Kansas Makes It Look All Too Easy
DETROIT - The Kansas Jayhawks toyed with Villanova, throwing alley-oop passes off the backboard and raining 3-pointers from all over the court without breaking a sweat. Brandon Rush scored 16 points, Russell Robinson had 15 and top-seeded Kansas routed the No. 12 Wildcats 72-57 Friday to earn a spot in the Midwest Region final. The Jayhawks (34-3) will be a huge favorite to end 10th-seeded Davidson's stay in the NCAA Tournament and advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2003. Kansas coach Bill Self is in a region final for the fifth time - at three schools - since 2000 and is a win away from no longer being regarded as the best coach without a Final Four on his resume.Villanova (22-13) had to know the night was doomed when star guard Scottie Reynolds shot an airball and missed another try on the opening possession of the game. The Wildcats simply could not keep up with the Jayhawks' speed, size and athletic ability at the other end of the court. Kansas slammed four alley-oop passes in the opening nine minutes and made seven 3-pointers to take a 41-22 lead at halftime. Looking like they were on asphalt in the middle of the summer, Robinson and Rush hooked up on a play that would make the Harlem Globetrotters proud. Robinson drove on the left side of the lane and tossed a pass off the glass to Rush, who slammed home the carom. Unlike some NCAA Tournament games that are decided in the final moments, this was seemed over early. Kansas took control early with a 14-2 run. Reynolds was scoreless until making a 3-pointer midway through the first half, a shot that started an 11-2 burst that pulled Villanova within seven points. Then, Kansas held the Wildcats to only a point and no field goals the rest of the half and opened up a 19-point lead at the break.