Friday, March 11, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Kansas 90, Colorado 83
By David Ubben
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas trailed by 12 early, but rallied behind big performances from Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris to take a halftime lead and full control on the way to a 90-83 win over Colorado. Kansas scored on its first six possessions of the second half, jumping out to a 19-5 run and never letting CU get back in the game.
The Buffaloes should still get in the NCAA tournament, but it was a disappointing way to make an exit in their final Big 12 game. Colorado is leaving for the Pac-12 next season.
Turning point: Colorado led 22-10 with 13 minutes to play in the first half, but Kansas outscored the Buffaloes 33-15 over the rest of the half to take a 43-37 lead into halftime. After the 19-5 run to open the second half, the Buffs were done. They held KU to just 16 points over the game's last 10 minutes, but the Buffaloes could never get close enough to make a serious threat.
Key player: Kansas' Brothers Morris. Marcus, the Big 12's newly crowned Player of the Year, and Markieff were unstoppable as part of that first-half run. At one point, they combined for 17 consecutive points and finished with a combined 40 points and 21 rebounds on 11-of-22 shooting.
Key stat: Kansas outrebounded Colorado 39-25. Both teams shot well, but giving up a rebounding advantage like that to a team that's clearly more talented is going to be hard to overcome. Colorado couldn't do it.
Miscellaneous: Colorado star guard Alec Burks took a nasty fall early in the second half, being knocked horizontal before landing hard on the floor and leaving the packed Sprint Center silent. He was down for a minute or so before getting back to his feet and looking much like his usual self.
What's next: On Saturday, Kansas will face the winner of Texas and Texas A&M for the Big 12 title. Colorado finishes 21-13, but has a solid resume that should be worthy of a berth in the NCAA tournament, the first such appearance for the Buffaloes since 2003.