Josh Jackson had 23 points. Frank Mason III went for 20 points and five assists. Devonte’ Graham had 18 points, four assists and four big threes.
And with that, the Jayhawks are headed to the Sweet 16 with an emphatic, statement win over Tom Izzo and the No. 9 seed Michigan State Spartans, 90-70.
Izzo is one of college basketball’s greatest and most brilliant tacticians, proof being his 21-4 record, entering Sunday, in the second game of a weekend in NCAA tournament, and Sparty got blitzed. With the exception of a couple of Michigan State spurts in the second half, Kansas was more or less in control of this thing after a run late in the first half put them up by 11.
The final eight minutes was all Kansas, as the Jayhawks just ran away from Michigan State. Highlight reel dunks, careening drives from Mason, alley-oops, dagger threes from Graham.
No team in college basketball will be heading into the Sweet 16 with a more impressive, more dominant weekend than Kansas.
And it comes at the perfect time, because Kansas is going to have a fight on their hands in the Sweet 16. The Jayhawks will face off with No. 4 seed Purdue and first-team all-american Caleb Swanigan, who is the second-biggest low-post scorer Purdue has. Kansas? They have one big man worth his size in Landen Lucas. It’s going to take quite an effort from Kansas to slow down that group on the interior, and, at the very least, they are going to have to lean heavily on that core of perimeter stars to make Purdue pay for playing big.
That’s a concern for Kansas.
But Purdue has to be concerned, as well.
Because Kansas may be the best team in the country, and I’m not sure they’ve had a better two-game stretch than they did this weekend.