clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Las Vegas Invitational: Arizona Meets #6 Kansas For Tournament Title

GAME NOTES: Two undefeated teams clash in the final round of the Las Vegas Invitational this evening, as the sixth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks and the Arizona Wildcats meet up at Orleans Arena.

The Jayhawks may have turned over a great deal of talent from last year, but Bill Self's squad certainly looks loaded once again. The team has jumped out of the gates with a 5-0 record thus far, winning all five games in impressive fashion, including a 98-41 waxing of Ohio University in semifinal action on Friday.

Sean Miller's Wildcats are also boasting of a 5-0 mark thus far and although the competition hasn't exactly been top-notch, Arizona has cruised to its unblemished mark thus far, winning all five games by 23 points or more. The team advanced to tonight's title game with an 82-59 rout of Santa Clara.

Kansas holds a 7-4 edge in the all-time series with Arizona. Five of the 11 matchups have come at neutral sites, with three of the meetings taking place in the NCAA Tournament.

Derrick Williams and Solomon Hill were dominant in the frontcourt, combining for 42 points, in Arizona's 23-point romp over Santa Clara on Friday. Williams led the offensive charge with 22 points, with Hill right behind him at 20. Kevin Parrom and Jamelle Horne got in the act as well, chipping in with 12 points apiece. Williams has been explosive in the early stages of the season, converting 66 percent of his shots en route to a hefty 19.8 pg. He is also tops on the team in rebounding (7.2 rpg). Hill is shooting an even better 67.9 percent from the floor, will averaging 11.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per outing.

Junior forward Marcus Morris was simply too much for Ohio to handle, as he tied his career-high with 26 points, leading Kansas to a lopsided win over the Bobcats and propelling them into tonight's title game. Redshirt freshman Travis Releford added 13 points to the cause, while Marcus' brother Markief chipped in with 11 points. The Jayhawks were able to turn up the heat defensively on the Bobcats as well, holding them to a season-low 23.7 percent shooting effort and forcing 22 turnovers, which were converted into 33 points. The Morris brothers have been quite the duo in the early going. Marcus is shooting a ridiculous 70.2 percent from the floor, leading to a team-high 19.6 ppg. Markief isn't as explosive a scorer (11.8 ppg), but has dominated on the glass (10.6 rpg). Thomas Robinson has been a strong contributor off the bench with 10.0 ppg).

There is really no arguing the fact that Kansas represents Arizona's toughest challenge to date. The Wildcats are a nice team off to a good start, but may lack the overall depth to get the job done against one of the nation's premier programs.

GAME NOTES: Two undefeated teams clash in the final round of the Las Vegas Invitational this evening, as the sixth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks and the Arizona Wildcats meet up at Orleans Arena.

FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (7,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Arizona 4-0, Kansas 4-0. Away Record: Arizona 0-0, Kansas 0-0. Neutral Record: Arizona 1-0, Kansas 1-0. Conference Record: Arizona 0-0, Kansas 0-0. Series Record: Kansas leads, 7-4.

Kansas 84, Arizona 70