Top-seeded Kansas rolls past Kentucky
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Julian Wright scored 21 points and pulled down
eight rebounds as Kansas pulled away in the second half and downed Kentucky,
88-76, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Brandon Rush poured in 19 points for the Big 12 champion Jayhawks (32-4), who
won their 13th straight game and move on to play Missouri Valley Conference
champion Southern Illinois in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in San Jose.
“We are obviously very excited about the win,” said Kansas head coach Bill
Self. “I thought we played very well here in Chicago. We are real anxious
and excited to move on. Hopefully we can just tighten up a few things and play
good next weekend also.”
Mario Chalmers had 16 points and dished out eight assists for Kansas, which
was coming off a 107-67 rout of Niagara in the first round.
The Jayhawks shot a sizzling 57 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent (10-
of-16) from beyond the arc.
Randolph Morris netted 22 points and grabbed eight boards for the eighth-
seeded Wildcats (22-12), who had won 19 of the previous 24 meetings with the
Jayhawks coming in. Bobby Perry donated 21 points and Joe Crawford netted 12
The Jayhawks ran away with it in the second half, going on a 13-2 burst —
capped by Rush’s three-pointer — to go up 54-40 with just under 15 minutes
Later on, a pair of Darrell Arthur free throws gave Kansas a 76-56 cushion at
the 4:53 mark to ice the contest.
“Guys just knocking down shots and having good spacing offensively,” Wright
said. “Defensively, coach just told us to try and work on rebounding and once
we got the rebound we were able to run out and get lay-ups. He really stressed
that in the locker room before the second half.”
The game remained tight for most of the first half until Kansas went on a 6-0
spurt — ended with Sherron Collins’ layup — for a seven-point edge with 2:42
Perry then drilled a jumper with 57 seconds remaining to cut Kentucky’s
deficit to 35-30 at the break.
The Wildcats, who defeated Villanova 67-58 on Friday, finished 41 percent
shooting from the field.
Jodie Meeks had 10 points for Kentucky…The Wildcats shot 38 percent from