OMAHA, NE -- From rim-rattling dunks to 3s that barely rippled the net, Kansas looked every bit like a No. 1 seed that's determined to end its frustration in the NCAA tournament.
One down, five to go.
With Brandon Rush scoring 18 points and everyone else in blue having a blast, Kansas romped to an 85-61 victory over a Portland State team that got quite a hazing in its first NCAA tournament appearance Thursday.
"This is the part of the season where everyone has to be clicking on all cylinders," senior guard Russell Robinson said. "We're doing a great job of that so far."
Less than 4 minutes into the game, the Jayhawks already had three dunks - two of them by Darrell Arthur, another by Darnell Jackson. They would spend most of the afternoon playing above the rim, while their overmatched opponents were stuck below it.
"We're going to get better with every game," Jackson vowed.
Kansas' five seniors and Rush, a junior star who might be headed to the NBA, are determined to go out in style after some bitter disappointments in the tournament.
The Jayhawks still remember being knocked off two straight years in the opening round, losing stunners to 14th-seeded Bucknell in 2005 and No. 13 Bradley in '06. Last year, they were within one victory of the Final Four but lost to UCLA in the regional finals. This season, they won't be satisfied unless they're cutting down the nets in San Antonio.
Well, Kansas (32-3) is off to a good start in the Midwest Regional. No 16th-seeded team has ever beaten a No. 1, and Portland State never had a chance in this one.
"I thought we'd have some first-game jitters," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "But all in all, I thought we played pretty well."
The Jayhawks advanced to face either UNLV or Kent State in the second round Saturday. They'll have some new fans from the West Coast cheering them on.
"I told B-Rush to win it for us so it doesn't look so bad," Portland State's Dupree Lucas said with a laugh. "Those guys were cool. It wasn't like they were out there trash talking or anything."
Kansas led all the way against the overmatched Vikings (23-10), who got in the 65-team field by winning the Big Sky tournament. Portland State competed hard and had a few moments they'll remember for a lifetime - such as Deonte Huff stuffing Jackson's shot on the inside - but the 22-point underdogs simply didn't have enough weapons to cope with the size, depth and skill of a Big 12 powerhouse.
The Vikings' predicament was epitomized by their best player, 5-foot-6 Jeremiah Dominguez. He was smothered by Kansas' bigger guards and had trouble even getting a look at the basket. He was overmatched at the defensive end as well, at one point finding himself matched up with Rush, who's a foot taller and 55 pounds heavier.
Dominguez did lead the Portland State with 13 points, but Alex Tiefenthaler was his only teammate in double figures with 10. The Vikings shot just 38 percent (21 of 55) from the field and turned it over 16 times.
"This is definitely an experience I'll cherish," said Tiefenthaler, a sophomore. "It's a first for me and hopefully not a last. We want to come back next year ... hopefully get a higher seed and get a win, maybe two."
Kansas made 54 percent on 33-of-61 shooting, including 12 of 25 from 3-point range. Arthur had 17 points, Mario Chalmers 16 and Jackson 10. Ten players scored for the Jayhawks.
Kansas had a double-digit lead before the game was 5 minutes old, going up 13-3 on Arthur's jumper. With a little over 2 minutes left in the half, the Jayhawks pushed the margin to 20 for the first time on one of Rush's four 3-pointers, which made it 44-24.
"Not that they didn't have a chance," Self said, trying to be as diplomatic as possible, "but when we got up 13-3, I think our guys felt pretty good about themselves."
Not everything went Kansas' way. With the clock running down on the first half, Chalmers grabbed a loose ball and launched a 60-footer that caught the backboard and rim but bounced away as the predominantly Jayhawks crowd let out a collective, "Ooooooh." Their team had to settle for a 49-26 lead at the break.
The stat sheet shows Kansas' total domination in the opening 20 minutes. They hit 18-of-28 (64 percent) shots from the field - four of them dunks, eight of them coming from outside the stripe in 13 attempts. Rush had 15 points, Chalmers 10 and two other players, Arthur and Sherron Collins, were on the cusp of double figures with nine each.
Portland State made just 10 of 25 shots in the opening period and turned it over 10 times. Everyone in the Vikings' starting lineup had at least one turnover by halftime.
The second half was academic, though Kansas got a chance to have more fun. Jackson muscled inside for two more jams, giving him three on the day, and Sasha Kaun got one, too. It's not an official stat, but in case you were wondering: The Jayhawks had seven dunks overall, though Arthur missed one and an alley-oop pass failed on another high-flying attempt.
Portland State coach Ken Bone, who figured his team had to be close with 10 minutes left to have any chance, instead looked up to find the Vikings down by 25 at that point.
After J.R. Moore put up an airball, Bone covered his eyes with his hands.
"Those guys are pretty big compared to the people in our league," Portland State's Andre Murray said. "And they're a team. They've been together two, three, four years. They all move the ball pretty good, and that gave us a lot of trouble."