TULSA, Okla. -- Kansas skipped the opening-round drama as it pulled away from 16th-seeded UC Davis in the first half and cruised to a 100-62 victory in the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday evening at the BOK Center. The top-seeded Jayhawks established a 20-point lead by dominating the last 10 minutes before halftime and never looked back. Kansas (29-4) advances to play the winner of Friday's late game between eighth-seeded Miami and ninth-seeded Michigan State at the BOK Center on Sunday. Guard Frank Mason III had 22 points and eight assists to lead the Jayhawks. Forward Josh Jackson added 17 points and guards Devonte' Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk each had 16. Center Landen Lucas posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds as he led Kansas to a 45-27 rebounding edge. Forward Chima Moneke led UC Davis with 20 points, guard Brynton Lemar finished with 17 points and guard Siler Schneider had 10. Kansas, the Big 12 regular-season champion for the 13th straight season, was playing just its second game since March 4 after the Jayhawks were eliminated from their Big 12 Tournament opener by TCU. Jackson served a one-game suspension against the Horned Frogs for allegedly leaving the scene after he backed his car into a parked car. He said he was ready to be back in action. "I've been really excited to play for a while now, been itching to play for about a week and a half," Jackson said. "So just coming out there today felt really good to get back out there with the guys. When I step out there on the court, I'm not thinking about anything else but basketball, something I've been doing for most of my life. It's just a game and I'm going to just play it." UC Davis (23-13), making its first NCAA Tournament appearance, defeated North Carolina Central in the First Four on Wednesday to advance to Tulsa. "I don't want tonight, the outcome and the score to take away from what this group did," Aggies coach Jim Les said. "(The Aggie players) put UC Davis basketball on the map." Jackson made several dazzling plays as Kansas stiff-armed UC Davis in the first 12 minutes of the game. Jackson went high to catch and throw down an alley-oop lob from Mason, giving the Jayhawks a 21-15 lead with 10:07 left in the first half. Moments later, after UC Davis' 6-0 mini-run, Jackson went up and under the basket for a phenomenal layup to put Kansas back in front. "Those plays that he made, it really kind of sparked their team," Lemar said. "It got the crowd going and they fed off that energy. We turned the ball over and shot real early shots and that led to transition run-outs." The layup set off a 22-2 Kansas run as it took control of the game. Mason made two technical-foul free throws and a layup and Jackson scored in transition to fuel the surge. And the Jayhawks held UC Davis without a field goal for more than six minutes of the first half during the decisive period of the game. "We just started making shots," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "They missed some decent looks, but I thought we really guarded them the last 10 minutes of the first half or so." By the time Moneke made a layup to stop the Aggies' drought, the Jayhawks led 43-25 with 1:45 left before halftime. Jackson, Mason and Graham each scored 11 points to lead the Jayhawks in the first 20 minutes. Schneider and Moneke scored 10 apiece to pace the Aggies in the first half. Kansas doubled up UC Davis in the rebounding category 26-13 and led 50-28 on the scoreboard at the break. NOTES: This was the first meeting between Kansas and UC Davis. ... The Aggies were playing a nationally ranked opponent for the first time since they lost to No. 5 UCLA on Dec. 29, 2007. ... By defeating North Carolina Central on Wednesday, the Aggies notched a victory in their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament game.
Kansas blows past UC Davis
The Sports Xchange | Mar 17