After a difficult first-round NCAA Tournament victory against Nebraska, the Kansas women face a team they have never seen before, but a name they cannot escape. Junior forward Elena Delle Donne leads the Delaware Blue Hens as the top scorer in the nation.
Kansas, 20-12, and Delaware, 31-1, will tip off at 8:30 p.m. today. This game will be Kansas’ first appearance in the second round since 1999 and the first for Delaware in program history.
Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson compared Delle Donne to a range of players from Baylor’s Brittney Griner to NBA star Kevin Durant. Delle Donne scores in the post, but also shoots and makes three-pointers.
In third-seeded Delaware’s 73-42 victory against Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday, Delle Donne scored 39 points and shot 14 of 27 from the field. She hit five of eight three-point attempts and six of seven free throws. She also added 11 rebounds and three blocks in only 30 minutes.
“There are a lot of great coaches in that league,” Henrickson said, “and there are a lot of great coaches on their schedule who did a lot of different things to try and stop her and it didn’t work, so it’s a challenge.”
Senior forward Aishah Sutherland will be charged with battling Delle Donne in the post.
Delaware coach Tina Walter, is not too comfortable facing Sutherland and Kansas either though.
“Can you stop them?” Walter asked. “No. They are too good.”
Delaware is the champion of the Colonial Athletic Association and is ranked No. 8 in the country. Kansas, seeded 11th, started the season 11-1 and entered Big 12 play with a quick 4-1 start, but stumbled after losing junior forward and All-America candidate Carolyn Davis to a knee injury. The Jayhawks finished the season 2-6 after Davis’ injury, but were awarded their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2000.
When they found a man stuck underneath a car, the spirit squad members rushed over to lift the vehicle and ultimately saved the man’s life.
Heading out of their hotel to the bus that would transport them to the game at the Jack Stephens Center, the cheerleaders heard someone yelling for help in a parking lot a short distance away.
As they reached the scene, the group saw that a man was trapped underneath a Cadillac sedan. Apparently the car had been propped up on a jack but the vehicle had rolled off the support beam, trapping the man underneath. It took nine spirit squad members to lift the car and the man was able to crawl out.