NCAA Tournament

KU-Purdue preview

WHEN/WHERE:

7:40 p.m. Sunday at CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.

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TV/RADIO:

TNT; KCSP (610 AM)

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ABOUT PURDUE (22-12):

The Boilermakers won an NCAA Tournament opener for the 14th straight time when it edged St. Mary’s 72-69 on Friday. Terone Johnson led the way with 21 points. Purdue doesn’t make many mistakes. It leads the nation in fewest turnovers, 8.7 per game, and in assist-turnover ratio at 1.58. Over the past 11 games, Purdue is shooting 43.8 percent on three-pointers

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ABOUT KANSAS (28-6):

The Jayhawks defeated Detroit 65-50 in Friday in what’s now known as the second round. Tyshawn Taylor missed most of the second half because of leg cramps but said Saturday he’ll be ready to play. Kansas committed eight turnovers in the first 11 minutes against the Titans but only six thereafter. KU defeated a Big Ten team, Illinois, in this spot last year.

Frontcourt

The Boilermakers aren’t big. Travis Carroll, a 6-9 sophomore, is the tallest starter and averages 2.9 rebounds per game. The team’s leading rebounder is swingman Robbie Hummel (7.1) who is also a deep threat by making 37.4 percent of his threes. Kansas bigs did what they do best against Detroit, with Thomas Robinson going for 16 points and 13 rebounds and Jeff Withey blocking three shots.

Edge: Kansas Backcourt

This is Purdue’s strength. Lewis Jackson runs the point, with dribble-penetration kicks to shooters Hummel, Ryne Smith and D.J. Byrd. All are dead-eye deep shooters and the Boilermakers hit 37.6 percent as a team. Tyshawn Taylor likely draws the assignment on Jackson and will have to stay out of foul trouble. Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford also must be at their defensive best.

Edge: Purdue Bench

Byrd was won the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year award and was second in scoring in league games at 12.1. Guard Anthony Johnson chipped in 10 points against St. Mary’s. Kansas is coming off one of its better efforts by non-starters. Against Detroit, Kevin Young scored nine points with three rebounds and two assists.

Edge: Purdue Coaching/intangibles

Matt Painter, in his seventh season, is looking for his third Sweet 16 appearance. This is first game against the Jayhawks. Bill Self looks to reach the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in nine years at Kansas. Self has been solid against Big Ten teams lately, winning his last four — Ohio State this season, Illinois in last year’s NCAA Tournament and a recent home-and-away sweep of Michigan. The crowd will be pro-Kansas, and that never hurts.

Edge: Kansas Bottom line

Kansas players say Purdue plays like Big 12 teams Missouri and Iowa State, and KU went 2-2 in those games this season. The Boilermakers say KU plays like Michigan State and Ohio State, and Purdue went 0-4 against those teams. Who wins out? If Kansas doesn’t kick it around, the Jayhawks should prevail and move on to St. Louis.

P

No.

Kansas

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

C

5

Jeff Withey

7-0

Jr.

9.2

F

0

Thomas Robinson

6-10

Jr.

17.9

G

15

Elijah Johnson

6-4

Jr.

9.8

G

24

Travis Releford

6-6

Jr.

8.4

G

10

Tyshawn Taylor

6-3

Sr.

17.1

P

No.

Purdue

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

F

50

Travis Carroll

6-9

So.

2.6

F

4

Robbie Hummel

6-8

Sr.

16.1

G

0

Terone Johnson

6-2

So.

9.2

G

23

Lewis Jackson

5-9

Sr.

10.5

G

24

Ryne Smith

6-3

Sr.

9.3

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