Kansas-UCLA Preview

Antsy to get back on the court following its first defeat, Kansas took out its frustration during a historic showing in the opener of the Maul Invitational.

Now the fifth-ranked Jayhawks should have a much tougher time in the semifinals as they try to move toward their first Maui title in 19 years Tuesday night against talented UCLA.

Coach Bill Self was upset about his team's effort in the Champions Classic last week when it shot 34.8 percent and faltered late in a 79-73 loss to then-No. 13 Michigan State.

The starting guard trio of Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden Jr. and Devonte' Graham was partly to blame, teaming for 30 points on 9-of-36 shooting in Chicago.

Seeking a bit of redemption, Mason, Selden and Graham came up big by finishing with a combined 47 points on 18-of-30 shooting - including 8 for 14 from 3-point range - in Monday's 123-72 rout of Chaminade in the first round of the tournament.

''I think (this) did a lot for some guys' confidence,'' said forward Landen Lucas, who chipped in with 13 points, 12 rebounds and four assists off the bench.

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk also had a career-high 18 points while hitting 6 of 11 from beyond the arc as Kansas finished with its highest point total under Self and the sixth most in its history.

The Jayhawks (2-1) also had 32 assists, shot 64.4 percent and made 15 of 29 from 3-point range.

"The ball moved very well and there were some good things that happened as a result of that," Self told the team's official website. "We have some things to improve execution-wise."

Self was able to provide some rest before the second of three consecutive games as no one played more than 28 minutes.

The Jayhawks are in their sixth Maui Invitational but haven't won the event since 1996.

The Bruins, seeking their first tourney title since 2006, have averaged 82.0 points on 48.6 percent shooting in three straight wins since opening with an 84-83 overtime loss to Monmouth.

Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh had 20 points apiece and Aaron Holiday added 18 in Monday's 77-75 quarterfinal win over UNLV. Alford is scoring 19.8 per game this season after averaging 15.4 points as a sophomore.

UCLA also could test Kansas on the glass, having posted a plus-10.2 rebounding margin. Senior Tony Parker led that effort with a nation-best 16.7 boards per game before he finished with three while battling foul trouble against the Runnin' Rebels.

Lucas is averaging a team-high 7.3 boards for Kansas, which has a plus-7.6 rebounding margin.

The Jayhawks are missing guard Brannen Greene, who is suspended for six games for conduct detrimental to the team. Highly touted freshman Cheick Diallo remains ineligible while the NCAA investigates his classwork from a prep school in New York, along with the forward's relationship with his guardian.

Kansas has won three in a row and seven of the last nine meetings, including a 72-56 victory Nov. 22, 2011, in the Maui Invitational semis in the most recent matchup.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.