Rushed Reactions: #1 Kansas 100, #16 UC Davis 62Posted by Chris Stone on March 17th, 2017
Rush the Court will be covering the NCAA Tournament from start to finish over the next three weeks.
Three Key Takeaways:
- UC Davis was just totally overmatched. Not every matchup between a #1 seed and a #16 seed is a complete snoozer, but this game most definitely was. Kansas was significantly better than the Aggies tonight and it showed just about everywhere on the floor, as UC Davis looked like the team that entered the NCAA Tournament with the worst KenPom ranking of any club in the field of 68. After an early flurry of offensive fouls called on the Jayhawks, the better team settled in, moved the ball around, and picked apart the Aggies’ defense.
- Josh Jackson is back. The freshman has been mired in off-court controversy over the last month — and was suspended for the Jayhawks’ opening round loss in the Big 12 Tournament — but the freshman came back in a big way tonight. Jackson put together an all-around game, delivering 17 points and seven rebounds and showing the versatility that Kansas needs if it hopes to make a deep run. Few teams in the field have an equal who can match Jackson’s combination of competitiveness and athleticism.
- The game took a cruel turn after Jim Les’ technical foul. UC Davis was actually keeping it close for a while in the first half before things took an ugly turn when the Aggies’ head coach picked up a technical foul while arguing with an official. Ahead by only two at the time, the Jayhawks then went on a 27-7 run run to close out the half that featured plenty of alley-oops and threes. The run may have happened even without Les picking up the violation, but the four-point possession that resulted from the ensuing free throws and another pair from Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk certainly didn’t help matters.
Star of the Game: Frank Mason, Kansas. Jackson may have delivered most of the highlight reel finishes tonight, but it was Mason setting them up and putting up a stat line worthy of a National Player of the Year front-runner. The senior finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Sights and Sounds: As noted above, Jackson was on an absolute tear during this game and it got the attention of an assistant coach from a potential Second Round opponent who was scouting the game. After Jackson finished a reverse layup in the first half, he was overheard saying the following:
Josh Jackson. Wow. Prompting ass't coach scouting game next to me to say "Not alot of humans can do that"
— Jeannine Edwards (@jeanninee12) March 17, 2017
What’s Next: Kansas moves on to face the winner of Miami vs. Michigan State on Sunday while UC Davis heads home after a surprising run into the field.