Purdue vs. Kansas - Five things to watch for

Purdue vs. Kansas - Five things to watch for

Purdue seems to get the hot team or the top team more often than we would like.

Either way, the top-seeded Jayhawks proved their coach right in a big way - and a bunch of ways - during Thursday's explosive, 98-66, Sweet 16 victory over fourth-seeded Purdue at Sprint Center. 7, 9, 10 and 11.

Kansas outrebounded Purdue 36 to 29 by simply outworking the larger Boilermakers on the boards. Think about that: 73-33.

The counter-argument here is of course that Purdue simply needs to have a better regular season, be seeded on the 1-3 line and they would avoid the 1 seed for longer.

"Getting offensive rebounds is tough", said guard P.J. Thompson. The Jayhawks are so good they don't need more bodies. This is the Wisconsin team we all expected at season's start, and along with Hayes and Koenig are fellow starters Vitto Brown and Zak Showalter, who were also around for those Final Four runs and have been coming up with their own mammoth plays through the first two rounds of this tournament. They have been nibbling at the edges for years, but who would have thought it now, a team with 13 defeats that dropped six in a row in an injury-riddled February?

Against Vermont, Purdue led by eight with just under two minutes to go, with that slippery slope from past years still very much in view. "He's always been a guy when we were struggling we relied on him to go get it for us, and now I think he's putting himself in a position to make more plays for himself and others".

"I came here to win", Purdue's brawny power forward declared.

With Swanigan at 6-9, 250 pounds and averaging 18.5 points and 12.6 rebounds a game, Kansas is sure to run into some issues. They were making everything. The first is that Painter is bad and deserves to be dragged into the street, tarred and feathered, and then hanged for his sins against Purdue basketball.

The matchup problem on Kansas' roster is Jackson, one of the leading freshmen in the country. And there was next to nothing the Boilers could do about it. So did teammate Devonte Graham. It was just a matter of time. "Just have to have a resilience about you", he says.

For Purdue, it's six-foot-nine sophomore Caleb Swanigan. Just not on this night. The Ducks have been forcing more turnovers in zone, and it will also help freshman point guard Payton Pritchard stay clear of foul trouble.

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2010- We all know what happened in 2010 so I'm not gonna mention it. Purdue was a 4 seed and made it to the Sweet Sixteen again. "It was two complete games by both guards". Hats off to them. Obviously they can not replace the Big Ten Player of the Year and National Player of the Year candidate, but they will employ a talented and effective roster next season. "I hope he doesn't play well Saturday, but he's had a heck of a career".

You've have to give Vick credit.

While Lucas said he wasn't sure the pressure of the Elite Eight is the reason the Jayhawks lost a year ago, he did acknowledge it can be a lot to manage. "Unfortunately, he didn't like us as much". They won the rebounding and free throw war.

Sometimes, talent simply wins out in a game, which appeared to be the case here. Once the second half started, the Jayhawks couldn't miss shots, while this Vick dunk sums up how loosely they were playing. "He got a couple steals, his ball-screen defence was good".

Jackson was also a big reason that Swanigan was nearly a non-factor offensively for the Boilermakers.

Day 1 of the Sweet Sixteen definitely did not disappoint.

That's just a taste of what the Jayhawks did Thursday night. Vince Edwards is averaging 12.7 points per game on the season and he has scored 21 points in their first two March Madness contests.

They talked to Michigan State's Tom Izzo, then Missouri coach Mike Anderson, Pitt's Jamie Dixon and Butler's Brad Stevens.

There was sadness in the Purdue locker room after the game, the sadness that comes with knowing the season is done.

This may be his best, too - better even than his 2008 national title team.