Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Kansas Jayhawks advanced to their 24th Sweet 16 in program history with a 79-72 win over Creighton in the NCAA Tournament Second Round at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday.
With the win, Kansas, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, moved to 30-6 on the season and advanced to the program’s first Sweet 16 since 2018 and fourth in the last six NCAA Tournaments. The victory also marked the 10thtime that Bill Self has registered a 30-win season at Kansas and is the 2,353rd all-time victory in program history, which ties Kentucky for most ever.
Super-senior guard Remy Martin paced the Jayhawks with a season-high 20 points in 29 minutes, also adding seven rebounds and four assists. Jalen Wilson picked up his fourth double-double of the season in the win over the ninth-seeded Bluejays, with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Martin paced the Jayhawks in a back-and-forth first half with 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the floor. By the halftime break, he was just one point away from his season high of 17 points, with Kansas leading by one.
Trailing 13-9 just more than five minutes into the game, Martin got himself on the scoresheet for the first time when he hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Ochai Agbaji to close the gap to one. A little more than a minute later, trailing 16-14, Martin hit another 3-pointer to give Kansas a lead it would hold for the next six-plus minutes.
Jalen Wilson and Christian Braun then converted on back-to-back layups to push the lead to five. After a Creighton bucket, Martin scored again on a layup to push it back to five. Creighton continued to punch back at Kansas as the Bluejays were hot from deep.
Creighton finished the first half 8-for-15 from 3-point range in the first half and started 8 of 12. The Bluejays had three players – Alex O’Connell, Ryan Hawkins and Arthur Kaluma – with multiple 3-pointers in the half. But Martin always had an answer for Creighton, scoring eight of Kansas’s final 10 points of the half, including a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left to put Kansas up 39-38 at half.
In the second half, Wilson got the Jayhawks on the board with a layup, before a 3-pointer from O’Connell knotted things up at 41. Fourteen-seconds later, Agbaji hit a jumper to put Kansas up 43-41 with 18:34 to play, and the Jayhawks never gave up that lead.
The Bluejays managed to keep the deficit within single digits for the entirety of the second half. When Jalen Coleman-Lands hit a 3-pointer with 8:28 left to put Kansas up 66-57, it marked the largest lead of the game and second half for the Jayhawks.
But Creighton chipped away, getting the deficit all the way down to one when Keyshawn Feazell hit a layup with 1:44 left to make it 73-72 in favor of the Jayhawks. Kansas, however, scored the final six points of the game, thanks to a steal and dunk from Agbaji and a pair of free throws from Martin and Wilson each.
Agbaji had 15 points and eight rebounds in the win, while Braun had 13 points and eight rebounds as Kansas outrebounded Creighton 47-31 and outscored the Bluejays 32-14 in the paint. The Jayhawks were 19 of 20 from the free throw line in the victory.
Kansas will travel to Chicago to play in the Sweet 16. The Jayhawks will face the winner of Providence and Richmond on Friday, March 25.