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To hear Kansas coach Roy Williams tell it, his Jayhawks only needed to play about six minutes to knock off BYU.

(Gee, coach, it looked harder than that.) Kansas (27-6) scored a 90-76 victory over the Cougars (25-9) here Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Regional. The region's No. 2 seed used a 23-4 run in the final minutes to put away the 7th-seeded Cougs, who apparently hadn't realized that up to that point, they had just been toyed with.With 7:42 left in the game and the score tied, 62-all, Williams told his team during a timeout, "We are going to start playing right now."

As he explained later, "Up to that point, we hadn't played the way we were capable of playing."

(Heck, Roy, if that was all it took, why didn't you say that in the first half? Or in your pre-game address?)

It evidently took a while for Williams' words to sink in, because three minutes later the Jayhawks were behind, 68-67.

From that point, though, Kansas played like a Final Four team. Adonis Jordan nailed a 3-pointer from the left side, putting KU up by two. Nick Sanderson - who had kept BYU in the game with his 3-point shooting - missed a three on the other end, and Kansas answered with a Steve Woodberry three.

"Toward the end I got tired," said Sanderson, who made 6 of 15 threes and finished with 24 points. "My legs started feeling a little dead."

Then came what the BYU folks said was "a big call" (translation: bad call). Cougar Jared Miller was whistled for pushing away Patrick Richey. Without the call, Miller has a layup and BYU is within three. With the call, Richey makes both free throws and BYU is down by seven.

"That really hurt us," Reid said.

"There was that big call, and then the momentum swung toward them," said BYU center Gary Trost, who had 12 points and six rebounds.

Sanderson followed that up with another missed 3-pointer, Richey made two more free throws, and the rout was on.

"Teams that can execute in the last four minutes are usually successful, and they did a better job of that than we did," Reid said.

For that matter, Kansas executed better than BYU for most of the game. The Jayhawks shot 50.9 percent from the field, to BYU's 45.3, and committed 10 turnovers to BYU's 21.

That the Cougars were even in the game with four minutes left is a testament to their defense and rebounding. They outboarded KU, 36-27, and surprised them by playing a zone defense.

"Our matchup zone did give them trouble," Reid said.

"They haven't played zone as much the entire season as they did today," Williams noted.

Of course, Kansas did some good things defensively, too. Much quicker than the Cougs (as Reid says: Who isn't?), they mixed up their defenses, playing zone, man and sometimes a three-quarter press.

In that final run, the Jayhawks' defense was the difference. In one 90-second stretch, for instance, Kansas forced BYU point guard Randy Reid to commit three turnovers on three possessions.

"The key to the ballgame was their defensive pressure," coach Reid said. "They forced us out of doing the things we like to do."

Yeah, like shooting. The Cougars had a hard time getting the shots they like, close to the basket - most of their turnovers seemed to come on passes into the paint. That resulted in Sanderson's getting open outside, which worked until he went cold and missed four of his last five shots.

Williams agreed with Reid that defensive pressure was the key, adding that the reason his team was able to maintain the pressure was that they "were fresher down the stretch." Eight Jayhawks played double-figure minutes, as opposed to six Cougars, prompting some to wonder why Reid didn't play more guys.

That makes sense in theory, but in reality, Kansas' bench is a lot deeper, a lot more talented, than the Cougar bench. Which is one reason why Kansas is a perennial Top 10 pick, why they advance this far so often it has become ho-hum (like last year, when they ho-hummed their way to a loss to UTEP).

Still, the Cougars surprised everyone in the arena by coming back from a 10-point halftime deficit. After keeping the score close for the first 17 minutes, they allowed the Jayhawks to go on a 10-1 run over the final three minutes of the half to go ahead 45-35.

Ah, yes, everyone nodded sagely. Now we are seeing the real Kansas. Now this team of old guys from the lowly WAC will fade quietly into hoop oblivion.

But the Cougars still had some life, going on 10-2 and 9-0 runs in the second half to take a 62-60 lead with 8:29 left.

And then, of course, Williams made his speech about playing like Jayhawks, etc., etc., so BYU gets to go home while Kansas advances to the Sweet 16 to play the winner of the Duke-Cal game, Thursday in St. Louis.

Besides Sanderson and Trost, the other Cougars in double figures were Miller, with 13 points (and 10 boards), and Russell Larson, with 10 points. Trost led the team in assists, with eight.

For Kansas, guard Rex Walters made 9 of 15 shots for 28 points; Steve Woodberry scored 14; Adonis Jordan and Patrick Richey each added 13; and Eric Pauley chipped in 12.

GAMES NOTES: Kurt Christensen pulled an abdominal muscle in the first half and couldn't return.