KU-Michigan State by the numbers


Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) elevates for a shot over UC Davis forward Garrison Goode (44) during the second half on Friday, March 17, 2017 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) elevates for a shot over UC Davis forward Garrison Goode (44) during the second half on Friday, March 17, 2017 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

In the past couple of days, we’ve used a bunch of words and thoughts, characters and quotes to set up today’s second-round clash between top-seeded Kansas (29-4) and No. 9 seed Michigan State (20-14) at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

And while a key hustle play, clutch adjustment or subtle benefit from a little extra attention to the scouting report and tendencies of an opponent can help decide games such as these, most of the time, more than words or thoughts or strategies or breakdowns, the games are decided by the numbers.

Those are the things that matter most, more so than the way the game is officiated, coached or even the style with which it's played.

While their records differ drastically, the numbers for these two teams are awfully similar in many areas, in terms of both overall team statistics and some of the individual match-ups that figure to be key in this one.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at today’s 4:15 p.m., head-to-head match-up between the Jayhawks and Spartans through the eyes of the most relevant season-long statistics posted by both teams.

Points per game

KU: 83.2 MSU: 71.9

FG percentage

KU: 48.9 MSU: 47.1

3-point FG percentage

KU: 40.6 MSU: 37.4

Free throw percentage

KU: 67.1 MSU: 66.9

Rebounds per game

KU: 39 MSU: 36.7

Offensive rebounding percentage

KU: 38.6 MSU: 32.6

Assists per game

KU: 16.4 MSU: 17

Blocks per game

KU: 4.7 MSU: 4.7

Steals per game

KU: 6.9 MSU: 4.4

Scoring defense

KU: 72.1 MSU: 68.1

FG percentage defense

KU: 41.7 MSU: 40.6

3-point FG percentage defense

KU: 35.3 MSU: 34.4

Turnover margin

KU: +4.5 MSU: +3.9

vs. current AP Top 25

KU: 6-2 MSU: 3-7

The names are in, the story lines are written, the stage is set.

From here, it’ll be the numbers above and how each team performs and executes in many of those areas that determines which team moves on to next week’s Sweet 16 in Kansas City, Mo.


Bryan Mohr 1 year, 7 months ago

I see it coming down to whether Lucas and Jackson get into foul trouble, and how Bill Self responds. I think KU would have beaten Stanford in 2014 if Self would have switched to zone to take pressure off Tarik Black (lacking Joel Embiid). Self did not, Black fouled out as leading scorer with 18 (with more than 5 minutes left in the game), and #2 seed KU lost in a pitiful display of basketball to #10 seed Stanford. I don't think zone is a better defense, but I do think playing zone gives more help and is less exhausting. We need Lucas in this game as many minutes as possible. So look at number of minutes played by Lucas as key indicator of outcome.

Tracey Graham 1 year, 7 months ago

Shout out to Coleby for providing some nice minutes for Kansas after Landen got in foul trouble. He stood his ground defensively against Ward & Bridges, and pulled down a few big rebounds. Hopefully he can step up against Swanigan on Thursday if Lucas gets in foul trouble again.

This was one of the best games KU has played from start to finish. There were no real droughts, the defense was pretty solid, the turnovers were kept to a minimum, etc. They played a little too fast at times, especially early on, but they settled down pretty quickly. I think Josh was determined to outshine his friends on MSU but again, he played well once he forgot about that. It was very entertaining to watch him and Bridges go at each other...I was impressed with Bridges. But it's never good to get caught up in a -on-1 type duel, so it was good to see Josh focus on just being in the flow of the game.

Excited about Thursday's Sweet 16 game. Purdue won't be a pushover, so hopefully the Jayhawks will remain focused. If they play anything like they did today, they should be in good shape

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