Kansas comes in at the #2 seed in the south while EKU is the #15 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Kansas (24-9, Big 12 conference) and head coach Bill Self will be without center Joel Embiid who had shown remarkable progress throughout the regular season. Joel had led the team in rebounds (8.1) and blocked shots (2.6) before being injured. It is said that Embiid may be able to return by the second week of the tournament (if they make it that far). Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins leads the Jayhawks in points (16.8) and steals (1.2) and we be leaned on heavily throughout the tournament. He is also 2nd in blocked shots (0.9) and 3rd in rebounds (5.9). Forward Perry Ellis has been a solid contributor this season scoring 13.2 points per game (2nd on team) and grabbing 6.4 rebounds per game (also 2nd on team).
Eastern Kentucky University (24-9), the players and their fans are still riding high as they upset top-seeded Belmont to win the Ohio Valley Conference and secure the conferences only NCAA berth. EKU and head coach Jeff Neubauer are led by senior guard Glenn Cosey who leads the team in points and assists (18.8 and 4.3 per game respectively). They also get a lot of production from junior guard Corey Walden (13.2 pts., 2.1 stl. And 2.9 ast. per game) and junior forward Eric Stutz who leads the team in rebounds (4.6), blocked shots (0.7) and field goal percentage (65.5%).
The first half started out with Eastern guard Glenn Cosey hitting two three’s within the first 3 minutes. Eastern relied on their outside shooting and free throws to lead most of the half. Cosey led all scorers with 14 points. Eastern hit 9-11 free throws for 81.8%.
Kansas on the other hand, started out slow and had issues with turnovers as they compiled 13 by the end of the half. The only thing that saved Kansas was their ability to hit the shots that they took and their dominance on the boards.. They ended the half shooting 66.7% and out rebounded Eastern, 19-8. Andrew Wiggins led Kansas with 10 points and Perry Ellis added 9.
At the half, the game was tied 32-32.
Late in the second half Kansas started to pull away and two of the big guys started to dominate on the inside. Jamari Traylor grabbed a rebound off of a missed free throw and dunked it to put Kansas up by 3 and they would never look back. Traylor finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Tarik Black added 12. Andrew Wiggins had 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Eastern put up a heck of a fight but just couldn’t handle Kansas on the glass as they were out-rebounded, 17-42. Glenn Cosey finished with 17 points but took some ill-advised shots late in the game. Eric Stulz finished with 15 points and 4 rebounds and Tarius Johnson finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
Kansas won, 80- 69.