Early-season losses to Washington and Arizona State, the latter at the usually impregnable Allen Fieldhouse, were the proof this Kansas team might finally be the one not to win a Big 12 title. But in his final 15, DeVoe came alive.
Tip-off is set for 4:05 p.m. central time on CBS.
There have been numerous takes on this season's Jayhawks.
The victory, which looked like it was going to be easy (KU led by 20 early in the second half), turned out to be hard as the Tigers cut the gap to six points with 2:27 left and four with 14.5 to play.
Kansas wasn't as effective in turning points into turnovers - 12 points from turnovers, compared to Clemson's 14.
Businesses, big and small, have survived their own version of March Madness - or better put, March Distractions - as the NCAA Tournament has completed its workday rounds for another year. That was proven true in the first half Friday night.
The only 1-seed against a 2-seed we'll see in this NCAA Tournament has a chance to be the best game of the year, if the experts are right.
On Friday, it was the Jayhawks who were blessed by Azubuike's presence. He did it once in his first 20 games this season. He had seven rebounds in each game too.
"It set the tone for me", said Coach K, who has two freshmen, Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr., who will likely be National Basketball Association lottery picks later this spring. "But he got angles today". Azubuike went to work against shot blocking-ace Elijah Thomas and the rest of Clemson's frontline, shrewdly working the post for his own buckets or kickouts to shooters.
"I felt like we gave it everything we had", Carter said.
Malik Newman led the Jayhawks (30-7) with 17 points in a one-time runaway that got much closer and, quite frankly, won't mean much to Kansas fans if their team can't finish the job in the Midwest Region final Sunday.
"You go through that hump, or whatever it is, just trying to learn the system, learn how Coach wants you to play, and you've got to learn how to pick and choose when you shoot the ball and things like that". Silvio De Sousa knocked down the free throws, Lagerald Vick buried a 3 and Kansas cruised into halftime ahead 40-27. "I think we'll come out ready". "Fortunately, it never got to one possession".
KU (30-7), which has fallen short the past two seasons, losing to Villanova and OR as the No. 1 seed in consecutive Elite Eight contests, got 14 points and 11 rebounds in 25 foul-plagued minutes from a seemingly healthy Udoka Azubuike. Vick, Newman and Graham then opened the second half with 3s to extend the lead to 20.
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. The Blue Devils fouled rather than let Syracuse go for a game-tying 3, and Tyus Battle only made one of two from the line.
Clemson trailed 62-42 midway through the second half, but climbed to within six with 2:27 left.
Third time's the charm?
"Bump time spent to two hours", he said, "and the tournament could cost employers almost $5 billion in wages paid to distracted, unproductive workers".