Published: Tue, March 28, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Kansas whips Purdue, set to face Oregon

Kansas whips Purdue, set to face Oregon

"I think you see the other team's best shots", Burkdoll said.

Kansas improved to 4-2 all-time versus Purdue, including 3-1 in NCAA Tournament match-ups.

Yet Self and KU have just the one championship, in 2008.

There were about 100, it seemed.

The roars for Kansas only got louder in the second half.

"Dana and I have known each other a long time", Self said. "Frank has had the best college season of anybody I've ever been around, by far".

So did most of the 18,475 in the Sprint Center, which doubled as Allen Fieldhouse East on Thursday. "We need energy coming off the bench".

One possession later, KU's Lagerald Vick turned a steal into a spinning, two-handed jam, sending a crowd that was nearly entirely Kansas fans into a frenzy.

To me this proves the idea that Purdue simply has faced some very tough opposition in the NCAA Tournament. Check out Vick throwing down this 360 dunk in transition.

This is as good as KU has played this season. Certainly UC Davis, Michigan State and Purdue know it.

The only thing seemingly standing between KU and a nonstop to Phoenix next week is a required change of planes Saturday against Oregon.

The Ducks had themselves quite the night on Thursday, as they defeated the Michigan Wolverines. They sunk 15 of 28 3-pointers and shot 55 percent from the field to advance to play OR in the Elite Eight.

The first time, it was Svi Mykhailiuk from the corner for the three-pointer that gave the Jayhawks their first lead at 36-35.

Those Huskies didn't win it all, but Kansas is well aware of not fulfilling its destiny. The Ducks play a variety of defenses, sometimes switching between zones and man-to-man every trip down floor. "We were last year too, but there's a new level to it this year".

The Jayhawks' 98-66 victory over the Boilermakers was led by 26 points apiece from their dynamic backcourt of Frank Mason III and Devonte Graham, and buoyed by a boisterous crowd packed inside the Sprint Center - a mere 40-minute drive from their campus in Lawrence. Then he conceded: "If they keep getting those types of opportunities and shoot like that, they can't be stopped".

The Boilers and coach Matt Painter made the epically dumb decision to try to run with the Jayhawks. Purdue's size will again be of value, Caleb Swanigan one of the best players in the country.

At 6:46 remaining in the first half, after falling behind by eight points, 33-25, KU closed the game on a 77-33 run. "They're going to have a homecourt advantage".

Swanigan came to the postgame press conference wearing a hat that read "I Feel Like Kobe". Swanigan is the first Big Ten player since Evan Turner in 2010 to lead the league in scoring and rebounding, and he has a nation-leading 28 double-doubles this season. The perk of being Kansas is that the players who do play for this team are all elite talents, and they can all score.

"The story is Caleb only got seven (rebounds)", Self said.

The story is also that the Jayhawks have remade part of their personality. Overtime thrillers, comebacks, blown leads. But once they did, their gauge quickly ran from room temperature to boiling and there was precious little that their foes could do about it.

Swanigan comes out fully winterized, wearing not just a long-sleeved T-shirt under his back practice jersey Wednesday, but a hoodie, plus sweatpants under his black practice shorts, his trousers extending to ankle level, where bright white tube socks take over.

"It's really the stage". "We liked him a lot", he said.

Yes, it was a de facto home game for the Jayhawks. "They can shoot a high percentage from three and have guys that can make plays".

You know it's going good when one of the backup guards is calling his shots.

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