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Kansas upends Clemson to advance to Elite Eight

The Jayhawks have no depth, are without a superstar and possess a middling defense.

The Jayhawks will face a red-hot Clemson team picked to finish 13th out of 14 teams in the ACC — a team that routed Auburn 84-53 last weekend in the third-biggest blowout by a lower-seeded team since 1979.

On Friday, the Jayhawks added victory No. 30 on the season, jumping to a big lead before holding off a late Clemson rally for an 80-76 decision to advance to the Elite Eight. You prepare the whole year to play in this game.

Self called his team "soft" earlier this season, but he is now three wins away from a national title, and he wants his hardened team to have some fun. They each sat, at different times, for a few minutes and wound up staying on the bench for exactly 3:03 while re-entering at different times, as well. "Just his presence alone", Graham said of Azubuike, "you can't duplicate it". Svi Mykhailiuk was too timid and inconsistent. Azubuike fouled out, while De Sousa committed three fouls.

Self has had more than one Jayhawks team better than this one.

Those problems are real.

"I just looked at Jalen, Mikal (Bridges) and Phil (Booth) and I could see in their eyes we were good", he said.

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"This whole year prepared us for these moments in this tournament". So I think we'll play with no what-ifs. "I think that's just his mentality of I'm going to keep going".

"We've been in a lot of situations throughout the whole year - we've been down 20 and came back - we've been in tight situations where we had to get this rebound, we had to get the stop", Trent, who finished with 14 points, said. At multiple points this season, Kansas looked dangerously close to snapping the conference championship streak that has become synonymous with his glorious run in Lawrence. They also rank 16th overall in terms of assists per contest. This year, they're playing around one. But the Tigers reached the regional semifinals for the first time since 1997 even after losing Donte Grantham, arguably their best player. "It just goes against the grain from the teams that we've had in the past, but these guys have figured it out". "That was the most physically demanding, mentally draining 40 minutes we've played in a long time".

The Wildcats kept the momentum going, stretching the lead to 76-66 on a 3-pointer by Brunson. The big question next is whether 2017-18 will prove a one-shot wonder or the start of something big. And that means defenders aren't shadowing shooters. "His passing is underrated". That's another big key for him. "For us, most importantly, nothing changes no matter who we play, where we play, what time we play".

It's opened up a whole world of possibility for Kansas and a world of hurt for their opponents.

Clemson: What a wild 12 months it was for coach Brad Brownell. Kansas, in turn, went on to wreak more acid upon its devotees as it will play in its horror chamber known as the final eight, the round that has checkmated it the past two seasons, as well as five times all told in Coach Bill Self's 15-season tenure.

Now, Kansas isn't full of slouches. Vick had eight points and three rebounds, while Mykhailiuk and Newman had seven points apiece. The fit is odd and the depth is zilch. "This year I just want to make it over".

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