In a game that was much too close for comfort most of the way, Kansas held on against Seton Hall by a 83-79 score to advance to the Sweet 16.
A sloppy game early on, both teams struggled with turnovers and missed shots as KU limped out to a 15-6 lead following a Silvio de Sousa dunk with 11:37 to play in the first half. However, Seton Hall responded with an 18-5 run to take a 24-20 lead with just under five minutes to go. But KU was up to the task, ending the half on an 11-2 run of their own to take a 31-26 lead into the break.
Kansas would extend that lead early in the second half, claiming its first double-digit lead of the evening when a Svi Mykhailiuk jumper made it 40-30 with 17:17 to play. That lead would eventually swell to 13 points following a Lagerald Vick three that gave KU a 52-39 cushion.
Udoka Azubuike’s foul trouble began to affect the Jayhawks late in the second half, though. After picking up his fourth foul with 8:53 left, Doke left the game but returned with 5:42 to play, after an Angel Delgado layup brought the Pirates to within seven at 61-54.
With 4:06 to go, Seton Hall closed to 63-59 following a huge Myles Powell three. Following a free throw exchange, Svi Mykhailiuk hit a dagger three pointer with 1:20 left to give KU an 8-point cushion. Seton Hall would hit a couple of desperation threes in the final 30 seconds, but Kansas made its free throws down the stretch, hitting its final 10 attempts from the stripe, and hung on for the 83-79 victory.
Malik Newman led the Jayhawks with 28 points on 8-14 shooting, including 4-8 from three.
Once again, Devonte Graham struggled shooting the ball, hitting just 1-7 shots for 8 points, but added 9 assists and 3 rebounds, but also had 5 turnovers.
Kansas doesn’t win this game without Udoka Azubuike. Although he only had 10 points on 4-5 shooting with 7 rebounds, KU’s offense was much more efficient when he was on the floor as opposed to when he was on the bench.
Per my math, Seton Hall rebounded 42.8% of their misses. The Pirates hit 10-24 (39.1%) from behind the arc and 45.3% from the field.
Kansas rebounded 32.1% of its misses, hit 9-21 (42.9%) from three, and 50.0% from the field.
Up next, Kansas will await the winner of Clemon-Auburn in Omaha on March 23, time TBD.