Rushed Reaction: #2 Kansas 65, #15 Detroit 50Posted by Patrick Marshall on March 16th, 2012
Three Key Takeaways.
- Thomas Robinson is good. Robinson is everything as advertised and it is pretty obvious why he is at the top of most people’s Player of the Year ballots. He almost had a double-double before halftime and scored 12 points in the first half pretty much all on dunks. He finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The one thing that could become a factor on Sunday is if he gets into foul trouble. He finished this game with four fouls.
- Physical play. Kansas used their physical advantage to overpower Detroit. Looking on the court, it was obvious how much bigger Kansas is, not only with their body size, but in speed as well translating to points in the paint. The paint produced a 34-24 advantage for the Jayhawks. In addition, Elijah Johnson, Tyshawn Taylor and Robinson combined to go 18-of-26 from the field for 41 points.
- Crowd advantage. North Carolina and Duke usually get good crowds for their opening games with their po so close to campus. Here in Omaha, it appeared that Kansas had that type of advantage today. Other than the Detroit pep band and a small section of Detroit followers, the rest of the crowd was all Kansas. At times they made it pretty known. There are likely going to be over 16,000 Kansas fans at the CenturyLink Center on Sunday.
Star of the Game–Thomas Robinson, Kansas. The Jayhawks went right back to Robinson to start the second half and gave a big blow to the Titans to put the game out of reach. He filled the middle and kept Detroit out of the lane, causing Titan junior Doug Anderson to foul out of the game with just under 12 minutes to go. He seemed unstoppable at times and got his NCAA leading 24th double-double of the season tonight.
Quotable–“We saw the game earlier in the day with the other 15 seed. We heard that Duke was beat by Lehigh and we hoped that we could do the same.”– Ray McCallum, Detroit guard.
Sights & Sounds. With about three minutes to go in the game, the crowd broke out into the traditional “Rock Chalk KU” chant until the end of the game. There were so many Kansas fans there, it probably almost felt like you were at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.
Wildcard. With 9:04 left in first half, Kansas went on a 34-7 scoring stretch during the next 15:55. During that same stretch, Detroit only shot 2-of-21 from the field.
What’s Next?. The Jayhawks head into Sunday with a Purdue team that is likely more physical than Detroit to get to the Sweet Sixteen. The Kansas frontcourt, however, would appear on paper to have an advantage to keep the Boilermakers out of the lane compared to St. Mary’s soft interior defense. The game will tip off 30 minutes after Norfolk St. vs Florida which is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. central time on TNT.