Kansas became the first Big 12 team to win a game in this year's tournament Friday afternoon, taking down New Mexico State, considered one of the better 15 seeds in the history of the tournament. After some discussion this week about Kansas struggling to fully put away first round opponents in recent years, the Jayhawks generally owned this game from start to finish.
Kansas led by around 10-15 points for much of the first half, taking a 36-23 lead into halftime. A balanced scoring attack led that lead to increase in the second half, as Kansas generally cruised to a 75-56 victory.
The three point woes that had plagued Kansas in recent weeks were nonexistent today, as the team hit 9 of 13, with the slumping Brannen Greene knocking down back to back attempts in the second half. The Jayhawks also outrebounded the Aggies 37-31, though they did allow NMSU to grab 16 offensive boards (43% of their missed shots, above their season average), so if you're looking for things to worry about, that would probably be it.
Frank Mason earns player of the game honors with a game high 17 points, game high 9 rebounds, 3 assists and two steals. Perry Ellis didn't seem noticeably slowed by his recent knee injury, but had a fairly nondescript game, scoring 9 points and grabbing just 2 boards.
Kansas will take on the winner of this afternoon's game between Indiana and Wichita State on Sunday.