Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

It's on for Kansas in Big 12 tourney opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Not long ago, Kansas coach Bill Self had an official who calls games all over the country pay his team the ultimate compliment while also offering a somber warning.

"He said, 'When you're on, you're as good as anybody,' " Self recalled after watching his team dismantle Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament. "And when you're off, you really fall off.'"

The top-ranked Jayhawks were decidedly on in their 85-63 quarterfinal victory Thursday.

Perry Ellis scored 21 and Frank Mason added 16 as the regular-season champions built a 45-30 halftime lead, then quickly stretched the advantage past 20. Kansas coasted the rest of the way to a semifinal matchup tonight with No. 22 Baylor.

"They played at a very, very high level," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said.

The eighth-seeded Wildcats were led by Justin Edwards, who hit five 3s and had 23 points.

NO. 3 VILLANOVA 81, G'TOWN 67: Josh Hart scored 25, Ryan Arcidiacono added 19 points and six assists, and the Wildcats (28-4) pulled away in the second half to open its bid in New York for consecutive Big East tournament titles. Kris Jenkins added 15 for top-seeded Villanova, which made 13 of 21 3-pointers.

NO. 5 XAVIER 90, MARQUETTE 72: Trevon Bluiett matched his career high with 24 points and the Musketeers (27-4) dominated from start to finish in the Big East quarterfinals. Xavier took advantage of foul trouble by Marquette star center Henry Ellenson to have a big advantage in points in the paint early and finished with a 42-32 difference.

NO. 8 OREGON 83, WASH. 77: Chris Boucher had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the top-seeded Ducks (26-6) withstood a late flurry in the Pac-12 quarterfinals at Las Vegas. Oregon built an 11-point lead midway through the second half, but Andrew Andrews brought the Huskies back with a quick scoring flurry. The guard scored 10 of his 19 during the run, helping Washington pull within two late. The Ducks held, though, hitting four free throws in the final 33 seconds.

NO. 9 WEST VIRGINIA 86, TCU 66: Devin Williams had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead a balanced attack and the Mountaineers (25-7) never trailed in their Big 12 quarterfinals victory. The Horned Frogs trailed just 63-55 midway through the second half before a spree of 3-pointers allowed the second-seeded Mountaineers to seize control.

NO. 15 ARIZONA 82, COLORADO 78: Allonzo Trier scored 23, Ryan Anderson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and the Wildcats (25-7) held on in the Pac-12 quarterfinals. Arizona overwhelmed the Buffaloes in the first half before laboring through most of the second.

NO. 22 BAYLOR 75, NO. 23 TEXAS 61: Taurean Prince had 24 points and 13 rebounds, Rico Gathers added 13 points and the Bears' rode their baffling zone in the Big 12 quarterfinals. Fifth-seeded Baylor (22-10) opened a 15-point lead in the first half, then used coach Scott Drew's trademark defense to prevent the fourth-seeded Longhorns (20-12) from coming back. Texas' All-Big 12 guard Isaiah Taylor scored just eight, all in the second half.

IVY GIVES IN: The last holdout for postseason conference tournaments has finally given in. The Ivy League will add men's and women's tournaments next season that will determine the conference's automatic berths for the NCAA Tournament. The league traditionally sent its regular-season champion to the tournament. This season, the Yale men and Penn women won under the round-robin format. Only the top four teams in the eight-team conference standings will qualify for the tournament, which in 2017 will be March 11 and 12 at Philadelphia's Palestra, the on-campus home for Ivy League team Penn.

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