Sunday, March 25, 2018

Jayhawks topple Duke in OT to reach Final Four

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) comes down with a rebound during the first half, Sunday, March 25, 2018 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) comes down with a rebound during the first half, Sunday, March 25, 2018 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.


Omaha, Neb. — Playing on the familiar March stage known as the Elite Eight, Kansas finally kicked down the door in its third straight regional final appearance.

In what could have been their college finales, KU seniors Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk instead helped take the program achieve its first Final Four berth since 2012.

Kansas eked past fellow blue blood Duke, 85-81, in overtime, Sunday at CenturyLink Center, in the eighth Elite Eight appearance for head coach Bill Self at Kansas.

The Jayhawks, the Big 12’s regular-season and postseason champions, reached the program’s 15th Final Four, on the strength of 50-percent shooting after halftime. The surge was essential after Duke limited Kansas to 37-percent shooting in the first half, when the Jayhawks made 4 of 14 3-pointers and 9 of 22 inside the arc.

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

• The game turned when: Let’s not pretend that it did.

In a matchup worthy of a national championship game, Kansas and Duke delivered this tournament’s most intense and entertaining show to date.

With 18 lead changes and 11 ties, it took overtime to decide the final spot in this March’s Final Four.

Eventually, time ran out on Duke.

And Malik Newman made it happen.

The sophomore transfer scored all 13 points for Kansas in overtime, finishing with a Midwest final-best and career-high 32 points.

Newman tied the game at 78 with 2:18 left in the extra period, ran back on defense, picked up a steal on a Trevon Duval miscue, and proceeded to give Kansas an 81-78 lead with a left-corner 3-pointer, his fourth from that spot after halftime.

With 28.1 seconds remaining in OT, Newman returned to the foul line for a one-and-one and buried both for an 83-78 lead.

• Offensive highlight: Svi Mykhailiuk (11 points) helped close a masterful individual first-half performance with a play most of his teammates struggled to find the angles to pull off earlier.

Kansas had played more than 19 minutes and only had three layups and one dunk versus Duke’s half-court zone.

With Wendell Carter Jr. out of the game due to his three fouls, Mykhailiuk got the ball in the middle of the zone and gave Duke backup big Marques Bolden the idea he might be headed his direction off the bounce.

Instead, the savvy senior used the opportunity to put Bolden off balance and throw a lob up for freshman Silvio De Sousa.

The backup big man delivered a jam to beat Duke’s zone, a rarity in the first half, when KU was out-scored 24-16 in the paint.

Mykhailiuk did most of his work behind the arc (2 of 4) and on the glass (seven rebounds) before intermission. But his lone assist gave KU a nice reminder that Duke’s zone wasn’t unsolvable.

Much later, he delivered the most clutch shot of KU’s season so far, a game-tying 3-pointer with 0:26 left in the second half — trumping every KU offensive possession before it.

• Defensive highlight: With Kansas already off to a positive start to the second half offensively, De Sousa — in early with Udoka Azubuike having already committed his third foul — gave the Jayhawks an extra boost on the other end.

KU had built a two-point lead after trailing by three at the break.

When Gary Trent Jr. (17 points) tried to tie the game and quiet down the pro-Kansas crowd a little, De Sousa wouldn’t let it happen.

The KU freshman smacked the layup out of the air, giving Kansas its first of three blocked shots.

• Key stat: Rebounds. The Jayhawks held their own on the boards against a larger Duke team.

KU out-rebounded the Blue Devils 24-18 in the first half and limited Duke’s second chances (seven offensive boards, six resulting points). KU even did a better job turning misses into offense, with 10 offensive boards and eight second-chance points in the first 20 minutes.

Kansas finished with a 47-32 advantage on the glass en route to the Final Four.

• Up next: The Jayhawks head to San Antonio, Texas, to take on another No. 1 seed, Villanova, in the national semifinals.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Duke

By the Numbers: Kansas 85, Duke 81.

By the Numbers: Kansas 85, Duke 81.


Austin Lopez 4 years, 8 months ago

Feels good to be back to the final four!! I remember when a lot of people on this blog was rolling over on the Jayhawks my response was “How many losses did you predict the 2011-12 Kansas team to lose in conference play? Bill Self has made magic out of much less talent we will be fine.” Probably the smartest thing I said because this team overachieved just like that team did... Rock Chalk Jayhawks!! Malik Mewman!!

Craig Carson 4 years, 8 months ago

this coaching job by Self ranks right up there with the 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 teams..neither of those squads had any business winning 30 games, winning the BIG 12 or making NCAA runs..the 2012 FF was a shock and if not for a lucky half court 3 by Burke, they might have made the FF that year as well...this team looked dead in the water when they got smoked by Washington then ASU at home..Sweet 16 and 10-12 losses is what I saw..Self is already a KU legend, but if he leads THIS team to a NC, they might as well put his statue right outside AFH besides Naismith himself LOL

Thomas Green 4 years, 8 months ago

Congrats to the entire team! What a game! These guys just don’t quit, especially as the so called underdog! Finally back in the Final 4 where we belong. How amazing if these guys deliver a pay back to Villanova!

Bill Corrigan 4 years, 8 months ago

The Big Breakthrough to the 2018 NCAA Final Four! BACK TO SAN ANTONIO. Anything is possible with this team. 31 wins (7 straight VICTORIES in the postseason) and counting. What a terrific season. with more thrills to come. Congratulations, one and all - Jayhawk players, coaches and fans.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

I went back and rewatched the highlights on YouTube, something I missed in my jubilation was Bill Self's fist-pumping at the buzzer. Like Silvio said, he only does that for toughness wins, and this was a toughness win!

Brian Mellor 4 years, 8 months ago

I think this game means back to back Kansas POTY Point Guards, doesn't it?

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

It would be a nice story but... Not likely.

Doug Roberts 4 years, 8 months ago

God forbid we delay the Stormy Daniels interview any longer than necessary to maybe get an interview with the players or see them hoist the trophy. Grrrr........

Jack Beckett 4 years, 8 months ago

Right on...I was wanting to see the net cut down but when they cut to Stormy I cut out of CBS.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

I think I just went hoarse from yelling at my laptop all evening long! Holy crap, how many things had to go right after the final media timeout of regulation and during the overtime for Kansas to win this game!

KU has come so far from the soft team that couldn't figure out Washington's zone or play defense against Arizona State. KU has come so far from the team that lost three times at home (four if you count the UW game in KC). KU has come so far from the team that got swept by an NIT-bound Oklahoma State team.

No player has come as far as Malik Newman. The player who was once a turnover or blocked shot waiting to happen has become our most clutch player. He single-handedly won this game for Kansas.

But every player on the team also contributed to the win, whether it was Silvio De Sousa forcing Duke into critical errors midway through the second half, or Svi hitting the biggest three-pointer of his entire college career to tie the game.

And Bill one has been more critical of Bill Self over the years than me - even stupidly calling for his firing after the 2015 meltdown against WSU and the 2017 stinker against UO - and so it's only right that I heap praise on him for a masterful coaching job. He got the Jayhawks in the right mindset from the beginning by telling them to let it fly, and he made the right adjustments to pick apart the Blue Devil zone. With the possible exception of Loyola coach Porter Moser, no coach in this country has done more with less this season than Bill Self. He has gotten this motley crew of Jayhawks to play together, made them better players, overcame the loss of Billy Preston, and pushed all the right buttons in the games that mattered. He ought to be coach of the year for what he did this season!

No matter what happens against Villanova, I couldn't have asked for a more supreme effort from the team, or a better coaching job from Self, than what I have seen in this postseason.

Congratulations, Kansas, I am the happiest Jayhawk in all of Iowa tonight!

Brian Leslie 4 years, 8 months ago

Coach Self had a great season, win or lose today. If Grayson Allen's end-of-regulation shot goes in, he's still a great coach. Sometimes you get the bounces. He was a great coach in 2017 and 2015 as well. Lose-and-go-home is a tough format.

Austin Bergstrom 4 years, 8 months ago

Pretty confident that I saw James Naismith tap the basketball out of the goal on the last play of regulation. Only way that shot doesn't drop.

David Kelley-Wood 4 years, 8 months ago

I told my daughter that in order to win, we'd either need to have Dok in at the end, or have a big enough lead that it wouldn't matter. Well, wrong and wrong. We've got ourselves one helluva a team on our hands!


Oh, and that it was Duke on the losing end doesn't exactly dampen the experience (he he)!

Austin Bergstrom 4 years, 8 months ago

Honestly, Dok fouling out w/ 2-3 minutes remaining in the last 2 games has been a blessing in disguise. Really don't want our hopes of advancing coming down to Dok at the line, at least for this year!

Barry Weiss 4 years, 8 months ago

wow, just wow..unbelievable heart in this team

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

And to think that I questioned their willpower after getting drubbed at Baylor...

Dave Miller 4 years, 8 months ago

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! I'm hoarse from yelling at my television. I swung an arm back and knocked over a lamp yelling if it goes to OT we got this game won. It did, this team won it, and I'll replace the damn lamp tomorrow. (I didn't care much for that lamp anyway) lol

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

You may have lost a lamp, but you made me laugh, so you win the Internet!

John Swift 4 years, 8 months ago

My wife has already removed anything breakable from the living room and we have recessed ceiling lights now.

Brian Shain 4 years, 8 months ago

I think we all knew it was going to take a great effort but man did these kids fight hard tonight. So much fun to watch. They gave it everything they had and it paid off. Proud to be a Jayhawk Fan!!

Gerry Butler 4 years, 8 months ago

LOL - - -yes sir Dave - -doesn't matter near as much to replace that lamp right buddy? lol - - -ROCK CHALK BABY

James Donnell 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow. Wow. Wow. Absolutely unbelievable. What an effort and what a performance by all the players. All the guys played their hearts out, and they all played well. Vick was obviously on a mission. DeSousa was great-- we probably would not be in the Final Four if he hadn't left high school. Svi was clutch. Devonte was the steady hand. And Malik Newman--what is he made of?? Just incredible! Awesome job by Coach Self and his staff. This was an emotional night for all Jayhawk fans--one to etch into our memory banks. ROCK CHALK!

Titus Canby 4 years, 8 months ago

Let me know what you think about this theory. This KU team doesn't have a lottery pick. They're playing with heart. Playing to win. Not playing for a draft pick or to avoid injury. I sometime wonder if that's the difference between winning and losing this time of year.

Gotta love this team of overachievers playing as a team.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

I believe it for sure. Our last five teams had one-and-dones on them (McLemore, Wiggins and Embiid, Oubre, Diallo, and Jackson. All those team missed the Final Four. Add on the teams with Henry and Selby, and seven of our last eight teams missed the Final Four.

Only team in that stretch that made it? The 2012 team, with no one-and-dones on it.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Good game ........nail biter to say the least.

Mike Greer 4 years, 8 months ago

Best game they played all season, and possibly against the best team to date. The sign of a championship team is someone or someones stepping up and having an exceptional game, this is almost always the case if you want to win the tough games. Newman stepped up big time and so did Vick and Silvio. Who would have thought we could win with Dok sitting on the pine for so long. Great job by all the Jayhawks!!

Craig Alexander 4 years, 8 months ago

Now we have 5 days to prepare for Villanova. Let's do what no Big XII team has done in March and beat Villanova!

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

We've already done something no other Big 12 team has done in March 2018 - get to the Final Four.

Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Christian were gone after Round 1.

West Virginia bowed out in the Sweet 16.

Kansas State and Texas Tech went down in the Elite Eight.

And that leaves Kansas to be the Big 12 standard-bearer in the Final Four.

Mallory Briggans 4 years, 8 months ago

I need 2 tickets to the Final Four

Thanks in advance

                              Trey Young

Titus Canby 4 years, 8 months ago

Just watched the highlights again. Even knowing the outcome, it still made me nervous. Wow. What a game.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 8 months ago

Just wanted to drop by to congrat KUMBB team & coaching staff! Great job! We're so proud of y'all for having a great season so far!!! Never thought y'all could pull it off!!!! Unfreakinbelievable!!! Good luck the rest of games! Rock Chalk!!!

