Torrid shooting, excellent rebounding, and a strong second-half defensive effort saw the 1-seed Kansas Jayhawks post a big 98-66 victory over the 4-seed Purdue Boilermakers.
Purdue had early leads of 25-18 and 33-27 in the first half, but after tying it up at 36-all, Kansas finished the half on an 11-4 run to take a 47-40 lead into the break.
After Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan hit a 3-pointer to bring the Boilermakers within two points at 53-51 with 16:31 to go, Kansas went on a 16-3 run to effectively put the game out of reach.
Purdue shot 15-27 (55.6%) from the field in the first half, but finished the game shooting just 24-56 (42.9%), meaning the Boilers only made nine field goals in the second half. They finished 10-27 (37.0%) from behind the arc.
Over the final 26:36 of clock time, Kansas outscored Purdue 73-33. Kansas hit 34-62 (54.8%) of its field goals, including 15-28 (53.6%) from behind the arc.
Presumptive National Player of the Year Frank Mason III absolutely abused Purdue, pouring in 26 points on 9-11 shooting, including 4-5 from three point range, while adding 7 assists against just two turnovers.
Freshman phenom Josh Jackson helped Kansas dominate the boards in this game, picking up 12 total rebounds. Jackson finished 6-13 from the floor, including 2-5 from three for 15 points. He added four steals and a block. Jackson’s three-pointer with 11:38 to go gave the Jayhawks their first double-digit lead and effectively ended the game at that point.
Five Jayhawks finished the game in double figures, with Devonte' Graham matching Mason’s 26 points, Lagerald Vick adding 12, and Svi Mykailiuk chipping in 10.
Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan was held in check throughout most of the first half, only hitting two field goals, but still finished with 18 points 6-11 shooting. “Mr. Double-Double” did not live up to his nickname on this day, picking up 7 rebounds and 4 assists, but committing 6 turnovers.
Up next, Kansas will take on 3-seed Oregon in the Elite 8 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO on Saturday, March 25. Tip time is scheduled for 7:49 PM Central Time.