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Second Half Surge Propels Kansas to Elite Eight

If Kansas’ first two NCAA Tournament wins weren’t convincing enough of how great the Jayhawks are playing, look no further than a 32 point win over the Big Ten regular season champions in the Purdue Boilermakers.

KU scored 20 points just off Purdue’s 16 turnovers — which included an emphatic 360 dunk by Lagerald Vick — to propel them to a 98-66 win.

“We really like to play in transition, we like to play fast,” freshman guard Josh Jackson said. “Sometimes we make some pretty stupid decisions but, you know, as long as we keep playing hard, and keep fighting, and keep trying to play defense then I think it’ll all work out for us.”

One decision in transition that worked out for the Jayhawks was sophomore guard Lagerald Vick’s 360 dunk that brought the Sprint Center to its feet. Vick contributed 12 points, shooting 4-for-7 from the field.

“You know, it raised the energy level to another level.” Vick said. “So it definitely put the crowd more into it.”

There’s been a few instances this season where Kansas coach Bill Self had to scold some players for failing to execute over-the-top dunks. Luckily for Vick, Thursday’s play worked to perfection.

“I told him at the timeout, I said, ‘you know it’s really a good thing you made that,'” Self said.

Among Vick’s miraculous play, the Jayhawks outscored the Boilermakers 51-26 in the second half.

“That’s about as well a second half as I can remember a team playing in a long time,” Self said.

KU will get the day off Friday to prepare for the Oregon Ducks in an Elite Eight matchup.