Friday, March 25, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Kansas 77, Richmond 57
By Pat Forde
SAN ANTONIO -- A quick look at Kansas' 77-57 win over Richmond Friday night.
Overview: This was exactly the kind of beatdown one could expect when a No. 12 seed shows up in the Sweet 16 to play a No. 1. Richmond's pregame act of defiance -- getting into a brief shoving match with Kansas in the tunnel leading to the court -- turned out to be the last fight the Spiders would put up all night. Kansas dominated in every phase of the game, racing to a double-digit lead in just more than eight minutes and keeping it there the rest of the night.
Turning point: It might have been the pregame altercation. Any hope Richmond had of sneaking up on an overconfident Kansas team probably disappeared at that point. Kansas was locked in all night, and that was bad news for the underdog.
Key player: Jayhawks guard Brady Morningstar never headlines the opponent's scouting report, but that doesn't mean he isn't dangerous. Morningstar showed it early against Richmond, making 5 of 7 shots and scoring 12 first-half points. He finished the night with a team-high 18.
Key stat: Kansas shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, 50 percent from 3-point range and 100 percent from the foul line. Richmond, meanwhile, shot just 29 percent from the field and 21 percent from 3 in the first 20 minutes. Those stats were not conducive to a shock-the-world outcome.
Miscellaneous: Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor also played a great first half, with five assists, zero turnovers and two blocked shots. ... Richmond leading scorer Justin Harper had a very deceptive 22-point night. He struggled offensively against the big Kansas front line and didn't get going until it was too late.
What's next: Kansas moves on to the regional final Sunday against the winner of Florida State-VCU. Richmond goes home and hopes it keeps its coach, Chris Mooney, who is a candidate for other jobs.