Frank Mason III scored 22 points and had eight assists as top-seeded Kansas won its opening game of the NCAA Tournament for an 11th straight year with a 100-62 victory over UC Davis on Friday night.
Freshman Josh Jackson, making his return after a one-game suspension for an accumulation of embarrassing incidents, added 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting for the Jayhawks (29-5).
The win ensures top seeds will remain perfect since the tournament expanded, with the schools now 132-0 against No. 16 seeds.
Five players finished in double figures for Kansas, with Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonte’ Graham adding 16 points each and Landen Lucas 13.
Chima Moneke scored 20 points to lead the 16th-seeded Aggies (23-13), who were in their first NCAA Tournament. Brynton Lemar added 17 and Siler Schneider 10 in the loss.
The last time Kansas lost an opening-round game of the NCAA Tournament was as a No. 4 seed in 2006 to a Bradley team led by current UC Davis coach Jim Les.
Despite Les’ experience and past success as a lower seed against the Jayhawks, the weary Aggies – two days removed from winning their First Four game in Dayton – began to fade midway through the first half against a rested Kansas team.
The Jayhawks hadn’t played in eight days since losing to TCU in the Big 12 Conference Tournament quarterfinals, and they closed the half on a 29-7 run to lead 50-28.
Kansas: Bill Self, Josh Jackson and Landon Lucas
UC Davis: Head Coach Jim Les
Postgame reaction from the KU locker room:
Frank Mason III