February 1, 2023

Jayhawks roll to opening round victory

DES MOINES, Iowa – Top-seeded Kansas began its journey in the NCAA Championship with a first-round win over No. 16 seed Austin Peay, 105-79, on Thursday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Jayhawks (31-4) win their 14th-straight game and will face No. 9 seed Connecticut on Saturday.

Sophomore guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk came off the bench to lead Kansas on Thursday with a career-high 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. Senior All-American Perry Ellis scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while junior forward Landen Lucas grabbed eight rebounds with 18 points.

“Today when Svi came in I don’t know exactly what happened but he fired one right off the bat and I think it went down and then after that he was ultra-aggressive the rest of the way,” Kansas head coach Bill Self Said. “I thought his moves off the bounce were actual more impressive than maybe the shots off the catch. I thought he looked athletic.”

From Ellis’ 35th start in 35 games to junior walk-on Clay Young‘s first minutes of action since Dec. 19, Kansas used its entire 15-man active roster for the first time this season. KU’s bench accounted for 45 of its 105 total points, helping the Jayhawks to their fifth 100-point game this season.

Austin Peay (18-18) ends its magical postseason run which started as a No. 8 seed in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. Freshman guard Josh Robinson led the Governors with 24 points.

 

Kansas controlled the tip and Wayne Selden Jr., immediately nailed a 3-pointer to put the Jayhawks up, 3-0, after the first possession. The Governors kept pace with KU early on, leading 7-6 at the 17:33 mark of the first half after making three of its first four shots.

But the Jayhawks started to pull away when Mykahiluik subbed in. The 18-year-old sophomore from Ukraine nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give KU an 18-10 lead at the 11:54 mark of the first half. Kansas did not look back, ending the period on a 36 to 18 run to go into halftime with a 48-28 lead.

Sophomore guard Devonte’ Graham, fresh off earning Most Outstanding Player honors at the Big 12 tournament, did not score any points for the first time this season but dished out a game-high six assists, including an alley-oop to Selden in the first half.

Mykhailiuk added 12 points in the second half alone, while freshman forward Cheick Diallo scored nine points with four rebounds in the last seven minutes of regulation.

Kansas shot 62.9 percent in the second half to close in on its 98th NCAA postseason victory.

UP NEXT: NCAA SECOND ROUND
Kansas faces Connecticut in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Saturday in Des Moines. Tipoff time and television information has yet to be announced.

POSTGAME NOTES

STARTERS (Season Starts / Career Starts)
Jr. G Frank Mason III (35/74), So. G Devonte’ Graham (33/33), Jr. G Wayne Selden Jr. (34/105), Sr. F Perry Ellis (35/106), Jr. F Landen Lucas (16/30)… 16th time this combination has started a game (15-1 record).

SERIES INFO: Kansas and Austin Peay met for the first time on Thursday. Kansas improves to 20-0 all-time against the current membership of the Ohio Valley Conference (9-0 vs. Murray State; 2-0 vs. Belmont, Morehead State and UT-Martin; and 1-0 vs. Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, SIU-Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri State and Tennessee State.

ATTENDANCE: 16,628 (Wells Fargo Center)

100-POINT GAMES: Kansas reaches 100 points for the 8th time in NCAA Championship play, tying UNLV for the 4th-most such games in tournament history. It is the fourth-highest-scoring NCAA Championship game for KU and the most points in the tournament since a 107-67 victory over No. 16 seed Niagara in 2007. Kansas has five 100-point games this season.
PILING UP VICTORIES: With a 31-4 record, KU has reached 31 victories for the 10th time in school history, with seven of those seasons occurring during the Bill Self era. The Jayhawks have the most wins (31) and the highest winning percentage (.886) among all 351 NCAA Division I teams.
WINNING STREAK: Kansas extends its winning streak to 15 games, its longest of the season. KU also had a 13-game winning streak earlier this season (Nov. 23 – Jan. 9). KU features 14 10-game or better winning streaks during the Bill Self era.
IN THE NCAA TOURNEY: Kansas is 98-43 all-time in NCAA Championship games. Kansas improves to 31-2 in its last 33 NCAA Championship round-of-64 games (since 1981), including 10-straight first-round victories (since 2007). Kansas improves to 30-10 all-time in its 12th appearance as a No. 1 seed. No. 1 seeds are 127-0 all-time against No. 16 seeds, including a 12-0 mark for KU.
AWAY FROM HOME: KU is 15-4 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season. The Jayhawks have won six-straight neutral-site games, not including the Dec. 12 win over Oregon State at Sprint Center in Kansas City, which was deemed a home game by the NCAA.
SHARP SHOOTING: Highest field goal percentage … 75.9 vs. Arizona State in the second half.
IN THE PAINT: KU’s 58 points in the paint sets a season high against NCAA Division I competition. KU scored 60 points off the bench against NCAA Division II Chaminade (Nov. 23) at the Maui Invitational.
W-L RECORDS: Bill Self improves to 383-82 (.824) while at Kansas, 590-187 (.759) all-time and 38-16 (.731) in the NCAA Tournament (28-11 while at KU). Kansas is now 2,184-835 all-time.
AUSTIN PEAY NOTES: Austin Peay played in its first NCAA Championship game since 2006. The Governors are 2-8 all-time in NCAA Division I postseason play. Austin Peay finished eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference regular season but won the conference tournament to earn the league’s automatic bid.

Senior F Perry Ellis
Scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field in 25 minutes.
Reached 20 points for the fifth time in the last six games.
Now has 1,749 career points, seven shy of entering the top-10 on KU’s career scoring list. Kirk Hinrich (2000-03) currently stands in 10th-place with 1,753 career points.

Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham
Dished out a game-high six assists without turning the ball over.

Junior G Wayne Selden Jr.
Turned in his most productive performance in an NCAA tournament game, scoring 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting in 19 minutes. Entered Thursday averaging 2.5 ppg in NCAA postseason play.

Sophomore G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
Scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Jayhawks in scoring for the third time this season.
Made a career-high nine field goals on 11 attempts.
His first 20-point scoring effort also marks his 10th career double-figure scoring effort.

Junior F Landen Lucas
Grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while adding 16 points on a near-perfect shooting night (6-7 FG).
Has led KU in rebounding for 11 of the last 12 games.

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