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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sweet victory: Jayhawks beat Maryland to stay alive

Kansas forward Perry Ellis puts down a dunk in the first-half of the Jayhawks game against the Maryland Terrapins Thursday, March 24, 2016 in an NCAA Sweet Sixteen matchup at KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, KY.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis puts down a dunk in the first-half of the Jayhawks game against the Maryland Terrapins Thursday, March 24, 2016 in an NCAA Sweet Sixteen matchup at KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, KY.

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— In a city and state known for horse racing, the Kansas University men’s basketball team saddled up its Thoroughbred on Thursday night at the KFC Yum! Center and rode him into the Elite Eight.

KU senior Perry Ellis scored a tournament-high 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line to lead the Jayhawks to a 79-63 victory over fifth-seeded Maryland in the Sweet 16.

The victory moves KU into the Elite Eight on Saturday, where they’ll be 40 minutes away from a return trip to the Final Four.

Thursday’s victory was far from easy. And Kansas (33-4) needed everything it got from Ellis, who scored inside, on jumpers and at the foul line to lead the Kansas offense.

Wayne Selden Jr. also did his share of carrying Kansas when Ellis couldn’t, finishing with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Kansas certainly had to feel fortunate to be ahead at halftime. Despite the first 20 minutes including seven lead changes, the game seemed to be controlled by Maryland most of the way and KU did all it could to grind and stay with the Terrapins.

Ellis finished the half with 12 points and was one of the few Jayhawks who looked comfortable attacking in the offense. Selden had 9 points at the break. Frank Mason III and Devonté Graham combined for 4 first-half points on 1-of-8 shooting in half in which Maryland’s guards got the best of the backcourt battle, outscoring KU on the offensive end and disrupting the Jayhawks’ rhythm on defense.  

Behind seven early second-half points from Selden and a big time three from Mason, the Jayhawks built a seven-point lead by the 16-minute mark with a 14-9 run to open the half.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self: Jayhawks 'superb' in Sweet 16 win

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self answers questions from the media following the Jayhawks' 79-63 victory over Maryland in Louisville, Kentucky.

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After Maryland tied the game at 43, Ellis and Selden combined for seven straight points to put KU back in front.

The Jayhawks played the rest of the second half from in front, and, even though they missed a few opportunities to make the final 20 minutes much more comfortable for themselves, came through with clutch play after clutch play to seal the victory.

Here’s a quick look back at some of Thursday’s Sweet 16 action:

• The game turned when: Kansas figured out that it could (and should) run every single offensive possession through Ellis. That came midway through the second half and Maryland was powerless to stop it. It also didn’t hurt when Maryland big man Diamond Stone picked up his third foul early in the second half.

• Offensive highlight: Inside the final minute of the first half, with the game tied at 34, KU’s Selden drove down the lane to his right and tossed a soft lob to Landen Lucas trailing the play. Although Lucas did not finish with a flush, he did catch it in stride and laid it off the glass softly to give KU a 36-34 halftime lead. On back-to-back possessions early in the second half, Ellis caught the ball on the baseline and went to work attacking the rim on the drive. Each time, Ellis muscled his way to the block and then elevated to put the ball off the glass to keep KU in front. Selden followed that with a mini 5-0 run that featured a should-I-shoot-it-or-not three-pointer and a little floater in the lane to finish off another transition opportunity for Kansas.

• Defensive highlight: After a pair of made free throws by Ellis cut Maryland’s lead to 14-10, Graham stayed up to pressure the inbounds pass and stole an extra possession for the Jayhawks, who made the most of it with a monster dunk by Ellis. Late in the second half, after scoring an easy bucket on the block, junior forward Lucas dug in for a charge on the following possession and that put Kansas in position to build its largest lead of the night, which it did on a jumper from Ellis.

• Key stat: Heading into this one, KU’s ability to hang on the glass was a huge key and a big question mark. The Jayhawks answered the question in resounding fashion, dominating the rebounding battle, 43-28. Landen Lucas again led the way with 11 rebounds on a night when he also recorded 14 points to snag a double-double.

