Kansas, the top seed in the Midwest Region, made quick work of UC Davis, knocking out the first-time NCAA Tournament participants with a 100-62 first round victory on Friday night in Tulsa.
Frank Mason III led all scorers with 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Josh Jackson had 17 points and seven rebounds in his NCAA Tournament debut. Devonte Graham (16 points), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (16 points) and Laden Lucas (13 points, 11 rebounds) rounded out a KU starting five that all registered double figure scoring games.
It was a rare occurrence on Friday night in Tulsa, with Kansas hold the advantage on the frontline. The Jayhakws out rebounded the Aggies 45-27. That’s not all that surprising when you consider UC Davis plays typically a small lineup with Chima Moneke at the four. The big disparity was Kansas’ ability to turn the Aggies over, resulting in 25 points coming off miscues. The increased aggressive on the defensive side led to a 29-7 run to close out the first half.
There really isn’t much more from this game. The lack of front court depth didn’t rear its head in this one, but has a chance to later, especially in this part of the bracket. Caleb Swanigan, Isaac Haas and Purdue could become a tough Sweet 16 matchup.
Of course, the Boilermakers will have to knock off a hot Iowa State team on Saturday in order to advance to next weekend. Same should be said of Kansas, who will face the winner of No. 8 seed Miami (FL) and No. 9 seed Michigan State on Sunday.