Recap: Kansas vs. Purdue
Omaha, NE (Sports Network) - Elijah Johnson grabbed a steal and drove the length of the court for the game-winning layup with 23.3 seconds remaining as Kansas came from behind to edge an upset-minded Purdue squad, 63-60, in the Midwest Region.
"When I saw a loose ball they got control of it but with my momentum I decided to go for it," said Johnson. " I put my handout and got a hand on the ball, no contact. I was able to push it out in front of me. I started to break."
Johnson finished with a team-high 18 points, Travis Releford and Tyshawn Taylor contributed 10 apiece and Thomas Robinson donated 11 while grabbing 13 rebounds for the second-seeded Jayhawks (29-6), who will compete in the Sweet Sixteen for the second consecutive year.
Kansas will battle NC State for a spot in the Elite Eight.
Robbie Hummel netted 9-of-13 attempts from the floor, including five makes from beyond the arc, en route to 26 points, and added nine rebounds, but it was not enough for the 10th-seeded Boilermakers (22-13).
"You have to execute and we didn't," Hummel said. "I think all of the people that were at the game tonight could say the guys played as hard as they could. We just didn't have enough."
After trailing by as many as 11, Kansas took its first lead of the game at 57-56 on a trey by Johnson with 3:04 to play.
But Terone Johnson knocked down a jumper and drove for a layup to put Purdue back up by three with just over two minutes remaining. Taylor made it 60-59 with an alley-oop dunk from Elijah Johnson to set up the latter's decisive basket.
Hummel missed a three-point attempt on the Boilermakers' ensuing possession, Robinson pulled down the board and sent an outlet to Taylor, who dunked in transition for the game's final points.
Purdue did have a few seconds to attempt a game-tying heave, and Ryne Smith managed to get off a decent, if long, attempt before the buzzer sounded. But his try hit the backboard and the front of the rim before bouncing out, and the Jayhawks escaped.
On the back of precision shooting from Hummel, the Boilermakers ran out to a 19-8 advantage early in the first half. They led 36-30 at the break.Game Notes
Purdue shot 28.6 percent in the second half after posting a 54.5 percent mark in the first...Kansas held a 12-0 advantage in fastbreak points and outrebounded Purdue 44-36...The Boilermakers committed 10 turnovers to the Jayhawks' seven.