Sommerville, Bradley bounce Kansas in first round
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Most of these Kansas kids didn't have
much to do with the "Bucknell Bummer." Now they have one to call
Marcellus Sommerville scored 21 points and made five 3-pointers,
and 13th-seeded Bradley handed the fourth-seeded Jayhawks their
second straight first-round NCAA Tournament exit with a 77-73
victory Friday night.
The Braves made 11 3s to pick up their first NCAA Tournament
victory in 20 years and advance to play fifth-seeded Pittsburgh in
the second round of the Oakland Regional on Sunday.
Unlike a year ago, when Wayne Simien missed a 15-footer at the
buzzer to give 14th-seeded Bucknell an improbable victory, Kansas
looked unprepared and overwhelmed from the start in this one.
The Braves (21-10) led by 14 with 15:38 to go, but let the
Jayhawks back in the game with three straight turnovers with around
the five minutes left. By the time the inexperienced Jayhawks
finally got acclimated to the NCAA Tournament pressure and
intensity, however, it was too late.
Mario Chalmers made a 3-pointer after one of the takeaways, a
three-point play after the second and a runner in the lane after
the final one that cut Bradley's lead to 65-62 with 3:45 to play.
But the Jayhawks (25-8) committed three of their 18 turnovers
down the stretch, and Jeff Hawkins missed an open 3-pointer in the
corner that would have tied it with a minute to play.
"I'm mad," said Chalmers, one of three freshmen starting for
Kansas. "We should've been better prepared for this game. We were
nervous and took a while to adjust."
Will Franklin, who added 14 points, hit two free throws and
broke free for a wide open layup, and the Braves sealed the stunner
at the free throw line for their first NCAA victory since a win
over UTEP in 1986.
"There's a lot of people smiling tonight," Bradley coach Jim
Chalmers scored eight of his 15 points in the final five minutes
for Kansas, which has lost in the first round in back-to-back
seasons for the first time in school history.
As the horn sounded, the thousands of red-clad Bradley faithful
who made the trip from Peoria, Ill., chanted "B-U! B-U!" and
"M-V-C! M-V-C!" in homage to the maligned Missouri Valley
The tournament selection committee was criticized for giving the
mid-major conference four bids, the same as the ACC, Big 12 and Pac
10. But with Wichita State's convincing win over Seton Hall on
Thursday, the little guys went 2-2 in the first round.
"People always say the Big 12 is better, but I think we showed
that the MVC can hang with the big boys," said Bradley's 7-foot
center Patrick O'Bryant, who had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Things looked ominous from the start for the Jayhawks. They
turned the ball over seven times in the first six minutes and fell
The Jayhawks chipped away at the lead from the free-throw line,
eventually taking a 27-26 lead with 4:12 to go in the opening half.
That would be their last lead of the game.
The resilient Braves responded by closing the half on an 11-0
run. When Franklin's 30-foot heave at the buzzer banked in for a
37-27 halftime lead, there was a feeling in the air that
14th-seeded Northwestern State's buzzer-beating thriller over
third-seeded Iowa wouldn't be the only upset at The Palace on
Sommerville seemingly had an answer for everything Kansas came
with, and he scored five straight points after Kansas pulled within
"The last three to four weeks of the season, he has put us on
his back, and our team rallies around him," Les said.
The Jayhawks played like they've never been here before, and
most of them haven't. With three freshmen and two sophomores in the
starting lineup, the Jayhawks had played beyond their years in
winning 15 of 16 games and the Big 12 tournament championship.
But on the biggest stage, the Kansas kids did what kids often do
-- they forced things, tried to do too much and turned the ball
"This is a situation that we've never been in before, starting
freshmen and sophomores, and we're going to learn from it," said
coach Bill Self, who fell to 3-3 in the NCAA Tournament at Kansas.
"We'll get better."
Russell Robinson scored 18 points for Kansas, but all too often
came up empty on wild drives to the basket. Brandon Rush, the Big
12 freshman of the year, scored just nine points on 4-of-14
"There's no excuse for what happened," said Julian Wright,
another Kansas freshman. "As a team, our focus just wasn't
The victory punctuated a remarkable turnaround for Bradley,
which started the conference season at 2-4, but rallied with seven
victories in its last eight games to earn its first NCAA bid since
"The locker room was pretty subdued and business as usual,"
Les said. "We want to be proud, but there's still work to be
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2022-23 Big 12 Conference Standings