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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Quick recap: Kansas dismantles Northeastern, advances to Round of 32

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) gets under the Northeastern defense for a bucket during the first half, Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Vivint Smart Homes Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) gets under the Northeastern defense for a bucket during the first half, Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Vivint Smart Homes Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Salt Lake City — Kansas avoided being on the wrong end of a Cinderella Story in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

KU, the fourth seed in the Midwest Region, took care of business with a 87-53 win over 13th-seeded Northeastern Thursday afternoon at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Jayhawks trailed for only 1:27, leading by double digits for much of the second half, to notch their 13th consecutive first-round victory.

Dedric Lawson led Kansas with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including a 3-for-5 effort from downtown, to go along with 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. In his tourney debut, freshman Devon Dotson scored 18 points. K.J. Lawson also poured in 13 points off the bench.

KU led by as many as 33 points at one point before ultimately putting in the reserves. Junior Jordan Roland was the only player to score in double figures for the Huskies, finishing with 12 points in the loss.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: Many people were hyping this game up to be closer than the seeding difference indicated.

In fact, the spread for the game dropped to 6.5 by tipoff on most betting sites. After a sluggish start, Kansas created some cushion from a possible upset down the stretch in the first half. Northeastern, a team that boasted the fifth-best effective field goal percentage entering Thursday, did not hit a shot over the final 3:52 of the first half.

The Huskies missed nine of their last 10 shots to close out the first period. As a team, NU shot 8-of-31 from the floor in the first half. Kansas took a 37-25 advantage at the intermission and kept the opposition from striking distance for the remainder of the game.

• Offensive highlight: The Huskies did trim the deficit to seven points early in the second half, which forced Kansas coach Bill Self to call a timeout at the 17:05 mark.

The Jayhawks answered with eight unanswered points, including back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead back to double-digits. Freshman Quentin Grimes knocked down the first one, draining a triple from the right wing on an assist by K.J. Lawson.

Dedric Lawson then answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. One possession later, Dedric Lawson scored a bucket in the paint.

• Defensive highlight: The best defensive play of the game, of course, came from Kansas sophomore Marcus Garrett.

After hitting a layup at the 13:58 mark, Garrett quickly picked up Northeastern senior Vasa Pusica before he crossed half court. Garrett poked the ball away from Pusica and then proceeded to beat him to the ball.

Garrett completed the sequence with his second layup in 13 seconds, giving Kansas a 13-9 advantage at the time. It was an example of Garrett’s strong defensive showing against Pusica, as he kept Northeastern’s leading scorer from netting a bucket in the first 12 minutes of the game.

• Key stat: Entering the game, Northeast was hyped up as a possible threat to Kansas due to its ability to shoot from deep.

The Huskies came into the game shooting 38.8 percent from long range, which was the 13th-best clip in the nation. They also got 38.5 percent of their points from beyond the arc prior to the opening round.

Against Kansas, though, NU struggled to it shots. The Huskies finished the game 6-of-28 from 3-point range in the loss.

•Up next: Kansas will face Auburn Saturday in the Round of 32.

Comments

Bryce Landon 1 month ago

Dang, I mean...dang. That was a freaking hospital job that we laid on Northeastern! That might have been our best performance and most complete game we have played since crushing Texas Tech at home in February!

Credit to Coach Self for having his team ready from the opening jump and, more importantly, for getting his guys to do something they've hardly done all year - shut down an opponent's 3-point shooting!

Credit to Dedric and Devon for carrying the scoring load and manhandling the Huskies at will!

Quite the satisfying win, and hopefully a harbinger of things to come. If I was Auburn, after the way they played against New Mexico State and the way we played against Northeastern, I'd be terrified of the Jayhawks right now!

Max Ledom 1 month ago

Clearly outclassed Northeastern. They just didn’t have the fuel necessary to run with us. Plain and simple.

