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The Jayhawks must shoulder the burden of being the final top-seeded team in the tourney: surviving the Midwest Regional and moving on to the Final Four after beating the Miami Hurricanes, 76-50, on Sunday.
Miami was in control for the first half of the contest.
The Canes took a 35-29 lead before the break.
Miami’s Kameron McGusty led the team in scoring with 18. His 14 points in the first half helped elevate Miami to their strong lead. His quiet second half opened the gates for Kansas to take control, which unfolded in the 26-point Jayhawks victory.
“This run that we’re on is for the 2020 team,” said Jayhawks guard Ochai Agbaji. He led Kansas with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
Agbaji harkened back to a team robbed of a March Madness run when the 2020 season was canned due to COVID.
The senior guard was hot from the field on Sunday; Miami, on the other hand, was cold.
Seen as one of the better offenses in the tourney, the Canes failed to recreate their success. The Jayhawks’ perimeter defense limited Miami to a paltry 3-of-21 from deep.
Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks are headed back to the Final Four for the first time since 2018. The coach advances to his fourth Final Four appearance.
Self, confident in his team’s shot at the championship after their latest showcase, said that their second-half revival was a telltale of their might.
“That was about as well as we can play the second half. These guys earned it. So proud for them and proud for our program,” Self said.
Kansas is set to take on Villanova from New Orleans on Saturday.
Villanova will play without guard Justin Moore after suffering an Achilles injury on Saturday.
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Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela