What were you hoping to get for your birthday this year? Was a berth in the Sweet 16 on your list?
It will be for Thomas Robinson, whose Kansas Jayhawks take on tenth-seeded Purdue on Sunday, one day after Robinson celebrated his 21st birthday.
“My pillow. My bed. A few texts, that’s it,” Robinson told the media about his celebration plans. “I’m not focused on my birthday now. I’ve got the game to think about. It’s just another day.”
After imposing their will on No. 15 Detroit on Friday night, the Jayhawks will meet a Big Ten team that, to no one’s surprise, says it is focused on defense. If nothing else, coach Matt Painter sees it as insurance to protect against a bad offense night.
“There are going to be two or three games where your shots don’t go in,” Painter told NWI.com. “It comes down to whether you can still grind it and win those games.”
Kansas did to Detroit what only one other No. 2 seed was able to do in the Round of 64: win, and win going away.
Robinson had another Player of the Year-type performance, tallying 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Against a team in Purdue that lacks size and starts four guards, the combination of Robinson and center Jeff Withey on the block should be able to have their way, especially on the boards.
To combat that, Purdue will have to continue to be one of the more efficient teams in the country, only turning the ball over about nine time per game.
Terone Johnson had 21 points in the Round of 64 against St. Mary’s, and another performance like that from him would help the Boilermaker cause, especially if it takes time for forward Robbie Hummel to find his stride.
For Kansas, Tyshawn Taylor was limited by cramps against Detroit, but is hoping to play more minutes against Purdue.
Tip is at 8:40p.m.