Rushed Reactions: #1 Kansas 79, #3 Maryland 63

Posted by Will Tucker on March 24th, 2016

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.

Perry Ellis delivered another big performance against Texas. (KU Sports/Nick Krug)

Perry Ellis carried Kansas to the Elite Eight past a scrappy Maryland team. (KU Sports/Nick Krug)

  1. Maryland’s guards took care of business, but got little help down low. The final box score tells a different story, but for a long stretch of the game, the Terps’ backcourt of Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon got the best of counterparts Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden, Jr., and Devonte Graham. That Jayhawks unit combined for 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting in the first half, while Sulaimon and Trimble guided their team to a six-point lead. What happened after halftime? The wheels came off in the rebounding department, where Kansas dominated 21-8 on the boards and claim a 43-28 advantage for the game.
  2. Kansas is winning without production from beyond the arc. Despite ranking fourth in the nation in three-point percentage at 41.8 percent, the Jayhawks have only shot a combined 15-of-42 (36%) through tonight’s game. That’s a double-edged sword: While overreliance on the three-point shot never bodes well for championship prospects, they need to be prepared to keep up with Villanova on Saturday should the Wildcats’ streak of lightning-hot shooting continue from behind the arc.
  3. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon was unfazed by his sentimental ties to Kansas. One of the central storylines in the week heading up to this matchup was Turgeon’s deep connection to the Kansas program, for whom he played and coached in his youth. That didn’t stop him from giving his alma mater all it could handle, in the process reaffirming that he’s serious about again making Maryland a powerhouse program. In his postgame press conference, Turgeon was dismissive when asked if this one hurt more because it came at the hands of Kansas. Instead, he focused on the fact that this was Maryland’s first Sweet Sixteen in 13 long years.

Star of the Game. Senior forward and Lawrence Mayor for Life Perry Ellis put Kansas on his back and carried the Jayhawks to the Elite Eight. Yes, Wayne Selden played great with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists. The two combined for 41 of their team’s first 60 points (at which point none of their teammates had scored more than six), but Ellis took over early in the second half by scoring nine straight points without assistance, extending a lead to 11 points that Kansas would never relinquish.

Quotable. “I had watched tape on [Diamond] Stone and knew I could be physical with him if the refs allowed it. I saw opportunities to pick up a charge. ” – Landen Lucas, Kansas forward, who finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Sights & SoundsJake Layman obviated the need for a halftime show with his dunking theatrics in this game. He picked up a technical during the first half for hanging on the rim after a run-out dunk, which drew condemnation and arguments about physics on Twitter. Even though that controversy was rendered somewhat moot by his double dribble beforehand — ball don’t lie – it was just the latest demonstration of Layman’s sneaky posterizing ability, and he followed it up with another one-handed slam to begin the second half that drew wide-eyed non-verbal sounds upon video replay.

What’s Next? Kansas continues its march toward achieving the expectation that, by virtue of basic math, we place on the overall #1 seed: the Final Four. Maryland heads back to College Park comforted by a shiny new Sweet Sixteen appearance under its belt, but also wondering what could have been.

Will Tucker (124 Posts)

Kentucky native living and working in Washington, D.C. Fan of tacos, maps, and the 30-second shot clock. Not a fan of comments sections, bad sportswriting.

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