Kansas is averaging a whopping 95 points per game in the tourney while Purdue is putting up 80 points per contest. Bridges led the Spartans with 22 points and eight rebounds in what might be his last game for Michigan State pending his NBA Draft decision.
Here it was, an NCAA second-round clash with Michigan State, which can be college basketball’s equivalent of a skin graft.
Kansas finished the game on a 19-5 run in the final 6:43.
“I’m excited. Why wouldn’t we be excited to play in our hometown, in our home state, in front of the best fans in the world?”
The Kansas head coach also pointed out this was the kind of game that only happened because of what the team went through during the regular season.
“I feel like we’re all competitors”, Jackson said.
Bridges was playing at a bit of a disadvantage for much of the game after taking an elbow to the right hip in the first half, an injury that forced him out of the game and required a trip to the locker room.
Kansas re-extended its lead to seven after back-to-back and-one plays by Jackson. The Jayhawks held an 11-point lead with less than two minutes to go before the break after a 13-2 run. With 8:38 left to play, Ward was called for his fourth foul and put the Jayhawks into the bonus. “I thought both teams tried real hard – I thought we tried too hard at times”.
Dwight Coleby had maybe his best game of the season?
The Jayhawks reach 30 wins and advance to the round of 16 for the second-straight season behind two 20-point efforts from Frank Mason III (20 points) and Josh Jackson (23). Missed shots, turnovers and a missed presence on rebounds were to credit.
We’ll have up-to-the-minute scoring and stats here throughout the game.
“The only shame of the whole event for me is it wasn’t a 20-point game”, Izzo said, “and yet, the better team won tonight”. Mykhailuik presented a huge mismatch on the wing for MSU constantly getting open for three-point shots and driving on smaller Spartan defenders.
“I think that’s silly if you’re trying to intimidate Frank, because that’s not going to happen very often, especially from a freshman”, Lucas said. A three-pointer by Joshua Langford and three free throws by Bridges trimmed the deficit to 6-0 at halftime. He did everything he could, and yet Jackson had just given KU some 64-57 space with nine minutes left.
Eron Harris was expected to be an X-factor this year, but like Ellis, he was never the steadying senior presence the team needed, and his season ended early with a knee injury during a February 18 loss at Purdue. “I watched the game against Iowa State and they execute really well”.