Auburn is gonna play D and they are physical and they are gonna score in bunches. I suppose the biggest motivation is to get back to KC.

I would be incredibly proud to see this team get to the Sweet 16 and prove doubters wrong. Rock Chalk.

Tom Jones 1 month ago

I suppose the biggest motivation is to win. ;)

Tony Bandle 1 month ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Would all the talking heads who picked Northeastern to upset Kansas line up on the right for your piece of crow pie.

2] We still suck at the three point line but the "D" was so good you didn't notice.

3] We can beat Auburn and, as a bonus, make Chuckie Barkley cry!

4] Saturday, will be a war and, despite the seeding, we will most likely be the underdog. I can't remember the last time KU was the underdog in a second round game. Can anyone else?

5] I had no idea Kansas owns both the longest current NCAA streaks for appearances AND winning at least one game.

6] What great exposure for the kids on the team this year..no matter what, getting to play two games in an NCAA Tourney will pay big dividends next season!!

7] I miss Holly but the sideline girl today was pretty good.

8] Next year's starting line up: Abaji, Dotson, Grimes, MacCormack and Hurt with Marcus, Mitch, Moore and KJ first off the bench. [Notice what I did there?]

Armen Kurdian 1 month ago

We played Duke in 2001 in the round of 32, we were an 8 seed back then, almost beat the Devils.

Barry Weiss 1 month ago

wow, so nice to shut up the talking heads who had us losing. I can take our fans here picking us apart, but these outsiders, that rankles me...lol We crushed them on the board and our defense was stellar. Held them to 28% from the field and 21% from three, almost cutting in half their normal percentage. All the while are putting it on the floor and taking it to the rim netted us a 55% shooting percentage. Great job Jayhawks! On to take on Aubbie!

Dan Philipps 1 month ago

Were we that good, or was NorthEastern that bad? I pulled some tournament stats from three memorable KU teams to see how they compared. Of those teams, no one hit 34+ points in an NCAA victory. Based on this superstitious logic, I expect the margin for Saturday's game to be between 4 and -4.

1997 - Haase, LaFrenz, Pierce, Pollard, Thomas, Vaughn 2003 - Collison, Graves, Hinrich, Langord, Milies, Simien 2008 - Aldrich, Arhur, Rush, Chalmers, Collins, Jackson, Kaun, Reed, Robinson

Here are the win margins from each team in the NCAA tournament ...

1997 win margins: 14, 14, -3. What a brutal loss for KU. The only redeeming factor was that Arizona won it all that year and was ridiculously under seeded at a 4.

2003 win margins: 3, 32, 4, 3, 33, -3. This was by far the most difficult game I've ever watched. To put it into context, KU shot 20% (4/20) from 3pt and 40% (12/30) from the free throw line. Next time you get frustrated at KU, just remember it could be worse ... 12/30 worse. It just hurts typing this and I was not the one shooting fre throws. We crushed Marquette by 33 when they had Dwayne Wade ... I can't believe the Syracuse zone crushed us 2 days later.

The 2008 team (finally some good news) win margins: 24, 19, 15, 2, 18, 7. We barely beat Steph Curry and Davidson by 2 points, and had an amazing comeback against Memphis. GOOD VIBES!

Steve Zimmerman 1 month ago

Wow! I never thought they made NU look like a div2. Great job team!! Let's march on, let's go Jayhawks!!!

DaNeille Dani Davis 1 month ago

Still cant hit the broad side of a barn from the outside. Auburn is going to shut down the paint. If we don't score from the outside on that game, we lose. On the bright side, we won!! RCJH!!!

Armen Kurdian 1 month ago

Northeastern got flusterd and out of their game, they couldn't hit anything. Auburn won't be like that. I will be shocked if the final margin by either team is over 8 points, unless it's just garbage time FTs. Auburn won't get pushed off the line so easily. But if we keep them out of the paint like we did w/Northeastern, we have a strong chance of moving on.

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