Devonte Graham opened up the game with a basket for Kansas, sparking the Jayhawks to an early 16-12 lead. Villanova came right back with a 13-0 run, keeping the Jayhawks scoreless from the 10:43 mark to the 3:47 mark of the first half. Villanova would take a 32-25 lead into halftime, holding KU to their lowest point total in the first half of the entire season.
Kansas scored the first four points of the second half and the rally was on. The Jayhawks took a 37-36 lead at the 13:24 mark, and stretched it to 45-40 with 10:50 left to play. Villanova answered with a 10-0 run to take a 50-45 lead of their own.
An absolutely HORRIBLE tripping call by the officals on Devonte Graham with 34.1 seconds left to play gave Villanova the ball back, clinging to a 56-54 lead.
Devonte' Graham fouls out. https://t.co/cpQnDnBPQD— Andy Wittry (@AndyWittry) March 27, 2016
(That was one of the worst calls I've seen in any game in recent memory. Criminy.)
Villanova would sink two free throws a few seconds later to stretch the lead to 58-54, but Frank Mason canned a 3-pointer with 25.5 seconds left to bring the Jayhawks back to within 58-57.
In the end, Villanova would salt the game away from the free throw line and the best day of the year for Kansas State and Missouruh fans finally arrived. Kansas was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.
Final Score: Villanova 64, Kansas 59
Perry Ellis was a complete non-factor for the Jayhawks tonight. Villanova smothered Ellis all night long, daring the other Jayhawks on the floor to do something. Kansas failed to capitalize, however; for example, Wayne Selden missed two clear, wide-open 3s with less than two minutes left in the game.
Turnovers killed the Jayhawks as well, especially late. Kansas did not take care of the ball, and Villanova made them pay almost every time. Kansas suffered 15 total turnovers on the night.
Devonte Graham led the Jayhawks in scoring with 17 points on 6-13 shooting, going 5-9 from behind the arc. Frank Mason and Wayne Selden each put up 16 points of their own, but only on 12-27 combined shooting that included 1-12 from deep.
In a game where Kansas was expected to dominated the glass, the Jayhawks only outrebounded Villanova 32-28. Landen Lucas pulled down 12 boards.
Kansas ends their season - and Perry Ellis' career - with an extremely disappointing loss in the NCAA Tournament where they just did not play well. Kudos to Villanova and their defensive effort, however, which had a lot to do with KU's performance.
We'll see you guys in October.