
“It’s huge for us it’s huge for the economy, we don’t want the Jayhawks to end, got to have the Jayhawks just a little bit longer” John Jones said. The Jayhawks came away with a 90-70 win to move on to the Sweet 16.
The Spartans certainly played like anything but an underdog well into the second half against the regular-season Big 12 Conference champions, closing Kansas’ lead to 54-53 following a basket by Alvin Ellis.
The cast on hand should include at least three starters from Sunday’s game against the Jayhawks. “We have to feed off their energy”. Purdue actually held a 19-point lead in the second half, but the Cyclones stormed back to take their first lead of the game with 3:11 left. “I’ve watched Josh and Miles go at it for three or four years”.
“It’s always good when going against Josh”, Bridges said. And I think we as a team did a pretty good job of doing exactly what their game plan probably was to do to us. “There was some pressure”.
It will be a matchup, too, between two of the finest players in the country in Kansas’ Frank Mason and Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, each of which made Sunday’s four-man cut for the Naismith Trophy. You just have to know how to sustain them. That doesn’t mean we didn’t have an advantage or anything like that.
Tillman isn’t the same type of game-changing talent, but he could see significant minutes next season backing up Jackson, Ward and Schilling on the front line. He knows all those guys. Guard Lagerald Vick scored on a layup off a down-the-lane pass from Graham to put the Jayhawks ahead by 10 with 8:07 remaining. Five Jayhawks scored in double-digits, led by Frank Mason III with 22. Lucas had a bucket to open that run and make it 71-64.
Mason averages 20.8 points per game.
Graham hit three 3-pointers in the final seven minutes.
“It was a hard game to coach in large part because nobody listened to me”, Self joked.
MSU and Arizona are considered the frontrunners to land Bowen, who would be able to do some of the things Bridges did for the Spartans this season as a dynamic player on the wing. It was a fast-paced game.
Wilson scored 17 points and Zak Irvin 11. Even if they slow Kansas down, they’re going to have to score. Shot selection wasn’t great. We extended our lead by step-back threes, and-ones. What followed was a play reminiscent of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, if not directly inspired by them.
The Jayhawks were nails from the charity stripe, sinking 14-15 (93.3%).
“We’re not going to back down from anybody or let anybody punk us”, Lucas said.