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 8 months ago

That was awesome, so grateful to see my guys here in my home town. I highly doubt the cameras were still rolling after the trophy celebration, but I wish everyone would have seen how much fun LaGerald was having, dancing around with the trophy and getting the crowd into some dance that was playing on the PA system. And then went into the crowd hugging some of the fans. Awesome!!!


LaGerald by rockchalk1990

Luke Kading 4 years, 8 months ago

I gotta admit, I doubted the idea of this team being a legit contender to make a deep run this year. I called them Self's worst team. But Malik Newman has completely transformed this team and getting De Sousa at semester break was so big. I probably should have already felt this way, but I don't think I can ever doubt Self again. What a game! Not sure if you can be proud of a bunch of guys who you have never met, but I am right now

Craig Carson 4 years, 8 months ago

Perfect scenario, KU beats Nova for revenge for 2016, then beats Michigan for revenge for 2013...

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 8 months ago

Dok is staying. Now all of a sudden, we've got 4-6 bigs next season!!!

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

Remember the first few times we saw Silvio on the court after arriving? One guy said he was the worst BB player he has ever seen. Self waited until Silvio was ready before playing again and for the first time at this level and Silvio had a breakthrough game and hasn't looked back.

Silvio was so good tonight, he kept Lightfoot on the bench. Silvio keeps this up don't be surprised if he left with Vick and Malik.

Mike Greer 4 years, 8 months ago

Silvio's play has been superb. If Malik keeps this up don't be surprised if he leaves with Devonte and Svi. He tested the waters after his freshman year and decided to transfer, I'll be shocked if he doesn't test the waters of the NBA again after this season and the sensational post season he's had.

Brad Watson 4 years, 8 months ago

WHAT A GAME!!!!!!!!!!...WOW!!!...THAT'S WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!!!!!!!!...CONGRATULATIONS to this FINE TEAM...... on making it all the way.... into the FINAL FOUR!!!!!...CONGRATS to the COACHES....THE TRAINERS........THE MANAGERS.......and EVERYONE associated with the program...WELL DONE!!!!!....ENJOY IT!!!!!...YOU EARNED IT!!!!!...against a program led by Coach K...a true legend...makes it very SWEET indeed...and a Duke roster that was more than formidable...SVIS' shot SAVED us...MALIK was UNCONSCIOUS in OT....DEVONTE....LAGERALD...SILVIO...DOK.. and EVERYONE PLAYED VERY WELL.......ALL MADE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS ..........AND....GUESS WHAT?.........SAN ANTONIO IS NOW A REALITY.!!!!!!!!.........I AM SO HAPPY FOR ALL OF YOU!!!!!......FANTASTIC EFFORT BY ALL!!!!!!!.....I BELIEVE IN THIS TEAM!!!!!!!!!

Brad Watson 4 years, 8 months ago

GREAT FAN SUPPORT TODAY..................IF YOU CAN GET TO SAN ANTONIO......GET THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brad Watson 4 years, 8 months ago

HARD WORK ALWAYS PAYS OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 8 months ago

Nothing to add except I wish I had stock in Rolaids! After that win and a Mexican dinner afterwards, I will probably be awake all night.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

Hope you had either some good cervaza or some margaritas to top it off.

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 8 months ago

Way to go Jayhawks! I am so happy, impressed, and a little surprised. For me, the elite 8 was icing on the cake for this season, but now that we're in the final 4...I don't even know! This is incredible! The fact that we beat Duke to get to the final 4 makes it even sweeter. Thank you Svi for being so clutch in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Thank you Malik for being a fearless scoring machine. Thank you Silvio for being so tough when you should actually still be in high school. Thank you LaGerald for a consistent all around great performance. Thank you Marcus for your tough defense. Thank you Udoka for being an intimidating mountain in the paint. Thank you Devonte for being one of the greatest leaders we've ever had. Now let's go to San Antonio and continue to prove all the doubters wrong. Congratulations Jayhawk nation!

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