Ben Howland's Bruins have started the season on unsure footing. After dropping two straight at home to Loyola Marymount and Middle Tennessee, UCLA was finally able to find its way into the win column with a 92-60 win over host Chaminade in yesterday's first-round action.
Bill Self's Jayhawks found their way back to the win column on Monday as well, with a 67-63 decision over Georgetown. Kansas is now 2-1 on the young season after opening the year with a 100-54 pasting of Towson, followed by a 75-65 loss to Kentucky in New York City last week.
UCLA holds a 10-6 series advantage over Kansas, but the Jayhawks have won the last two meetings, including a thrilling 77-76 decision in Lawrence last season.
The Bruins struggled early on against Chaminade and led the Silverswords by only two points at halftime, 40-38. UCLA took over after that however, draining 19-of-33 shots after the break (.576) to run away with a 32-point victory. Five Bruins finished in double figures in the win, led by Lazeric Jones' 19 points. Jerime Anderson was right behind with 18 points, followed by Tyler Lamb, Joshua Smith and Travis Wear with 15, 12 and 11 points, respectively. On the season, UCLA is averaging 72.0 ppg on a pedestrian .432 shooting. Wear and Smith pace the team with 10.7 ppg apiece and are also the Bruins' top rebounders to date at 6.7 and 7.0 rpg, respectively.
It certainly didn't come easy, but Kansas was able to get by Georgetown in first-round action on Monday, thanks in large part to Thomas Robinson's double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds. Tyshawn Taylor poured in 16 points in support, while Travis Releford finished with 10. The Jayhawks shot .471 from the field overall and were able to keep the Hoyas at arm's length by converting 50 percent in the second half. Taylor and Robinson have been a potent one-two punch in the early stages this season. Taylor leads the Jayhawks at 16.7 ppg, followed closely by Robinson's 16.3 ppg. Robinson has also dominated on the boards to the tune of 11.7 rpg.