Rushed Reactions: #10 Stanford 60, #2 Kansas 57Posted by Adam Stillman on March 23rd, 2014
Rush the Court will be providing wall-to-wall coverage of each of the NCAA Tournament from each of the 13 sites this year. Follow our NCAA Tourney specific Twitter accounts at @RTCeastregion, @RTCMWregion,@RTCsouthregion and @RTCwestregion.
Three Key Takeaways.
- Stanford pulls the upset. Who expected this? Sure, there was no Joel Embiid for Kansas, but the rest of the talented Jayhawks was there. And they laid an egg. Kansas was upset by a double-figure seed for the third time in the past five NCAA Tournaments. Stanford was better almost all game, a deserving winner. A #10 over a #2 is a big enough upset, made even bigger in what they were calling Allen Fieldhouse East. There was one section full of Stanford fans. The rest? Kansas fans or Wichita State fans rooting for the Jayhawks. March Madness, indeed.
- Andrew Wiggins was a disaster. It was a disappointing way for the freshman phenom to go out of his only collegiate season. The potential #1 pick in June’s NBA Draft was horrible in his last game in a Kansas jersey. Wiggins scored just four points while going 1-of-6 from the floor. He turned the ball over four times, including on a crucial possession with just less than a minute to play in the game. He missed opened threes and easy layups. Wiggins was invisible almost all game long. He rarely made an effort to get to the basket or create his own shot. Bill Self could have done a better job drawing up some plays for him, but Wiggins, like Duke’s one-and-doner Jabari Parker on Friday, picked the wrong time to have his worst game of the season.
- Stanford’s zone defense was terrific. The Cardinal might have taken some notes from Florida’s win over Kansas earlier in the season. Stanford used an mutating 1-3-1 zone to perfection, which made it extremely difficult to find driving lanes or get the ball into the post. Other than Tarik Black’s 18 points, Kansas’ other big men struggled mightily. Perry Ellis went 3-of-10 for nine points, while Jamari Traylor was 1-of-8 with three points. Dwight Powell, Josh Huestis, Stefan Nastic and John Gage were fantastic on the defensive end. Kansas just never could get in a rhythm offensively.
Star of the Game: Dwight Powell, Stanford. After a horrible first round game against New Mexico, Powell came to play against Kansas’ imposing frontcourt. Despite frequent foul trouble, Powell finished with a team-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while also going 5-of-6 from the foul line. The senior forward also pulled down seven rebounds and did a tremendous job on the defensive end limited Kansas’ drives to the basket and post play.
Quotable: “Certainly disappointed, but proud of what these kids have done, and the work they put in this year.” — Kansas head coach Bill Self, with thoughts on his squad after the game.
Sights & Sounds: What do Kansas and the 2010 World Cup have in common? Well, the Jayhawks’ band performed Shakira’s Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) during a timeout early in the first half. The song was the theme for the world’s biggest sporting event in South Africa nearly four years ago. The KU band did a nice job with it too.
Wildcard: Apparently bands and booze don’t mix. Security at the Scottrade Center had an issue with Stanford Band members attempting to sneak booze into the arena inside their tubas. Is that a standard band move? Either way, it’s a funny little tidbit. It appeared all the Stanford tuba players were in attendance, but you’d have to assume the booze was confiscated.
Wildcard, Part 2: Rush The Court. After Stanford rebounded Conner Frankamp’s potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer, an ecstatic Cardinal fan rushed the court to hug Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell. He was on the court for a good 30 seconds celebrating before security finally escorted him out of the arena. I bet it was well worth it though.
What’s Next? Stanford will advance to play #11 Dayton in the Sweet Sixteen next week in Memphis. The Flyers are surprise second-weekenders after upset wins against #6 Ohio State and #3 Syracuse. Who would have thought that Stanford and Dayton would face off for a chance to advance to the Elite Eight.