(2) Kansas vs. (10) Purdue Preview
Senior NBA Writer & College Basketball Editor
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(2) Kansas Jayhawks
While other two seeds may have been dropping like flies, the Jayhawks took out the toughest 15 seed of them all without much trouble. They keyed in on Detroit’s catalyst Ray McCallum, holding him to eight points on 4 of 15 shooting, and limited the Titans to 31 percent shooting overall as they moved on with a 65-50 decision. Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey held down the paint for the Jayhawks; Robinson had 16 points and 13 rebounds while Whithey put up seven and nine himself to go along with five blocks. Elijah Johnson had a noteworthy game, scoring 15 points on just eight shots. In the Round of 32 against Purdue the Jayhawks need to aggressively crash the glass and work through Robinson, who should have a big game as no Boilermaker can check him. They’ll also need to have a similar effort defensively against Terone Johnson as they did McCallum. If the Jayhawks can limit Johnson and Robbie Hummel, their chances to go to the Sweet 16 are good.
(10) Purdue Boilermakers
After playing so well to start the game, the Boilermakers found themselves in danger of blowing an 11-point lead against Saint Mary’s with four minutes to play. Thanks to some clutch free throw shooting and a missed three by Rob Jones, who had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Gaels, at the buzzer, the Boilermakers managed to survive and move on 72-69. Terone Johnson had his best game of the season, scoring 21 points while also grabbing four rebounds and handing out five assists. Lewis Jackson was solid as well, chipping in 18 points. Johnson and Jackson’s big games helped cancel out a quiet night by his standards for Robbie Hummel. The Boilermakers were outrebounded by 11, something that has to improve against a bigger and stronger team in Kansas. Their defense at the point guard position is going to be important as well because Tyshawn Taylor could be looking to have a big game after a quiet performance on Friday night.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Kansas. The Boilermakers don’t have the pieces up front to contain a frontline that features Thomas Robinson.
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