Kansas vs. UC Davis: Score and Twitter Reaction from March Madness 2017

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2017

TULSA, OK - MARCH 17:  Frank Mason III #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks shoots the ball against the UC Davis Aggies during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at BOK Center on March 17, 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
J Pat Carter/Getty Images

A No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed in NCAA tournament history, and the Kansas Jayhawks weren't about to be the first Friday.

Kansas has been to 14 Final Fours in program history and took the first step toward its 15th with a 100-62 victory over the No. 16 UC Davis Aggies in the Midwest Region. ESPN Stats & Info pointed out it was business as usual for the Jayhawks:

It was a balanced effort for Kansas, but the usual suspects of Frank Mason III, Josh Jackson and Landen Lucas, among others, set the tone:

Kansas' Top Friday Performers
PlayerPointsReboundsAssistsStealsBlocksField GoalsThree-Pointers
Frank Mason III2258008-of-143-of-7
Josh Jackson1772118-of-121-of-1
Landen Lucas13112006-of-100-of-0
Devonte' Graham1624404-of-74-of-7
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk1640125-of-102-of-7

Kansas also enjoyed a substantial advantage down low and outrebounded the Aggies 45-27. It forced 14 turnovers with consistent defense and held UC Davis to a mere 4-of-20 shooting from three-point range and 33.9 percent shooting from the field.

Chima Moneke impressed for the Aggies with 20 points and nine rebounds, but teammate Brynton Lemar struggled on his way to his 17 points by shooting just 4-of-17.

Despite the loss, UC Davis looked like it could hang with the Jayhawks throughout much of the first half. The game was knotted at 21 before the Jayhawks responded with a 10-0 run and steamrolled their way to a 50-28 halftime lead.

Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star pointed to one uncharacteristic issue for the Jayhawks during their initial struggles:

Kansas got some energy before its game-deciding run by turning to Jackson, who used his ridiculous athleticism to turn heads multiple times:

It wasn't just Jackson, as Kansas locked in on defense and finished the half on an extended 29-7 spurt. The disparity wasn't much of a surprise considering Kansas boasts the No. 27 defense in Ken Pomeroy's pace-adjusted numbers compared to UC Davis' No. 291 offense.

The only remaining drama came before the halftime buzzer in a play that left both sides upset, especially after UC Davis head coach Jim Les was assessed a technical earlier in the game. Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated described the proceedings:

The Kansas machine continued rolling out of the locker room, ensuring there would be no memorable March Madness finish. 

Jason McIntyre of the Big Lead noted the real battle was between the Jayhawks' leaders and the entire UC Davis team:

The race to 100 points was on for much of the second half, and the century mark appeared inevitable when Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk drilled a three at the shot-clock buzzer to go up 77-43 with less than 12 minutes remaining. 

Benton Smith of KUSports.com realized the Jayhawks were particularly loose in this mismatch:

Kansas head coach Bill Self emptied the bench in the closing stretch with the game well in hand, which gave his son Tyler Self the opportunity to score. The only issue with going so deep for the Jayhawks was that battle to reach 100 points, but they finally got there when Self drilled a three-pointer in the closing seconds, as NCAA March Madness shared: 

Next up for Kansas is a Sunday showdown with the winner of the Miami and Michigan State game.

The Jayhawks have realistic national title aspirations but will be tested against either the ACC's Hurricanes or Big Ten's Spartans. Michigan State and Miami have battled some of the best teams in the country throughout the season and won't be intimidated with a matchup against the Jayhawks with a Sweet 16 spot in the line.

               

Postgame Reaction

Lucas commented on the effort, per Bobby Nightengale of the Lawrence Journal-World: "I thought we did good job in [the] second half extending lead. We haven't done that well throughout season."

Self discussed the contest, per Nightengale: "There's never a lock winning a game. UC Davis should be congratulated on season but caught us on a night when we were pretty good."

Les was pleased with his team's effort, per the University Daily Kansan: "I couldn't be [more] proud of these guys and this group by their approach. Weren't taken back by the prospect of playing Kansas."

Moneke looked at the bigger picture, per the University Daily Kansan: "I can't imagine a better season for us."