Kansas survives Clemson rally in Sweet 16, advances to Elite Eight

Despite nearly coughing up the lead late in the second half, the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks upended No. 5 seed Clemson 80-76 in the Sweet 16 to advance to the Elite Eight on Friday.

The win for Kansas marks the third straight appearance for the Jayhawks in the Elite Eight — Devonte’ Graham and Co. will be looking for their first trip to the Final Four as a class.

3 Who Mattered

Malik Newman: The guard once again led the Jayhawks in scoring with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Newman filled the stat sheet with 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

Newman also connected on 4-of-7 3-pointers.

Udoka Azubuike: Posting his sixth double-double this season, the Kansas big man returned to the starting lineup to the tune of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Azubuike fouled out in the second half, ultimately limiting his production late.

Gabe DeVoe: The Tigers’ guard was the heart and soul for Clemson, pouring in a game-high 31 points while adding 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

Highlights

Observations

The Jayhawks love having Azubuike at full strength

Azubuike saw the most minutes of action since the regular season. After missing the entire Big 12 Tournament and most of the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the nation’s leader in field goal percentage returned to his usual tricks.

The big man’s presence reinforce’s the Jayhawks’ strength along the perimeter. Kansas buried 10-of-23 3-pointers — it’s often Azubuike’s work inside that prevents defenders from overcommitting to shooters.

Silvio De Sousa is turning into an X-factor

The midseason roster addition scored 9 points and pulled down 6 rebounds off the bench.

Mitch Lightfoot saw limited action, while De Sousa continued to show off his athleticism — particularly after Azubuike fouled out.

What’s Next for Kansas Basketball

Kansas will face the winner of No. 11 Syracuse- No. 2 Duke in the Elite Eight in Omaha on Sunday.

The post Kansas survives Clemson rally in Sweet 16, advances to Elite Eight appeared first on Diehards.

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