Despite Valiant Effort, Boston U. Falls to Kansas, 72-53, in NCAA Tourney
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Kansas just needed some time to put the ghosts of its NCAA past behind it.
Marcus and Markieff Morris combined for 31 points as the Jayhawks found their shooting touch in the second half of a 72-53 win over Boston University on Friday night.
The win was the first NCAA tournament game for Kansas since the Jayhawks were sent home by Northern Iowa in the second round last season.
They appeared to still be feeling some of the aftereffects of that loss in the first half against the Terriers. Kansas (33-2) led just 33-29 at halftime and shot 42 percent. The Jayhawks found their touch in the second, hitting 62 percent of their shots and pulling away while avoiding last season's heartbreak and becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed.
John Holland led Boston (21-14) with 19 points, with 15 coming in the first half. The loss snaps the Terriers' 11-game winning streak.
Try as it might, Kansas couldn't shake the Terriers in the first half.
Led by Holland, Boston led midway through the half and had an answer every time the Jayhawks tried to pull away late. Holland scored eight of the Terriers first 10 points and hit 6-of-10 shots in the half, including 3-of-5 3-pointers.
Holland's layup off the backboard pulled Boston within 14-12, and after a Kansas free throw by Markieff Morris, D.J. Irving tied the game at 15 for the Terriers. Irving followed with a free throw to put Boston up 16-15.
After a 3-pointer by Kansas' Tyrel Reed, Marcus Morris followed with a drive to put the Jayhawks up 20-16. Holland responded with his third 3-pointer of the half to pull Boston within 20-19. After the Jayhawks went up 22-19 on a putback by Thomas Robinson, Dom Morris tied it with a 3-pointer for the Terriers.
The Jayhawks led by six against Lehigh at halftime in last year's tournament opener before pulling away for a 16-point win.
They followed a similar script Friday, opening the second half on a 10-3 run to go up 43-32 and cruising after that.
Ahead 47-41, Josh Selby scored on a break. Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor and Markieff Morris then each hit 3-pointers on Kansas' next three possessions to put the Jayhawks in control and up 58-43.
Holland missed his first eight shots of the second half.