Mar 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson (15) puts up a shot against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half of the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
Kansas stepped on the court for their Big 12 quarterfinal matchup set to face one of the teams that had actually slowed the Jayhawks in two regular season meetings form an offensive perspective. While Texas A&M never beat Kansas or seriously threatened late, they did play the Jayhawk competitively at times in those two meetings they headed into this contest fully healthy for the first time in a long time.
It didn't matter, Kansas won by a final score of 83 to 66. Kansas was just too much all day long for an Aggie team that now departs for the SEC. The Jayhawks were led early on by junior guard Elijah Johnson who had one of his more impressive games of the season. Johnson finished the game with 26 points including a 5 for 7 shooting performance from beyond the arc.
It was a welcome sign for Kansas fans and it seems that whenever a player like Johnson or Jeff Withey or even Travis Releford steps up, it really opens things up for Kansas and allows Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor to work efficiently. Taylor ultimately finished with 16 points while Robinson added a double double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Offensively speaking, the Jayhawks were impressive. Kansas shot over 60% from the field and over 60% from the three point line. The Jayhawks also found their way to the free throw line early and often while holding the Aggies to under 40% shooting. It was a game that A&M actually went into with a bit of confidence and Kansas calmly handled business with little trouble.
At the end of this one the Jayhawks were able to rest their starters, gain some confidence and they looked sharp. Tomorrow Baylor round three ensues, and the Bears looked solid in the early game. Should be a fun one and a big challenge for Kansas.