Senior forward Perry Ellis scored a game-high 27 points to lead the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks to a 79-63 win over No. 5 seed Maryland Terrapins in the Sweet 16 – South Regional semifinals on March 24 in Louisville, Ky.
Maryland guard Melo Trimble (2) attempts to get through the defense of Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the regional semifinals of the men’s NCAA Tournament, in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, March 24, 2016. Kansas won 79-63. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Maryland (27-9) proved why it was good enough to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003, challenging the top-seeded Kansas throughout most of the game. The Terps led early by as many as six points and only trailed, 34-32, at halftime. They even kept the score within a few scoring exchanges for most of the second half. It wasn’t until there was less than seven minutes remaining in the game that the Jayhawks began to create a comfortable margin on the scoreboard. Kansas took a 66-53 lead after a jumper by Ellis with 6:46 left on the game clock. The Jayhawks maintained its double-digit lead the rest of the way, cruising to victory.
Maryland guard Rasheed Sulaimon (0) shoots over Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the regional semifinals of the men’s NCAA Tournament, in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, March 24, 2016. Kansas won 79-63. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Maryland’s best scorer, sophomore guard Melo Trimble, wasn’t at his best on the night; he finished with 17 points but made just five of 16 shot attempts and was only one-of-seven from the three-point arc. Senior transfer guard Rasheed Sulaimon led the Terps with 18 points but no one else scored more than eight points for Maryland.
Meanwhile, four different starters scored double digits for the Jayhawks, including Ellis’ 27 points. Junior guard Wayne Seldon Jr. added 19 points with six assists; junior forward Landon Lucas controlled the paint with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Kansas (33-4) will face No. 2 seed Villanova in the Elite Eight on Friday, March 26.
In other Sweet 16 action Thursday night:
– No. 2 Villanova beat No. 3 Miami, 92-69
– No. 2 Oklahoma beat No. 3 Texas A&M, 77-63
– No. 1 Oregon beat No. 4 Duke, 82-68