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Kansas Jayhawks reach men’s Final Four with win over Miami

Kansas' Remy Martin reacts during the second half of a college basketball game in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Chicago.
Charles Rex Arbogast
/
AP
Kansas' Remy Martin reacts during the second half of a college basketball game in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Chicago.

It’s the first time the team is headed to the Final Four since 2018, and an off-season transfer was the final piece to the Jayhawks’ success.

Remy Martin’s performance in Kansas University’s postseason turned into what everyone who follows Jayhawks basketball had been waiting for.

The senior’s performance is a big reason why they’re going to the Final Four for the 16th time in program history. Martin was voted the region’s Most Outstanding Player after the Jayhawks’ 76-50 win over the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday.

“Obviously, it feels great,” said Martin after the game. “But it’s really my teammates and coaches just sticking with me through ups and downs.”

Martin wasn’t exactly a secret weapon for the Jayhawks in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, because his transfer from Arizona State as a three-time All-Pac 12 player was one of the higher profile moves in the country last year.

But after starting the first 10 games this season, Martin was slowed by a bone bruise injury in his right knee, which in turn slowed his production. He scored in double figures in eight of the first 10 games he played at KU, but didn’t reach double-figure scoring again until the Jayhawks’ semifinal game in the Big 12 tournament when he scored 10 points against Texas Christian University.

Against Miami in the regional final, Martin scored only nine but provided a spark off the bench. In the NCAA regional semifinal against Providence two days earlier on Friday, Martin scored a season-high 23.

“We shared the league (regular season Big 12 title) without having the opportunity to play Remy,” said Jayhawks coach Bill Self. “I think Remy, in his core, always knew what he was capable to do to help us, but we hadn’t really seen it yet because his health hadn’t allowed it.”

KU (32-6), the highest remaining seed in the tournament, is advancing to its first Men’s Final Four since 2018 and will play Villanova in one of Saturday’s semifinals.

Copyright 2022 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Ever since he set foot on the baseball diamond at Fernwood Park on Chicago's South Side, Greg Echlin began a love affair with the world of sports. After graduating from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, he worked as a TV sports anchor and a radio sportscaster in Salina, Kansas. He moved to Kansas City in 1984 and has been there since covering sports. Through the years, he has covered multiple Super Bowls, Final Fours and Major League Baseball's World Series and All-Star games.