In a closely contested matchup, No. 4 Kansas initially kept pace with No. 5 Gonzaga, even managing to secure a narrow 44-43 lead at halftime. However, the Jayhawks struggled to maintain their momentum in the second half, allowing the Bulldogs to surge ahead and ultimately end Kansas’ season with a decisive 89-68 victory in Salt Lake City.

Postgame, redshirt senior guard Dajuan Harris Jr. reflected on the game, expressing initial optimism at halftime. He stressed the importance of defensive stops, aligning with the coach’s assessment of the game as a shootout, believing that tightening up defensively could have altered the outcome in their favor.

Gonzaga’s offensive prowess was evident, shooting an impressive 60% from the field and 53% from three-point range. Graduate forward Anton Watson led the scoring with 21 points, closely followed by junior guard Nolan Hickman, who contributed 17 points.

Head coach Bill Self expressed disappointment after the game, highlighting the complete absence of any signs of slowing down Gonzaga’s offense.

Senior center Hunter Dickinson led Kansas in scoring with 15 points, shooting 6-for-15 from the field, while Harris recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.

Despite the disappointment, Dickinson cherished the opportunity to represent the program on such a stage and expressed gratitude for the experience. However, Kansas struggled in the second half, with their shooting percentages plummeting to 27% from the field and 18% from beyond the arc.

Gonzaga’s early dominance in the frontcourt set the tone, but Kansas found momentum through freshman guard Johnny Furphy’s efforts, igniting a 13-4 run to briefly take the lead. However, Gonzaga responded with a 9-1 run to regain control.

The game remained tightly contested until Gonzaga’s surge in the second half, fueled by a 15-0 run that left Kansas trailing by a significant margin. Despite late contributions from Kansas’ freshmen players, Gonzaga maintained control, sealing a blowout victory and advancing in the tournament.

With a Round of 32 exit, Kansas concludes the season with a 23-11 record, marking the second consecutive year they have been eliminated in the second round of the tournament.

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