Kansas used balance and defense to overcome a supreme effort by Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado and advance to the Midwest Region semifinals with a 83-79 win on Saturday night at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan.
Four players reached double figures for the top-seeded Jayhawks (29-7), led by guard Malik Newman with 28 points. Newman canned four 3-pointers for Kansas, which sank 50 percent of its field-goal attempts and shot 9 of 21 from 3-point range.
Kansas’ Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk added 16, including a 3-pointer with 1:17 left that made it a 71-63 game. Lagerald Vick scored 13 points and Udoka Azubuike chipped in 10, making up for a rare off-game by Wooden Award finalist Devonte’ Graham, who hit only 1 of 7 shots and managed just eight points.
Graham contributed nine assists.
Delgado starred in defeat with 24 points and 23 rebounds. It was the first 20-20 game for anyone against a No. 1 seed since Hakeem Olajuwon (with his first name then spelled Akeem) did it for Houston in 1983.
Khadeen Carrington added 28 points, including his team’s last 13, and Myles Powell netted 14 for eighth-seeded Seton Hall, which hung with Kansas but just didn’t make enough shots. The Pirates (22-12) needed a late spurt to finish at 45.3 percent from the field, and they amassed a 39-32 advantage on the boards largely attributable to the tireless Delgado.
The Jayhawks carved out a 15-6 lead at the 11:35 mark of the first half when Graham fed Silvio De Souza for an alley-oop bucket. Seton Hall worked its way back into the game from that point, going on an 18-5 spurt and taking a 24-20 advantage with 4:44 remaining when Delgado converted on a hook shot.
Kansas finished the half with an 11-2 spurt for a 31-26 halftime lead, capping it when Newman drilled a 3-pointer from the deep right wing with six seconds remaining.
The Jayhawks increased the advantage to 52-39 with 12:20 left as Vick canned a 3-pointer, but the Pirates kept working the game. A Powell 3-pointer at the 4:05 mark drew them within 63-59, but Kansas made enough plays to hold on.
The Jayhawks will meet either fourth-seeded Auburn or fifth-seeded Clemson on Friday night in Omaha, Neb. Auburn opposes Clemson on Sunday in San Diego.
—Field Level Media