Clemson defeated by Kansas 80-76 - Recap, Box score

"I've seen Bill (Self's) teams from afar, because I'm a basketball junkie and I study everything", Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "I think we'll come out ready".

A dejected Shelton Mitchell walks off the court at the CenturyLink Center Friday night in Omaha.

DeVoe had a career-high 31 for Clemson (25-10), which couldn't replicate the magic it showed in beating Auburn by 31 to reach its first Sweet 16 in 21 years.

"Doke is a guy we can throw the ball into and he can go get a basket", Newman said.

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Yes, the Jayhawks' lead of 20 points early in the second half shrunk to four during crunch time, but KU was able to hold on and win 80-76. But thanks to Devonte' Graham's offensive rebound with 1:57 left, the Jayhawks ran nearly a minute off the clock.

This is a perimeter-oriented team whose survival hinges on the play of its guards.

Senior guard Keenan Evans had 16 points and four assists, while Zach Smith (14), Justin Gray (12) and Zhaire Smith (11) also scored in double figures for Tech.

This year has often been about what this Kansas team couldn't do after the losses of Frank Mason and Josh Jackson and then the ineligibility of Billy Preston. Expect Graham and Mykhailiuk to play well on Friday night.

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Azubuike, who sprained his left MCL on March 6 and played 22 minutes in last week's second-round victory over Seton Hall, scored 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbed six rebounds while playing 13 minutes.

The Jayhawks' 13-point halftime lead ballooned to 20, 49-29, when Vick, Newman and Graham each made three-pointers early in the second half. He faced a touch matchup against the massive Azubuike, who was out of shape after a recent injury and played 25 minutes but was still plenty effective. But they found a way, which a lot of other teams of their stature have not. "He's just a difference maker". But the Tigers reached the regional semifinals for the first time since 1997 even after losing Donte Grantham, arguably their best player. From there, Kansas overcame a dogged Clemson press just long enough to ensure that the Tigers couldn't pull any closer until the final buzzer.

They didn't have a great deal of trouble with New Mexico State in the first round.

After the final seconds of Kansas's latest triumph in this NCAA tournament had ticked away, Udoka Azubuike, parked on the bench after picking up his fifth foul with 2:30 left in the second half, stood up, looked out at the jubilant tableau unfolding before him and began clapping. The team has also gone 4-1 against the spread over their last five games, while Clemson is 5-1 against the spread for their last six games. "I'm not really out there thinking anymore, just playing, doing what Coach asked me to do and just trying to make plays", he told the media following the Clemson win. "We've got to come out ready from the beginning", Bagley said of Kansas. Only eight players in the Big 12 this season recorded 140 or more three-pointers and shot better than 37 percent from deep.

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Villanova (33-4) has now made 47 3-pointers for the tournament. He did it once in his first 20 games this season. At times the moment seemed to big for the Tigers. "And you're going to struggle when you don't rebound well and you turn it over on offense". "I don't know why we do that when we have a lead, just kind of relax". "And then I thought a couple of the Kansas kids were very opportunistic in shooting".

  • Jill Young