Kansas waxes UC-Davis in NCAA tournament opener

After waiting more than a week to play a basketball game, the Jayhawks put forth the dominant effort fans wanted to see as they prepare to make a deep NCAA tournament run.

No. 1 Kansas obliterated No. 16 UC-Davis, 100-62, to win its NCAA tournament opener. The Jayhawks will now wait to see whether they’ll draw No. 8 Miami or No. 9 Michigan State for a Sunday night Second Round battle.

All five KU starters scored in double-figures as the Jayhawks won their NCAA opener for the 11th straight year.

UC-Davis, fresh off its victory against North Carolina State in the play-in round, came out swinging against the top-seeded Jayhawks. Through 12 minutes, KU, which had played just one game in the last 13 days, held onto a 23-21 lead. At that point, Aggies coach Jim Les got a technical foul, which totally blew the game open.

The Jayhawks immediately went on a 10-0 run, and things never got close again. KU ended the half on a 29-7 run to lead by 22 at halftime, and a dominant second half propelled the Jayhawks to their biggest victory of the season.

KU dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Aggies 45-27. They forced the sloppy UC-Davis offense into 14 turnovers.

Frank Mason led all scorers with 22 points. Josh Jackson, in his return from suspension, had 17 points and seven rebounds. And Landen Lucas added 13 points and 11 rebounds, five of which coming on the offensive end.

For Mason, he moved past some prolific names to climb up the all-time Kansas basketball scoring list. After entering the night in 9th place, Mason passed Perry Ellis and Keith Langford to move into 7th place all-time. With 1,818 career points, he’s just four shy of Darnell Valentine for 6th.

The highlight of the evening came when the walk-ons were inserted into the game in the last two minutes. Tyler Self hit two free throws and a three-point dagger to give KU 100 points. He’s up to 10 points on the season. The walk-ons, as a unit, have 12.

Also, nobody on the team played an excessive amount of minutes thanks to the enormous scoring margin.¬†Heading into what’s sure to be a physical contest against either Michigan State or Miami, the Jayhawks should be well-rested and ready to go.

Notes:

  • Frank Mason: 22 points (8/14 FG), eight assists, and five rebounds. He was spectacular. He got seven days off and looked well-rested.
  • Josh Jackson: 17 points (8/12 FG) and seven rebounds. He’s dealt with a lot of scrutiny in the last few days, and he handled it well by going out and playing.
  • Devonte’ Graham: 16 points (4/7 FG, all threes) and four assists, plus four steals. He continues to take way too many shots from three and not enough from two, but his shooting is lethal.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk: 16 points (5/10 FG, 2/7 from three). It was his best game in awhile all-around, which was the best way to bounce back from the way the TCU game ended.
  • Landen Lucas: 13 points (6/10 FG) and 11 rebounds. He was the tallest guy on the floor, and it looked like men against boys down there.
  • Lagerald Vick: 3 points (1/6 FG) and five rebounds. His services weren’t really needed when the starting lineup was scoring 87 of the team’s 100 points.
  • Carlton Bragg: six points and five rebounds. Dwight Coleby added two more.
  • Tyler Self: five points! A career-high!
  • KU: 56% from the floor, 44% from three, and 85% from the line. All-around, a great effort.
  • Up next: either Miami or Michigan State on Sunday. Time TBD.

Ryan Landreth

I’m a junior at MidAmerica Nazarene University. I own and write for Rock Chalk Blog, and I host the Inside the Paint podcast. I also write for Royals Review. I’m sports-obsessed. It happens.