McCormack helps No. 3 seed KU survive E Washington, 93-84

David McCormack had 22 factors and 9 rebounds in his return from COVID-19 quarantine and helped No. 3 seed Kansas rally from a 10-point second-half gap and beat No. 14 seed Japanese Washington 93-84 within the NCAA Event

INDIANAPOLIS — David McCormack returned from his COVID-19-caused hiatus simply in time to rescue No. 3 seed Kansas.

At some point after rejoining the Jayhawks in Indianapolis, the bruising huge man piled up 22 factors and 9 rebounds, serving to slow-starting Kansas rally from a 10-point second-half deficit and beat No. 14 seed Japanese Washington 93-84 on Saturday to advance to the second spherical of the NCAA Event.

Ochai Agbaji scored 21 factors, Marcus Garrett fought foul hassle so as to add 20 and Dajuan Harris Jr. had 13 for the Jayhawks (21-8), who superior to play sixth-seeded Southern California or No. 11 seed Drake for a spot within the Candy 16.

Tanner Groves scored a career-high 35 factors and youthful brother Jacob Groves had 23 for the Eagles (16-8), whose third journey to the NCAA Event ended simply as rapidly as the primary two — although not with out placing up a combat.

The aptly named “Groves Bros” received Japanese Washington off to a flying begin. The pair of All-Massive Sky forwards mixed to attain the primary 9 factors of the sport and compelled Jayhawks coach Invoice Self to burn via early timeouts.

Kansas settled down and put collectively a 17-5 run and abruptly seemed once more like the large boys out of the Massive 12. However Shantay Legans’ motley crew of underrated and neglected sharp-shooters completed the half on a 24-10 cost.

The Groves youngsters have been at it once more. They mixed for 3-pointers on three straight journeys down ground, then Tyler Robertson added a fourth from the highest of the important thing to present Japanese Washington a 46-38 lead headed into the locker room.

Compounding issues for Kansas: Garrett, one of many nation’s greatest defenders, picked up his third foul earlier than the break.

Self turned to McCormack to bail the Jayhawks out. Although he was solely anticipated to play about 10 minutes a half after his bout with COVID-19, the large man went to work within the paint as if he hadn’t missed a day. He scored their first eight factors of the second half, attempting to maintain Kansas alive till his teammates might discover their photographs.

They lastly did halfway via the second half.

Nonetheless trailing 63-59, Agbaji threw down a dunk in transition to start a game-changing 14-3 run. Seldom-used Harris drained back-to-back 3-pointers, McCormack added back-to-back buckets inside, and Garrett — who’s hardly recognized for his outdoors taking pictures — hit the primary of his three second-half 3s because the Jayhawks took a 73-66 lead.

McCormack, who examined constructive for the coronavirus earlier than final week’s Massive 12 Event, continued to attain within the publish down the stretch, serving to the Jayhawks keep away from the identical destiny that befell top-four seed Ohio State and Purdue on Friday.

BIG PICTURE

Japanese Washington adopted the recipe for an upset completely: It shot 50% from the sector, hit 10 3-pointers, protected the ball and battled the Jayhawks to a standstill on the glass. However the Eagles’ protection allow them to down within the second half, when Kansas started getting open appears and knocking them down.

Kansas survived with out with out Jalen Wilson and Tristan Enaruna, who proceed to be sidelined by COVID-19 protocols. Each might return for the Candy 16 with seven consecutive unfavorable assessments. Wilson is averaging 12.1 factors and a team-best 8.2 rebounds whereas Enaruna, who additionally missed the Massive 12 tourney, averages about 10 minutes off the bench.

UP NEXT

The Jayhawks will face the Trojans or the Bulldogs on Monday evening for a spot within the regional semifinal.

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Extra AP school basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/School-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25 and https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket

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