• Up next: The Jayhawks advance to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2012, when they defeated North Carolina to reach the Final Four. Top-seeded Kansas will play No. 2 seed Villanova on Saturday at Yum! Center. Time will be determined later.

— See what people were saying about the Sweet 16 matchup between KU and Maryland during KUsports.com's live coverage


More news and notes from KU’s Sweet 16 victory over Maryland


By the Numbers: Kansas 79, Maryland 63

By the Numbers: Kansas 79, Maryland 63

Comments

Craig Alexander 3 years, 7 months ago

I think these boys can beat Villanova. Villanova has a really good big I watched tonight but Lucas proved he can help there and Perry will score another 20. Let's get to Houston!

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 7 months ago

I picked Miami to win because Jay's team is so scary good. It will be a really really tough battle vs Nova. I still wish the best for the Jayhawks even though the outlook is not bright. There's still hope. Our team will find a way to win.

Let's go Hawks!!

Bryce Landon 3 years, 7 months ago

Good win, and great second half! Gotta have to bring our A+ game against Villanova, though. They've been crushing fools all tournament long.

Craig Alexander 3 years, 7 months ago

Perimeter defense will make us or break us. Hawks will take care of the inside!

Te question is though... Are you scared?

Bryce Landon 3 years, 7 months ago

Of course I am! Someone's gotta fill the role of Stupid Michael! Wonder what happened to that guy...?

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 3 years, 7 months ago

tournament high ellis, impressive man. especially doing it against the biggest inside men in the game. one game could raise his draft stock a couple million dollars. wow.

Justin Kruse 3 years, 7 months ago

Great game by our bigs! Need our guards to play some lock-down D on Saturday! Let's punch 'em in the mouth right from the tip and control this game! Rock Chalk!

Luke Kading 3 years, 7 months ago

Mason and Graham haven't really got it going yet, at least not at the same time, and they still have put together 3 very impressive tournament games. Ellis was unbelievable tonight, and Lucas and Selden were great too. I'll admit, middle of the season I didn't believe Lucas was the answer at center, but he continues to get better and better. Nothing flashy, but he is just so solid right now.

Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

What is up with our guards? Graham was firing on all cylinders, but has become a shrinking violet lately. Cant understand it. At all. Maybe Selden's re-emergence is more important than the play of Mason and Graham combined, I dont know. But it'd sure be nice if everybody could play well. We might need that kind of game to get by Villanova. And yes...Lucas is solid.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 7 months ago

Big picture Frank is really banged up and Graham was battling cramps. That being said, I'm absolutely amazed that they were feeding him goo packs. While they may have beneficial electrolytes, there is so much sugar in them that your stomach has to suck water out go your tissue/muscles in order to digest it which just accentuates the cramping. Been there. Done that way too much before learning that the body cramps mostly because it doesn't have enough water. Devonte needs to be drinking pure clear water what seems to be non-stop for the next 40 hours in order to get ready. And, yes, while you can get hyper-somethingorother from drinking too much water, it's not going to happen to him in the next 40 hours. He might be able to catch up in the next 24, but he is way, way behind if he's cramping. He needs to get his legs back under him and firing on all cylinders. Frank just needs time + BJ & Hawkeye.

Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

With all respect (and I mean that), there is a protein in the lining of your gut and in your kidneys called a Sodium/glucose symport. It takes a sodium and glucose and uses ATP (a molecule that provides energy) to move these molecules from the inside of the digestive tract and absorb them into the body. Basically the sodium and glucose are being concentrated away from the inside of the tract. After concentrating these molecules abluminally, water is absorbed across the gut into the body by diffusion in response to the concentration gradient as it attempts to equilibrate the concentrations of the absorbed solutes. In other words, sugar and sodium are absorbed together, and this facilitates the absorption of water into the body. As far as digestion, sugars are digested by salivary amylase in the mouth and pancreatic amylase released into the first part of the intestine. Not trying to sharp-shoot you, but science is kinda my thing.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 7 months ago

Graham's sick right now, didn't eat anything yesterday.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 7 months ago

There was an interesting comment from "the meeting" about the guys being confident in people being where they are supposed to be. There was one possession where Frank had to direction Carlton, and it's not just those 2. That's not a worry with Landon though. Always in the right spot.

Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

Villanova is due for a bad shooting game.

Repeat it in your mind over and over.

Villanova is due for a bad shooting game.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 7 months ago

Their fans are saying the same thing about us.

Noah Oone 3 years, 7 months ago

Actually, we have not had a game with average three point shooting, and Nova has shot over 20% above their season average and 67% tonight, which is well above average. If they are still hot on Saturday, our defense will have to make life as difficult as possible.

Brian Skelly 3 years, 7 months ago

My concern tonight was Maryland's guards Trimble and Sulaimon.    And while both had their moments, the fact that neither did a whole heck of a lot in the 2nd half -- much of which was our doing on defense -- sorta sealed the deal for us.    Throw in the fact that Stone picked up quick (and stupid in my opinion) fouls, their inside options were limited at that point.

And Joe,  I share concern about Graham,  but the reality is,   I think a lot of it is Selden asserting himself again,  and Ellis being the human bucket machine right now.    Graham seems to have a sense of getting to the line or getting a bucket when we really need it.    I still think he'll be doing that.

Of course, against Villanova, Ellis & Selden likely have to be really good again, and either Mason or Graham (preferably both) have to be good as well, if not great.     They certainly are the biggest threat we've played so far.     1 and 2 seeds.    How it should be.

William Weissbeck 3 years, 7 months ago

You are correct. Of the winning teams tonight, there is a number one seed and 3 teams that were all ranked number one at some point in the season. The year we should have beat a low seed to get to the Final Four, we didn't. There won't be any over confidence to bite us in the butt.

William Weissbeck 3 years, 7 months ago

I will give KU lots of credit. Watched only the first half and that was in the ER taking care of my daughter. Maryland looked bigger, stronger and quicker than us the first 10-15 minutes, but then our guys simply said "the hell with this" and proceeded to force the play either by driving on offense or fighting through screens on defense. A good show of character.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 7 months ago

They did play super tough. I seem to recall Coach making that a point of emphasis earlier in the year when some wanted us to shoot more 3's. There was a whole bunch of want to on the floor tonight.

Dave Miller 3 years, 7 months ago

That "want to" turned into a bunch of "gonna". "Want to" stop that pick and roll turned into "gonna" stop that pick and roll. (insert big grin here)

Dirk Medema 3 years, 7 months ago

This game was a matter of winning matchup.

Layman or whomever stood little chance against Wayne, and no one could stay with Perry. He's got enough of a mid-range and out game, that you need to respect it, but he's become too good with the ball to be able for most to play tight out there because he'll just go by to the basket.

It helps that our guards shoot 3's so well, because you can't help off your man. Realistically, our guards are doing a great job if that's all they do. Keep the floor spread and get the ball to the hot hand.

It was irrelevant that Stone got those fouls. MT & RS never got anyone else involved.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

Observations from Oakville:

1] Frank and Devonte are hindered by minor injuries that won't stop them from playing but may slow them just enough that if the 'Nova guards play like they did last night, we could be in trouble. Our trainers better have an MVP 48 hours.

2] Why does Seth Davis have such a hard on for KU? I remember back in '08 he was the only pregame talking head that picked us to win. Who cares what "Pants-On-Backwards says.

3] Elite Eight is a great accomplishment but I haven't seen a team we can't beat if we play our game so let's just take the whole damn thing!!

4] I'm running the office pool and I needed one more bracket to make the prize money even so I had one whereby it picked straight seeds all the way through and I assigned it to my two Golden Retrievers. Out of twenty six brackets, only one still has all four Final Four positions as well as six of eight Elite Eight positions as viable choices. Yep, you guessed it...those Goldens know their basketball. :).

5] Be honest, all of you...what odds would you have given me that Landon would score a double/double in a Sweet Sixteen game if I had asked you last November!!!

6] Someone better clean that damn court. Players were slipping all over the place.

7] i will repeat my prediction - KU beats UNC in triple overtime on the 60th anniversary of Wilt's last game as a Jayhawk for sweet revenge!!!

Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

William,

8] Best wishes for your daughter's recovery.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 7 months ago

You left out the best observation of all for the night"

Big 12 +2

ACC -3

Speaking of Bracket Pools....In the ESPN Pool, the one that about 15MM entered....I'm in the top 99%...Rock Chalk!!!!

Timothy Rake 3 years, 7 months ago

Suzi, sorry to tell you but Maryland has long-since left the ACC. There's still UNC, 'Cuse, ND and UVA standing until games are over on Friday. Nonetheless, good to see the Dookies and Miami go down.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes you are right.

I just can't seem to get it that they left the ACC.

Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

Still, it's pretty cool when a knowledgeable woman knows that Maryland was ever in the ACC in the first place. Dont send hate mail calling me "sexist". Just a reality that it's pretty rare.

Noah Oone 3 years, 7 months ago

Devonte is sick right now, so that could explain it. I thought when Frank got out of his own way he was good. Handled the press well.

Harlan Hobbs 3 years, 7 months ago

Just a solid performance all the way around. Really love the way that Landen boxes out for the rebounds. He has provided the missing link from early in the season. Then, with Perry and Wayne playing at such a high level, it allows Frank and Devonte to be the floor generals, which they do very well. They weren't getting many open looks, but they were constantly finding the other guys as the "bigs" and Wayne were huge tonight.

Villanova is indeed a tough matchup. However, as Joe says, they are due for a little off night. If they shoot as well as they have been against us, then they probably will deserve to win the game. However, I like KU's chances because of our defense. I just can't believe that our defense will be as porous as Miami's was. One thing of which I am certain is that KU will give a maximum effort, win or lose.

Noah Oone 3 years, 7 months ago

If Nova is unconscious like they have been the last three games, combined with how good they are defensively, nobody will beat them. However, eventually they will return closer to their average three point shooting, which is in the 30% range, and on the season only have one person shooting 40% or higher.

If they are making 30 foot shots like Jenkins did tonight, then that will be tough. However, they need to come out and really get after them defensively and force them into tough shots.

Noah Oone 3 years, 7 months ago

Also, we have yet to have an above average shooting night in the tournament, with the last good shooting night coming against West Virginia. Saturday night would be a great time for a 40%-50% trey night.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 7 months ago

Geeeezzzz, last year when Self missed out on Diamond Stone and other bigs, everyone, including myself, were moaning and growing. Then Self signed Diallo and everyone, including myself, were elated thinking we got the needed 5. So what happens? We get to the Sweet 16....Diallo does not and LANDON Frikin Lucas drops 14/11 on Stone!!!! Even though Lucas was really important the end of last season, everyone, including myself, thought it was because we had nobody else...which was true.

I mean really...slap me silly...Landon Lucas is a beast!!!!!

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 7 months ago

It's LANDEN Lucas. Landen Wreakin' Lucas! I had a doubt in him earlier - but he turned out to be a solid rebounder and good rim protector with his size - a great help to the team, that's on a roll to 20 wins now.

Jerry Walker 3 years, 7 months ago

It was a tough, systematic dismantling of a very good Maryland team.

World Games champs...Maui champs...Big XII season champs...Big XII tourney champs.

This Jayhawk squad is a tenacious bunch who know how to get it done when it counts.

Barry Weiss 3 years, 7 months ago

rock chalk, nova cools off, KU meets OU for round 3 in the Final Four. Book it.

Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

If they do meet again, it'll be in the National Championship game. If I could book that game I certainly would.

Len Shaffer 3 years, 7 months ago

That's not true, Joe. They would be meeting in the semis. And it would be pretty scary, because we all know how hard it is to beat the same team three times in one season.

Brett Clifton 3 years, 7 months ago

This team has so many weapons and is so fun to watch. The emergence of Landen Lucas as a rebounding machine and a good defender (who even gives us some points sometimes as well) has been such a difference maker.

See you guys in Louisville! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

David Robinett 3 years, 7 months ago

Joe, appreciate the science commentary above.

I find that when watching games the following chemical mixture is beneficial:

H2O, CH3CH2OH and various malted carbohydrates, with an enzymatic activator.

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