Buffs Find Out Why Kansas Is #1

From the opening tip-off, Colorado was playing catch-up. The Buffs didn't score a point until four minutes into the game and the Jayhawks never looked back.

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With 27 straight victories over Colorado, Kansas coach Roy Williams almost sounds apologetic.

"We have to understand that Colorado doesn't have many guys out there and we have a lot of bodies," Williams said.

He was trying to be nice, it seemed, after his top-ranked Jayhawks set a Big 12 tournament scoring record by beating Colorado 102-73 in the quarterfinals Friday.

Kirk Hinrich and Jeff Boschee helped get Kansas off to a 15-2 lead, and Williams raised his career record against Colorado to 32-1. His team's current streak against the Buffaloes dates to 1991.

Drew Gooden - the Big 12's leading scorer, rebounder and its player of the year - had just seven points at halftime but wound up with 18 for the Jayhawks (28-2), who have won 15 straight games since losing to then-No. 11 UCLA on Jan. 12.

Boschee, the Big 12's career 3-point leader, was 5-of-8 from behind the arc and finished with 21 points. Hinrich had 18. The Jayhawks went 11-for-12 at the foul line.

Colorado (15-14), which ended the season by losing six of seven games, did not make a field goal until Blair Wilson's 3-pointer from the left wing 4 minutes into the game.

After Stephane Pelle's bucket brought the Buffaloes to 37-27, the Jayhawks went on a 14-2 run, with Nick Collison scoring five points.

Kansas, which led the Big 12 in seven statistical categories and was the nation's No. 1 team in scoring (93 points) and field goal percentage (51.6), led 53-35 at halftime. The Jayhawks came out of the break with a 14-4 run, with Gooden getting four points and Hinrich hitting a 3-pointer.

"Again the best team clearly won," Colorado coach Ricardo Patton said. "They are a team that is trying to win it all. They clearly have all the pieces to win it all. An NBA scout said they might have six NBA players on their team."

The Jayhawks, who went 16-0 in regular-season conference play, topped 100 points for the school-record 11th time this season and broke the conference tournament record of 94 it set against Kansas State last year.

Pelle, who joined Gooden as the only Big 12 players to average a double-double this year, had 22 points and 12 rebounds. Michel Morandais had 19 for Colorado.

Colorado center David Harrison, who exchanged words with Kansas fans during the regular season and once said, "Kansas will get theirs," was snubbed by Gooden when the two were supposed to shake hands during pregame introductions.


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