Elite Ellis Lifts No. 1 Kansas past Maryland, 79-63

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Senior Perry Ellis scored 27 points as top-ranked Kansas muscled its way to a 79-63 victory over No. 5 seed Maryland on Thursday night at KFC Yum! Center. KU’s 17th-straight win puts the Jayhawks in the NCAA Elite Eight for the21st time to face No. 2 seed Villanova on Saturday (7:50 p.m. Central, CBS).

Kansas (33-4), seemingly out-matched by Maryland’s trio of 6-foot-9 or taller front-court players, outrebounded the Terrapins 43-28 and held a 40-24 scoring advantage in the paint. The win over the 18th-ranked Terrapins gives KU a 12-2 mark against top-25 opponents this season, including nine-straight over ranked foes.

Ellis’ season-high 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting combined with junior guard Wayne Selden Jr.’s 19 points to account for 58 percent of KU’s offensive output. Junior forward Landen Lucas added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Jayhawks’ first postseason double-double.

KU clamped down on Maryland (27-9) defensively in the second half to the tone of 4-of-18 shooting in the final 17 minutes of regulation by the Mark Turgeon-coached Terrapins. Maryland’s guard duo of senior Rasheed Sulaimon (18 points) and sophomore Melo Trimble (17) highlighted the team’s first appearance in the Sweet Sixteen since 2003.

On Ellis’ first bucket of the game, a layup in the first minute, he became more entrenched in the lore of Kansas basketball by passing Jayhawk great Paul Pierce for ninth on the all-time scoring list. Ellis finishes the night with 1,794 career points.  

Kansas’ third-straight double-figure victory didn’t come without its struggles in the first half as Maryland gave the Jayhawks their largest postseason deficit by taking a 14-8 lead early in the period behind the aid of two 3-pointers from Trimble.

Kansas used an 8-0 run to regain its first-half lead for the first time in over 10 minutes. Senior Jamari Traylor capped off the run by draining an open jump-shot at the top of the key, 29-26, at the 4:29 mark.

Selden put the Jayhawks on his back in the waning moments before halftime, scoring or assisting nine of KU’s final 13 points in the half. Selden gave Kansas a 34-32 lead with a 3-pointer with under a minute remaining and, after a pair of Maryland free throws, assisted Lucas for a back-door layup for a 36-34 halftime score.

Ellis led KU with 12 points in just 13 first-half minutes.

Selden started the second half where left off, pouring in seven points in the first four minutes of the second half to balloon KU’s lead to 50-43 with 16:12 remaining. Kansas fans howled “Let’s go Jayhawks” through the KFC Yum! Center after Selden’s bucket – willing the Jayhawks to victory.

The Terrapins made just three field goals for the remainder of the game as Kansas broke away to a 16-point lead with under five minutes remaining.

Selden, who finished with a season-high six assists, lobbed an alley-oop to Lucas which put an exclamation point on KU’s 17th-straight victory.

Kansas advances to the NCAA Elite Eight®for the21st time and sixth time under Bill Self to face No. 2 seed Villanova on Saturday. Tipoff time for CBS’s national telecast from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville is 7:50 p.m. Central time.


STARTERS (Season Starts / Career Starts)
Jr. G Frank Mason III (37/76), So. G Devonte’ Graham (35/35), Jr. G Wayne Selden Jr. (36/107), Sr. F Perry Ellis (37/108), Jr. F Landen Lucas (18/32)… It is 18th time this combination has started a game (16-1 record).

Kansas leads the series with Maryland, 4-2… Four of the six meetings between the Jayhawks and Terrapins have been on neutral sites… The last time the two teams met was in the 2002 Final Four, where the Terrapins took a 97-88 victory.

19,399 (KFC Yum! Center)

TOP-25 WINS: Kansas improves to 12-2 against teams ranked in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 this season… The Jayhawks sport a record of 203-181 against top-25 opponents, including a 72-38 mark during the Bill Self era.
100th NCAA TOURNEY WIN: Kansas’ victory over Maryland in the regional semifinals marks the program’s 100th win during NCAA Championship play (100-43)… KU holds records of 21-10 in NCAA regional semifinal games, 32-10 as a No. 1 seed, and 30-11 under Bill Self during NCAA tourney play.
PILING UP VICTORIES: Kansas (33-4) reaches 33 wins for the ninth time in school history with five of those during the Bill Self era… The Jayhawks have the most wins (33) and the highest winning percentage (.892) of all 351 NCAA Division I teams.
WINNING STREAK: Kansas extends its winning streak to 17 games… It is KU’s longest of the season and the longest active winning streak in NCAA Division I… KU features 14 winning streaks of 10 games or better during the Bill Self era.
AWAY FROM HOME: KU is now 18-4 away from Allen Fieldhouse this season… The Jayhawks have won eight-straight neutral-site games, not including the Dec. 12 win over Oregon State at Sprint Center in Kansas City, which was deemed a home game by the NCAA.
W-L RECORDS: Bill Self improves to 385-82 (.824) while at Kansas, 592-187 (.760) all-time, and 40-16 (.714) in the NCAA Championship (30-11 while at KU)… Kansas is now 2,186-835 all-time.
FORCING MARYLAND OUTSIDE: Kansas forced Maryland outside the perimeter as the Terrapins shot 20 percent (5-25 3-Pt FG) from beyond the arc.
SHARP SHOOTING: Kansas closed the game with a 56 percent (14-25 FG) shooting performance in the second half.  
ON THE BLOCKS: Kansas out-rebounded Maryland, 43-28… The Jayhawks have outrebounded their last two opponents (UConn and Maryland) by an average margin of +17.5 rebounds per game… Maryland’s 28 rebounds are tied for the second-fewest this season.
TURGEON REMATCH: Former Jayhawk and current Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon falls to 0-7 against his alma mater… The KU letterman under Coach Larry Brown went 0-6 against KU while coaching at Texas A&M (2007-11).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES (By number, starters listed first)
#0 FRANK MASON III (Jr., G): Played in a team-high 38 minutes… registered 11 points for his 30th double-figure scoring effort of the season.  
#1 WAYNE SELDEN JR. (Jr., G): Scored 19 points for this third-straight double-figure scoring effort in NCAA postseason play… Dished out a season-high six assists… averaging 18.3 points per game during the NCAA Championship after totaling just 10 points in his first four NCAA postseason games.
#33 LANDEN LUCAS (Jr., F): Recorded his third double-double of the season and fourth of his career with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting with 11 rebounds.
#34 PERRY ELLIS (Sr., F): Passed Paul Pierce for eighth on KU’s all-time scoring list, totaling 1,794 career points after scoring 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting… Ellis passed Pierce (1996-98; 1,768) with his first basket of the night at the 19:15 mark of the first half… Ellis has seven 20-point scoring efforts in the last eight games… During six postseason games this season, Ellis averages 21.2 points on 60.3 percent shooting from the field… KU had a plus-minus of +25 when Ellis was on the floor on Thursday against Maryland.
#15 CARLTON BRAGG JR. (Fr., F): Grabbed seven rebounds in just seven first-half minutes… First player off the bench with Jamari Traylor… Finished with eight rebounds in 10 minutes of action.
#31 JAMARI TRAYLOR (Sr., F): First player off the bench with Carlton Bragg Jr.


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