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Jayhawks Men and Women Both in Sweet 16
03/21/2012
 

NCAA Tournament is in full force and the Sweet 16 has been decided for both the women and mens brackets. With only 32 schools combined left in the NCAA tournament, three schools have both their men's and women's teams still alive in the tourney.

The three universities are Baylor, Kentucky and Kansas. Baylor and Kentucky feature the number one overall seed in the tournament in the womens and men's brackets, respectively. As, the Baylor men are a three seed and the Kentucky women are a two seed. Perhaps the most surprising for the three schools are the Kansas Jayhawks, who's men's team is a two seed but women's team is an 11 seed, taking down six seed, Nebraska in the first round and three seed Delaware in the second round. On top of being an 11 seed for the lady Jayhawks, the NCAA tournament committee has said the lady Jayhawks were one of the final four teams into the women's tournament.

For the men Jayhawk squad they came into the tournament as the number two seed in the Midwest region and headed up to Omaha for the second and third round games. In the first matchup for the Jayhawks they would take on the 15 seeded Detriot Titans, a team that featured an All-American point guard, in Ray McCallum. If previous early upsets in the tournament for the Jayhawks weren't enough to make sure the Jayhawks were prepared, they saw two number two seeds go down earlier that day to 15 seeds, in Missouri and Duke.

Jayhawks would come out and with a force and go into halftime with a 10-point lead over Detriot, ultimately stretching it to a 15-point lead, winning 65-50. KU would rev up the defensive performance really never letting Detriot mount any sort of comeback that would have allowed the Titans to truly get back into the game. Junior forward, Thomas Robinson finished the night with his usual double double, 16 points and 13 rebounds, while senior guard, Tyshawn Taylor added in 10 points, himself. But, perhaps the most surprising spark to the Jayhawks was the play of junior guard, Elijah Johnson who has struggled throughout the season, but stepped in the second round matchup with great defense and 15 points, hitting three three-pointers in the contest.

In the third round matchup against the Purdue Boilmakers, the play of Elijah Johnson would once again spark the Jayhawks to a victory, 63-60 to move onto the Sweet 16. Jayhawks would trail almost the entire game taking their first lead with about a 23.3 seconds to go in the contest, Johnson came away with a steal and transition basket. Purdue opened up the game with a barrage of three-pointers and the Robbie Hummel show. KU made late push to get close at the end of the first half but Hummel would hit a three-pointer, give the Boilmakers a six-point lead at the half, 36-30. Purdue exploited matchups and hit three's throughout the contest to lead KU throughout but it was the methodical play of the Jayhawks defense that brought them back to the utlimate victory.

Johnson finished the night with 18 points and that crucial steal and go-ahead basket late for the Jayhawks; while Tyshawn Taylor and junior, Travis Releford each added 10 points. Player of the Year candidate, Thomas Robinson once again finished with a double double 11 points and 13 rebounds, but it didn't come easy for the Jayhawk, who struggle with the matchup problems of Purdue during the game. Purdue was lead by their star Hummel who finished the game with 26 points in the loss. Jayhawks now sit at 29-6 on the season and will play the 11 seeded North Carolina State Wolfpack in the Sweet 16 in St. Louis on Friday at 9:17 CT.

For the lady Jayhawks it's a bit of a different story than their counterparts on the hardwood, on how they got to where they are in the season. After the loss of their leading scorer in junior forward, Carolyn Davis the Jayhawks finished of the season 2-6 (including Big 12 tournament) and were 19-12 going into selection Sunday. Lady Jayhawks, sat on pins and needles hoping they would make the tournament and they did as an 11 seed, making it in as one of the last four teams in the tournament.

As the 11 seed the Jayhawks faced off against the former Big 12 rival and the six seeded the lady Cornhuskers of Nebraska. It would be a defensive struggle with both teams shooting horribly from three-point land in the contest; Nebraska shot 5.3%, while KU shot 15.4% from three. Jayhawks would lead it by eight-points at the half 28-20 and that would ultimately be all they needed as they held on for that eight-point win, 57-49. It was junior point guard, Angel Goodrich leading the way for the Jayhawks with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. While, freshman, Chelsea Gardner had career game to help the Jayahwks grabbing 16 rebounds and netting 15 points.

In the second round the Jayhawks drew the task of facing the nation's leading scorer in, junior, Elena Della Donne and her Delaware Blue Hen squad. The Jayhawks gameplan featured multiple defensive looks from man-to-man to box-and-one and more to try and stymie Della Donne's offense prowess. Della Donne would finish the game with her second straight 30+ point performance (34 points) but it was the Jayhawks who hung around enough the first half that jumped on the moment and took control in the second half to come away with yet another upset, 70-64 win over Delaware.

Foul trouble stymied the Jayhawks during the game, with the personal they could throw at Della Donne, but the Jayhawks would do enough, scoring and defensively to snatch up the win, as no other Delaware Blue Hen finished with double figures, outside of Della Donne. Junior point guard, Angel Goodrich continued to show the world she is one of the best point guards in women's basketball netting 27 points, one sigh of her career high. While, senior, Aishah Sutherland had a double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and freshman, Chelsea Gardner added 10 points, for her second straight double figure game. With win the Lady Jayhawks are now 21-12 on the season and advance on to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1998, were they will play the number two seed Tennessee in the Des Moines region on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT.

Only once in school history as the Jayhawks men's and women's basketball teams both made the Sweet 16 in the same year, that came back in 1996, when the women lost to Tennessee in the Sweet 16 and the men fell in the Elite Eight to Sryacuse.

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