Jayhawks meets Purdue in NCAA Tournament regional semifinal
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) No. 4 seed Purdue (27-4) vs. No. 1 Kansas (30-4)
Third round, Midwest region; Kansas City, Missouri; 9:39 p.m. EDT.
BOTTOM LINE: Kansas ran roughshod through UC Davis and Michigan State to reach the Sweet 16, which will be played about 40 miles from its campus in Lawrence. These Jayhawks are a departure from coach Bill Self's typical teams in that they use a four-guard lineup, led by standout Frank Mason III and star freshman Josh Jackson. Purdue will counter with a whole lot of size, led by 6-foot-9, 250-pound sophomore Caleb Swanigan and 7-footer Isaac Haas. The Boilermakers had a first-round tussle with Vermont before fending off another Big 12 foe, Iowa State, to reach the regional semifinals.
FABULOUS FRESHMEN: Jackson has sent his NBA draft stock soaring with two exemplary games in the NCAA Tournament, likely locking up a spot in the lottery if he departs after this season. Purdue also has a key freshman in guard Carsen Edwards, who averages more than 10 points coming off the bench.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Jayhawks will have a massive home-court advantage at Sprint Center, and it has generally paid off - they're 34-7 in the building. But their last game in Kansas City was a loss to TCU in the Big 12 quarterfinals, when Jackson was serving a one-game suspension.
SIZE PAYS OFF: Purdue hopes to use its size advantage against Kansas, which has struggled with teams that can dominate the paint. Swanigan is the first Big Ten player since Evan Turner in 2010 to lead the league in scoring and rebounding, and he has a nation-leading 28 double-doubles this season.
DID YOU KNOW: The Jayhawks are 2-1 against Purdue in the NCAA Tournament, losing in 1994 and winning the next two meetings, including the 2012 regional in Omaha, Nebraska. Their series dates to 1948, when the teams split a home-and-home series.
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