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Samford scare: Kansas fends off 2nd-half rally in NCAA Tournament opener

Hunter Dickinson
Nicolas Timberlake
Posted at 12:00 AM, Mar 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-22 01:00:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas men's basketball managed to hold off Samford in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament on Thursday night at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

But not before Samford erased a 22 point deficit and gave the Jayhawks all they could handle.

Kansas got off to a fast start and took a 48-38 lead over the Bulldogs into halftime.

The Jayhawks added on to their lead in the early minutes of the second half, going on a 13-2 run to take a 21 point lead with just under 17 minutes left in the game.

But the Bulldogs continued to chip away in the next few minutes to cut into the Jayhawks' lead.

With just over nine minutes left in the second half, the Bulldogs managed to get the game within 10 points.

Samford continued pressuring the Jayhawks, eventually cutting the lead to just three points with just under six minutes left in the game.

With 38 seconds left in the game, the Bulldogs cut the lead to two to make it 88-86.

Seconds later, Samford made a three-pointer to get within one.

But a controversial foul on Kansas guard Nicolas Timberlake helped the Jayhawks close out the game en route to a 93-89 victory.

Next, Kansas will take on Gonzaga in the Round of 32 on Saturday, March 23.