March Madness: The Numbers Behind Kansas' Dominance
Mar 25 2017 by Alex Thomas
The second half of the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament will be played Friday.
Matt Painter's squad had 16 turnovers and was outscored 51-26 in the second half. Purdue turned it over on 23 percent of its possessions, and a lot of them during KU's run were live ball turnovers that let Kansas run out for dunks and open threes.
The Jayhawks' athleticism, swagger and skill came together in those 360 degrees. If you get beat in, you come just that close to getting to the goal.
Kansas wound up shooting 54.8 percent from the field and a smoking 53.6 percent from beyond the arc (15-for-28).
"You just can not let them get in transition like that", Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
Kansas senior guard Frank Mason is so stoic and speechless he could make the most expressionless of statues look animated. They are consistently in the Top 10, in the mix on recruiting numerous nation's best prep players and you couldn't squeeze an extra body into Allen Fieldhouse on game nights with a shoe horn.
The top-seeded Jayhawks had no trouble with Purdue in the second half of a 98-66 blowout win. As a sophomore at Ole Miss his team had one of the most thrilling comebacks of the opening rounds.
Then Michigan - riding a seven-game win streak that included a Big 10 Tournament title and a 73-69 upset of second-seeded Louisville in the second round - took a three-point lead on a Derrick Walton Jr.
They got the first-round monkey off their backs.
Unlike many coaches, Self does not shy from questions about his NCAA failings, and in fairness, he won the national title in 2008 and reached the final in 2012.
And now, after 40 minutes, it's over.
When North Carolina State visited Mackey Arena on December 2 of 2014 for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, it was the seventh game of P.J. Thompson's Purdue career, early in a season where his minutes would come and go as Jon Octeus held down point guard for the Boilermakers. "I love everybody looking at you, not liking you".
The Jayhawks rolled to easy wins over UC Davis and Michigan State to start the NCAA Tournament, and the cold, calculating way they dispatched Purdue should make them the favorite going forward. It's a grind. It's tough.
"Purdue is not the same team as us", Brooks said. It just brought a lot of energy to the building, got the crowd more into it and, after that guys made shots.
The Boilermakers were chasing a train they'd never catch.
Last year's run to an Elite Eight game against Oklahoma was Oregon's third in school history. Even Swanigan, whose historic season elevated the Boilermakers' play, had to prove himself against myriad doubts and valid critiques following his freshman season. And Jackson posted his first double-double of the postseason, with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Said Swanigan: "When the game is moving so fast, it's hard to take advantage of size opportunities".
The young coaches combined to win 17 games that season.
"Only way we could have won this game is if we shot 80 percent with losing all three of those".
Early on, Purdue was winning all the battles.
The KU Jayhawks will be playing the Purdue Boilermakers tonight in Kansas City in the Sweet 16. The Jayhawks kept collapsing on him in the post, forcing Swanigan to begin taking 3-pointers early in the second half. Vince Edwards is averaging 12.7 points per game on the season and he has scored 21 points in their first two March Madness contests.
Next, Gonzaga's Jordan Mathews and a fearless 3-pointer in the last minute to beat West Virginia 61-58.
Frank Mason III and Caleb Swanigan have carried their teams all season long. They are torn on both sides for sure. So, in many senses, it became that.
"I feel like we are playing our best basketball that we have played this season", Jackson said. "But at the same time, with our class especially, where we were our freshman year to sit in this chair now, it was a hell of a tournament for us".
Playing limited minutes this season due to recovery from a torn ACL, Bahamian collegiate basketball player Dwight Coleby has logged valuable minutes thus far in the NCAA Tournament and his teammates, along with the worldwide media, have taken notice.