With Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale looking on, ESPN aired 2+ hours of great KU advertising as the Jayhawks destroyed Kansas State by 24 in a scoreline that probably flatters the Wildcats a bit. The Wildcats were under 20% from the floor for much of the game (and finished with just a 39% eFG), and it's hard to believe that at one point the game was tied at 9. Oh wait, that was Markieff Morris 9, K State 9. My bad.
The Morris twins were as advertised tonight, combining for 30 points and 18 rebounds. K State's defense isn't bad (33rd nationally according to KenPom) and Kansas absolutely destroyed them. After some of our recent struggles, especially last week against Texas, it was nice to see the offense get back on track tonight.
The game was a little helter skelter at times, but for all the frustrating turnovers that we had in transition, I think we are at our best when the game is a little nuts like that. It's a lot easier to get wide open jumpshots when the pace is fast. It ended up being not exceptionally fast ( 71 possessions), but the early lead was built on some fast play.
We had our customary cooling off period at the end of the first half, but the heartening sign is that the lead ballooned once again in the second half, going from 27-16 all the way up to 54-31.
Late in the second half, Thomas Robinson got a technical foul for slapping the backboard after a dunk. And he totally earned the right to enjoy that one. Not just because of the hellish week he has had to go through, but because of the phenomenal second half he had. Good on you, T Rob.
The game got sloppy again in the latter part of the second half, as K State decided to turn on the intensity and pretend like they were a college basketball team. But it didn't stop the Rock Chalk Chant from beginning with 2:30 left
Make no mistake about it, tonight belonged to Thomas Robinson, the Morris twins, and the Allen Fieldhouse faithful. Jacob Pullen might have to retract his "I won't play in the NIT stance" if he wants to play postseason basketball. I will give him credit for not quitting, even though he didn't play great, and there was a great moment at the end of the game when he went and acknowledged Thomas Robinson as he came off the floor.
And a final memo to the student newspaper at K State: you're not our rival.