If you want to get an idea of just how badly No. 18 Kansas beat down in-state rival No. 25 Kansas State, think about it like this: there wasn’t another matchup between two ranked teams anywhere in the country today, this game was on ESPN and it finished before the NFL Playoff games began, yet how much did you actually hear about this game?
How many of you watched any of the second half?
How many of you actually knew that the Jayhawks won 86-60?
This was a statement win for Kansas, one that looks all the more impressive given some of the other results in Big 12 play this season. Kansas State had already beaten Oklahoma State and Oklahoma — coming off of a home loss to Kansas — beat an Iowa State team that was coming off of a 20 point win over Baylor.
Put it all together, and Kansas is the only undefeated team left in the conference. No matter how you slice it, the Jayhawks are still the favorite to win their 10th straight league title.
Three stat-lines to make note of for the Jayhawks: Wayne Selden followed up hit 24 points at Oklahoma with 2o against Kansas State. Andrew Wiggins finished with 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Selden and Wiggins combined to shoot 8-for-11 from three. Perhaps most importantly, Naadir Tharpe finished with nine assists and no turnovers.
As far as Kansas State is concerned, I wouldn’t be too worried. This was a wake-up call for the Wildcats. They ran into a Jayhawk buzzsaw on a night that they didn’t play very well, which tends to happen when a team with three freshmen in key roles makes their first visit to Phog Allen Fieldhouse. When that happens, you lose by 26.
National Semifinals– Saturday, April 1
6:09 p.m. EST, CBS, Glendale
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
Approximately 40 minutes after conclusion of first game, CBS, Glendale
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.
After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.
These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.
North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.
Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.
The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.
Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.
Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.
Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.
With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.
North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.
South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.
The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.
Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.
This isn’t really a secret.
Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:
You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:
Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.