OMAHA, NE - MARCH 18: Elijah Johnson #15 of the Kansas Jayhawks dunks in the first hand against the Purdue Boilermakers during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 18, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Kansas was able to follow the March mantra, survive and advance. In a game where Purdue dictated the style and received one heck of a performance from Robbie Hummel, Kansas somehow pulled it out late.
The Boilermakers jumped out early and held the lead for nearly the entire game. For every Kansas mini-run, Purdue had an answer. It really was a testament to Matt Painter and the Boilermakers, but fortunately Kansas turned it on defensively and used two huge defensive stops late to secure the win.
With five minutes to go it looked like a year where Kansas would somehow exceed expectations and fall short of them at the same time. The Jayhawks shot an abysmal 34% from the field and the inside presence of Thomas Robinson was held to a minimum. Then Kansas managed to pull it out and advance to the second weekend in St. Louis.
Kansas was led by Elijah Johnson who scored 18 points while Thomas Robinson added 11. Tyshawn Taylor and Travis Releford added 10 each and Kansas wins this one by a final score of 63-60. The Jayhawks didn't necessarily deserve to win, but they did enough to win and came up big down the stretch.
Next up, NC State in the Sweet 16. Kansas has now reached the point where many thought they were capable of at the start of the year. Now they are just a few short steps from really putting the icing on the cake. Tonight provided an incredibly difficult game, but a game where Kansas found a way to end up on the right side of the scoreboard.