Oregon beats Kansas 74-60 to punch Final Four ticket

When that happened, everything promptly sped up for Purdue.

The Jayhawks will have a massive fan advantage Thursday night, but also an advantage in their familiarity with the Sprint Center. Defensively, Kansas is allowing 72.4 points against the opposing teams.

Frank Mason III won't be a high draft pick, but he's as good of a college basketball player as they come.

Kansas has had eight 30-win seasons since 2006-07 and have risen to 31 this season going into Saturday night's game against OR with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

Josh Jackson added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Landen Lucas did a good job of keeping Purdue forwards Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas in check, as the Jayhawks (31-4) turned a seven-point halftime lead into their third consecutive blowout in the NCAA Tournament. Not only has OR failed to reach a Final Four in almost eight decades, coach Dana Altman has never made it despite almost 600 wins and 13 trips to the NCAA Tournament. "My brother, my parents all went there and all of my cousins and aunts and uncles so they're huge Purdue fans", Blair Dryden, Joyce's husband, said. Purdue fought to keep the game close, but ultimately Kansas had too many weapons for the Boilermakers to stop their opponent.

Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan led the Boilermakers with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while P.J. Thompson finished with 13 points in the defeat. The do everything soon to be senior will bring a tremendous level of experience and grit to the court, as he has played big minutes since first stepping foot on the Purdue campus.

The game shaped up as a contrast of styles: the slick, speedy athleticism that carried the Jayhawks to the Big 12 title against the bruising, post-dominated play of the Boilermakers.

But time and again, Mason and friends carved up Purdue's defense, making easy shots, making impossible shots, making all kinds of shots while the Boilers' defenders were Super Glued to the Sprint Center floor.

"When the game is moving so fast, it's hard to take advantage of size opportunities", Swanigan said. By the time Kansas realized the game had started, Painter's team had raced to a 25-18 lead midway through the first half.

In the days between their unexpected Big 12 tournament loss to TCU in early March and a 38-point, opening-round NCAA Tournament victory over UC Davis last week in Tulsa, Okla., the Jayhawks casually discussed a strategy that would become the focal point for their current run. At least part of it, Graham says, was a small adjustment he suggested himself.

From the point they were down eight in the first half, KU outscored Purdue 73-33, breathing life into what now looks like a very realistic championship run.

Lagerald Vick gives the pro-Kansas crowd a thrill with a 360-degree dunk against Purdue.

"Usually when KU is on, my mom is always yelling and cheering whenever we get a point".

"We came out and did it late", Graham said. "I think there's another step we can take".

Top-seeded Kansas boasts a lethal perimeter game and No. 4 seed Purdue owns one of the nation's top inside threats as the teams prepare to do battle in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region semifinals Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.

The victor advances to the Elite 8. "The way the game started out, it looked like we were going to have a tough road ahead". Check the scoreboard above and click on the stats link.

Out West top seeded Gonzaga held on for a 61-58 win over West Virginia.

The Bulldogs will next face either Arizona or Xavier with a chance to make the Final Four on the line.

2011- Purdue achieved their highest seed under Painter here with a 3 seed.

Their average margin of victory in the tournament is now 30 points. Taking down another Big 12 team, Kansas, in Kansas City will be a tall order.

MISSING BIG MEN: Two big contributors will be sitting Saturday night out: OR forward Chris Boucher tore his ACL in a Pac-12 Tournament game against California, while Kansas center Udoka Azubuike had season-ending wrist surgery in January.

  • Larry Hoffman