U-G-L-Y

Survive and advance? Check. Make it look difficult? Check. Make Langford look like the budding star that he is? Check. Kansas beats Utah State 64-61 in Oklahoma City to open the NCAA Tournament.

It wasn't pretty, in fact, it was flat out UGLY. A struggling Jayhawk team took the floor against Utah State on Thursday evening, and seemingly couldn't get their offense on track. Kansas itched to run, yet the Jayhawks were throttled by an effective zone defense employed by Utah State.

Kansas seemingly blew the game open, jumping to a 30-17 lead on a Kirk Hinrich 3-pointer with just over 6:00 left in the first half. However, Utah State had other had no intention of rolling over, as they fought back to a 34-30 halftime deficit. You read that right. 30-17 turned into 34-30 at the half. (We told you it was ugly.)

Bright Spots

All wasn't doom and gloom. Sophomore guard Keith Langford took the team on his back and finessed his way to the basket repeatedly, finishing with 22 points on 9 of 19 shooting from the field - playing a whopping 30 minutes in the contest.

Senior Nick Collison turned in a steady performance, adding 18 points and seven boards.

The Not-So-Bright Spots

Rebounding. Utah State outrebounded Kansas 30-27, grabbing four more offensive boards than did the Jayhawks. Huh?

Kirk Hinrich couldn't seemingly get open all night, and he finished with only eight points on 3-7 shooting from the field. Hinrich also never shot a free throw during the course of the game. Huh?

If it weren't for the effort of Langford and Collison, this one would have sent the guys home way too early.

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