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Kansas Dominates From Start in Rout

March 23, 2003|From Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Kansas Jayhawks are off and running again, all the way West and into the round of 16 for the third consecutive year.

Seniors Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich sparked the Jayhawks right from the opening tipoff Saturday night in a 108-76 victory over Arizona State, an offensive showcase light years removed from their first-round struggle against Utah State.

"I just thought we were sensational," said Coach Roy Williams, who will take the Jayhawks to the regional semifinals for the ninth time in his 15 seasons.

Second-seeded Kansas (27-7) -- a Final Four team a year ago -- heads to the West Regional semifinals in Anaheim to play Duke.

Collison scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, and Hinrich scored 24 as the Jayhawks topped 100 points for the fifth time in the school's 98 NCAA tournament games.

The Jayhawks shot 68%, outrebounded Arizona State, 41-31, and constantly kept up the offensive pressure against the overwhelmed Sun Devils.

"Not only did we make shots, I really loved the way we attacked," Williams said. "I don't know that we were looser. I think we were more intense, more focused."

Jason Braxton scored 17 for the 10th-seeded Sun Devils, who were in their first NCAA tournament since 1995.

The Big 12 Conference regular-season champions wasted no time returning to form as one of the nation's highest-scoring offenses after their tough 64-61 win over Utah State Thursday.

Kansas did just about anything and everything it wanted, running and gunning throughout. They made 14 consecutive shots during a second-half run that made what was already a rout look even worse.

Arizona State was stunned by the Jayhawks' quickness. "They would catch the ball and they would be gone," center Tommy Smith said. "It seemed like we'd be a step behind. We'd be taking off and they were already at halfcourt."

Arizona State (20-12) got only 13 points and seven rebounds from its best player, freshman Ike Diogu.

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