Kansas Jayhawks Drop NCAA Tourney Match to Wichita State Shockers

Kansas Jayhawks Drop NCAA Tourney Match to Wichita State Shockers

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  • The Wichita State Shockers beat the Kansas Jayhawks, 78-65, on March 22 to advance to the Sweet 16.

The Wichita State Shockers Topped the Kansas Jayhawks, 78-65, on March 22 to advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Thursday.

The Wichita State Shockers beat the Kansas Jayhawks, 78-65, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Neb.

According to Wichita State’s official athletics website, the Shockers relied on a balanced scoring attack (five players in double figures) to put the Jayhawks away. With the win, the Shockers advance to the Sweet 16 where they will face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Thursday, March 26, in Cleveland, Oh. 

The Shockers were led by Tekele Colton’s 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He also added three assists and two rebounds. Fred VanFleet chipped in with 17 points, Ron Baker and Evan Wessel each added 12 points while Darius Carter finished with 10 points. Wessel scored all of his points from the three-point area and had a team-high nine rebounds, per GoShockers.com. 

The Shockers actually trailed by eight at 24-16 at the 4:15 mark of the first half but uncorked a 13-2 run to lead by three at the break. Wichita State hit two three-pointers and converted on a three-point play during that stretch, per GoShockers.com. 

The Kansas City Star’s Rustin Dodd stresses the Jayhawks scored just six points in the paint in the first half. Jayhawks junior forward Perry Ellis had a bloodied nose after he was elbowed during the half’s waning moments. 

Wichita State scored just 29 points in the first half but came out on fire in the second with 49. The Shockers went on a 7-0 run in the second half to go up by 11 at 41-30, per Wichita State’s official athletics website. That spurt saw Wessel draining a three and VanFleet and Baker converting on successive layups.

Wessel and Cotton made two threes in the ensuing possessions to up Wichita State’s lead to 49-36. Kansas would inch no closer than eight points the rest of the way, per GoShockers.com.

Dodd notes Kansas head men’s basketball coach Bill Self momentarily resorted to a zone defense and a four-guard lineup in the second half, to no avail. If their turnover numbers (seven) matching their made field goals during the first 14 minutes of the second half was any indication, the Jayhawks were in for a long night.  

Ellis and Devonte Graham each had 17 points to lead the way for the Jayhawks. Frank Mason had 16 points for Kansas.

For the game, the Shockers shot 49 percent (25-of-51) from the field while Kansas shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57). Accordign to their official athletics website, the Shockers shot a respectable 10-of-20 from the three-point area while limiting their opponents to just 6-of-21 shooting for a 28.6 percent clip.

Dodd confirms it was the first time the two teams squared off in 22 years. It was the second straight year the Jayhawks failed to reach the Sweet 16. 

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