As the saying goes, defense doesn't take a night off. At least it doesn't if you don't allow it to. On a day where Kansas watched as Missouri failed to defend Norfolk State, Kansas avoided the same fate by using a very strong defensive effort to send their 15th seeded opponent packing.
The game started slow and for a stretch in the first half it was just plain ugly, but Kansas dug in and gave Detroit problems all night on the defensive end of the floor. Detroit didn't exactly come into this game as a team expected to light the world on fire, but with Withey on the interior and the Kansas guards closing out on the perimeter, things probably went even better than some had expected.
The Titans were held to less than 32% shooting from the field in this one and below 18% from beyond the arc. That isn't a recipe for an upset and much of the credit goes to Kansas for forcing the issue in this instance. Jeff Withey recorded five blocks inside, Kansas forced 13 turnovers and grabbed 6 steals. It wasn't a herculean effort, but it was a very solid effort and the Jayhawks consistently forced Detroit into one shot, jump shot possessions.
After that the Kansas talent was just too much on the offensive end and even with Tyshawn Taylor spending most of the second half on the bench, Kansas pulled away for a comfortable win. As the tournament moves into the next phase, the same level of defensive focus will be a huge point of emphasis for Kansas every step of the way.