No. 2 seed Kansas rolls through Detroit 65-50
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Thomas Robinson refused to let Kansas follow the other No. 2s out the door.
The player of the year candidate had 16 points and 13 rebounds Friday night, and the second-seeded Jayhawks rolled to a 65-50 victory over No. 15 seed Detroit in the second round of the Midwest Regional.
Elijah Johnson added 15 points and Tyshawn Taylor had 10 for the Jayhawks (28-6), who toyed with the Titans (22-14) for the first 15 minutes before ramping up the defense. They cruised over the final 10 minutes to a Sunday night matchup with No. 10 seed Purdue.
Doug Anderson led the Horizon League-champion Titans with 15 points before fouling out with 11:06 left. Ray McCallum, the son of the Detroit coach, added eight points on 4-for-15 shooting.
Missouri fell to Norfolk State on the same floor in Omaha earlier in the day, while Lehigh turned the rest of America's brackets to confetti with its win over the Blue Devils.
Kansas restored some order on one of the maddest days of March Madness.
The Jayhawks used a 13-2 run late in the first half to seize control, and opened the second half with a 16-4 charge that allowed them to coast the rest of the way.
This is the third time that Kansas has opened an NCAA tournament in Nebraska, and both times before it was the start of a title run. The Jayhawks played their opening games in Lincoln in 1988 and Omaha in 2008, when they won their most recent national championship.
They certainly looked like title contenders against Detroit.
After a basket by McCallum and a steal that turned into a soaring reverse dunk by Anderson, the Titans had managed to pull ahead 21-19 with 9 minutes left in the first half.
It wound up being their high point of their night.
Robinson answered with a dunk of his own - he had four dunks en route to 12 first-half points - to start a 13-2 run by Kansas. Robinson added another dunk a couple minutes later, and his basket with 2:22 remaining in the half made it 32-23.
The Jayhawks managed to build their advantage using some creative lineups.
Johnson sat all but eight minutes of the first half, and 7-footer Jeff Withey and fellow starter Travis Releford also sat long stretches, while seldom-used guard Naadir Tharpe was given the most minutes he'd played in a game since mid-February.
Self went back to his starters in the second half, but the Jayhawks didn't slow down.
Johnson drove to the rim for a basket, and after Anderson answered for Detroit, Robinson got loose for a bunny, Withey went to the foul line and Johnson's open 3 made it 42-26.
Detroit coach Ray McCallum had no choice but to call timeout.
It didn't do much good.
The 3-pointers started falling for Kansas in short order: Releford unloaded one for his first points of the game, Johnson hit his third, and Teahan let one go in transition from just in front of the Kansas bench, making it 53-28 with just over 13 minutes remaining
Many in the arena cleared out in the closing minutes as Detroit played out its season.
The Titans were making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1999, when they beat UCLA as a No. 12 seed, but the regular-season Big 12 champions made sure it was a short stay.