TULSA, OK - MARCH 18: Markieff Morris #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts to a play against the Boston University Terriers during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

NCAA Tournament: Kansas Advances To Sweet 16 With 73-59 Win Over Illinois

Kansas booked its spot in the Sweet 16 with a 73-59 win over Illinois on Sunday night.

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NCAA Bracket Update, Kansas Vs. Illinois: Jayhawks Advance To Sweet 16 With 73-59 Win

Illinois hung around, but any chance of an upset faded as the Kansas Jayhawks took the game over midway through the second half. To their credit, the Fightin’ Illini hung tough with No. 1 seed Kansas, trailing by only four at the half and hanging around for much of the game before falling to the Jayhawks, 73-59. Markieff Morris was too much in the end as Illinois had no answer for the talented forward.

Morris finished with a double-double, scoring a game-high 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. His twin brother, Marcus Morris, also had a double-double, finishing with 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Tyshawn Taylor finished in double-figures, as well, with 12 points.

Mike Davis led the way for Illinois with 17 points. Mike Tisdale was also in double-figures, finishing with 14 points. Tisdale had a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with his 13 points.

Kansas moves on to face No. 12 seed Richmond in the Sweet 16 next week. Here’s a look at the Southwest region of the bracket. Be sure to check out our 2011 NCAA Tournament printable bracket  for a full look at the field.

No. 1 Kansas def. No. 9 Illinois Fighting Illini,
No. 12 Richmond Spiders def. No. 13 Morehead St. Eagles, 65-48
No. 12 VCU Rams def. No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers, 94-76
No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 10 Florida State Seminoles

For more on this game, KU fans should visit Rock Chalk Talk, SB Nation Kansas City, and Big 12 Hoops; and Illini fans should join Hail To The Orange and BT Powerhouse.

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NCAA Tournament Scores: Kansas, Illinois Score Tight At Halftime

No. 9 Illinois is hanging with No. 1 Kansas in the game that will decide the second-to-last Sweet Sixteen spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks took a 33-29 lead into halftime in San Antonio, with a Friday matchup against Richmond on the line.

Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris have combined for 15 points and 10 rebounds, with Tyshawn Taylor adding in seven. Mike Davis leads the Illini with seven points and three boards, and Mike Tisdale has added four offensive boards for Illinois. 

Kansas has outshot Illinois, 54 percent to 39 percent, but hasn't been able to fire off quite as many shots. D.J. Richardson's three steals has helped to curb a number of Kansas possessions.

For more on this game, KU fans should visit Rock Chalk TalkSB Nation Kansas City, and Big 12 Hoops; and Illini fans should join Hail To The Orange and BT Powerhouse.

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NCAA Bracket 2011: No. 2 Notre Dame Vs. No. 10 Florida State

Sure, Kansas and Illinois are both very talented teams at the top of the Southwest Region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket. But, come on, the storyline is Bill Self's Jayhawks meeting the program he left in 2003, only to have his successor, Bruce Weber, stage a faux funeral for him! Kansas vs. Illinois is one of the last Third Round games on the 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule, tipping off from Tulsa at 8:40 p.m. Eastern on TNT with Marv Albert and Steve Kerr on the call.

Kansas' problem all year has been focus. When the Jayhawks are on, they are nearly unbeatable; when they're not — and it's often — they can play ugly basketball at their opponents' level. That was also the story of Kansas' win against Boston in the second round: Kansas led by just four after a lethargic first 20 minutes, then found its afterburners and dusted the Terriers in the second half en route to a 19-point win. The key to Kansas routs like that is balance, and having four players in double figures — Marcus and Markieff Morris, Tyshawn Taylor, and Brady Morningstar — certainly helps stabilize Kansas on its more erratic days.

Illinois, meanwhile, made good on a questionable selection to the NCAA Tournament with a convincing win over UNLV in the Second Round. The Illini led by 22 at halftime and cruised to an 11-point victory, with Mike Davis and Demetri McCamey combining for 39 points. If those two can execute and shoot well against Kansas, no small task, Illinois will have a shot to upset the top seed in the Southwest Region. If not, it's hard to see Illinois winning this game without significant help from a Kansas performance consisting of firing automatic weapons into its adidas kicks.

Star Watch: McCamey is the heart of the Illini offense, but is equally adept at shooting from deep and distributing assists. One thing he might not want to do is take too many twos: McCamey shoots 45.5% from inside the arc and 45.5% from outside it, numbers that make threes a much better proposition for the dynamic guard.

Prediction: Good Kansas shows up and dispatches Illinois summarily in an 82-68 win that barely seems that close.

More Reading: SB Nation's Kansas blog Rock Chalk Talk and SB Nation Kansas City has coverage of the Jayhawks' NCAA Tournament run, while Illinois blog Hail to the Orange and SB Nation Chicago have plenty on the Illini.

Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for the East Region, West Region, Southeast Region, and Southwest Region.

Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.

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