2:40 PM ET, March 24, 2002
Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Jayhawks met a team that wanted to run with them. They jumped all over the Ducks instead.
Kansas' ability to take advantage of second-chance opportunities frustrated Oregon. The Jayhawks totaled 66 points in the three-second area.
Kansas coach Roy Williams' club features great balance inside and outside while also enjoying a tremendous 1-2 punch on the baseline. Oregon coach Ernie Kent found out firsthand about Drew Gooden and Nick Collison. more...
Two other Jayhawks nearly joined forwards Gooden and Collison with double-doubles. Freshman reserve Keith Langford had 20 points and eight rebounds, and Kirk Hinrich scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds."They crash the boards all the time, every single play," said Frederick Jones, who led the Ducks with 32 points. "Their guards came in and got some, too. It was an all-around effort." The Jayhawks, the nation's highest-scoring team with a 91-point average, outmuscled and outhustled the beefier Ducks on the glass, fueling their up-tempo game. "I liked it because it was up and down, even though we were beating each other for layups," Gooden said. "You probably can't see my feet right now. I've got my shoes off. My dogs are hurting." Kansas led 48-42 at halftime and stretched its lead to 73-59 on a runner by Hinrich with 9:50 left. Anthony Lever hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 10-2 Oregon run that made it 75-69 with 8:30 remaining. Lever's third 3-pointer made it 77-72 seconds later. "I thought we were going to blow it out several times. But they're a hard-fighting team, a great team, and they didn't give in," Jayhawks point guard Aaron Miles said. But Kansas scored the next 10 points, four by Collison, to end the Ducks' dreams of reaching the Final Four for the first time since they won the first NCAA championship in 1939. "I told Nick and Drew to get on the backboard," Williams said. "I got on them a little bit in the first half and at halftime because I felt they were trying to be perimeter players. I told them, 'We're going to win this basketball game inside. We're going to win this game on the backboards. I don't need you guys to be perimeter players.' "Drew took all that as constructive criticism. Twenty rebounds, what more can you say? Nick Collison battled his rear end off." It appeared as though the Jayhawks were going to run away with it early when Hinrich's layup gave Kansas a 40-28 lead. But the Ducks (26-9), playing in a regional final for the first time in 42 years, scored the next 12 points, seven by Jones, to tie it at 40 with 2:57 left in the first half. Jones had two slam dunks off steals and capped the burst with a 3-pointer. Oregon had two chances to take the lead, but Luke Ridnour (nine points) missed a layup, and Jones missed a 3-pointer, and Collison's basket put the Jayhawks back ahead for good.
Jeff Boschee, left, and Brett Ballard celebrate the Jayhawks' first trip to the Final Four since 1993.
|» Mar 24, 2002||@KU 104, ORE 86||Recap|