Colorado v Kansas

Kansas empties bench in blowout of Colorado

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Tyler Self scored his first — and so far, only — college basket in the closing seconds of KU’s 90-54 blowout of former league rival Colorado.

That’s how bad this one got. Bill Self found double-digit minutes for his B team, with Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe and Jamari Traylor logging significant time off the bench. Then, with more than two minutes left in the game, nepotism ran rampant. Walk-on Evan Manning, son of former Jayhawk player and assistant Danny Manning, saw four minutes of floor time, alongside Niko Roberts, son of former St. John’s coach and current Kansas assistant Norm Roberts, Justin Wesley (pictured), half-brother of former KU standout Keith Langford, and Tyler Self, son of head coach Bill.

As the crowd roared, Self the younger corralled a breakaway lead pass and laid in the final points of KU’s easy win over a Colorado team that started the season 6-0 and recently slammed “little brother” Colorado State to earn a seventh non-conference win.

The Buffs were hobbled — both literally and figuratively — by an ankle injury suffered by leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie early in the first half. Dinwiddie returned and played 21 minutes overall in the game, but was ineffective and finished with just four points. Freshman Josh Scott led the Buffs with 19 points, and Ski Booker chipped in 15. The clearest symptoms of CU’s malaise in this game were 18 turnovers and an extremely poor 37% from the floor.

Kansas was once again led by dominating redshirt freshman Ben McLemore, who scored 24 points, including 10-11 from the line. Senior forward Kevin Young came on strong as well, scoring 16. Jeff Withey was the only Kansas starter not to reach double figures, turning in a workmanlike 8 points, 7 boards and 5 blocked shots.

The blowout gave Bill Self an opportunity to work out some of his highly-touted recruits, and he saw a mixed bag in the second half. Sophomore Naadir Tharpe continued to struggle as a ballhandler, notching one assist vs. four turnovers in 17 minutes. Freshman Andrew White III made the most of his time, however, scoring a career-high eight points in as many minutes. White was 2-3 from deep, and could emerge as a spot-up shooter to be reckoned with as conference play approaches.

The shut-down performance by KU’s starters against a good Colorado team was a good sign for Bill Self. The more times he can legitimately put young Tyler in to close out a game, the more likely it is that his Jayhawks are playing the way they should.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: