The Kansas Jayhawks made it through the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and picked up a head of steam in the process.
Kansas, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, gained an edge late in the first half against ninth-seeded Michigan State and then raced past the Spartans late on the way to a 90-70 victory on Sunday at the BOK Center.
The Jayhawks (30-4) had plenty of support from their fans in Tulsa, and now they will move even closer to home as they advance to play fourth-seeded Purdue in a regional semifinal on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.
Guard Josh Jackson led Kansas with 23 points. Guard Frank Mason III added 20 points and five assists, and guard Devonte' Graham had 18 points and four assists.
Graham hit a 3-pointer that put the Jayhawks ahead by 15 points and in control with 2:49 remaining in the second half.
Guard Miles Bridges led Michigan State (20-15) with 22 points, and forward Nick Ward added 13.
Ward picked up his fourth foul and temporarily went to the bench with 8:38 left. He had scored 13 points in 16 minutes to that point. Ward played four minutes the rest of the way.
Kansas forward Dwight Coleby made one of two free throws after Ward's fourth foul. Then guard Lagerald Vick scored on a layup off a down-the-lane pass from Graham to put the Jayhawks ahead by 10 with 8:07 remaining.
Kansas and Michigan State swapped the lead 11 times through the first 15 minutes as they wrestled for control.
Then the Jayhawks seized the first modicum of momentum with a 6-0 mini-run when guards Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Mason each hit jumpers and Graham made a fast-break layup on an assist from Mykhailiuk.
After Michigan State called timeout to try to stop Kansas from taking control, Jackson responded by hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the arc that put the Jayhawks ahead 36-27 with 3:04 left before halftime.
Graham returned the favor by tossing an ally-oop lob that Mykhailiuk threw down to finish a fast break and cap Kansas' 13-2 run.
Mykailiuk's dunk gave the Jayhawks a 40-29 lead with 1:42 left before halftime.
But Michigan State scored the last six points before the break on a Joshua Langford 3-pointer and three free throws by Bridges.
Bridges scored 13 points to lead the Spartans in the first half.
Jackson, Mason and Mykailiuk each had nine points as the Jayhawks led 40-35 at the break.
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