Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks secured their 20th Big 12 Conference championship in 26 years on Saturday, topping No. 21 Texas 70-63 in an overtime thriller at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks improved to 25-6 on the season and 14-4 in Big 12 Conference play. Texas dropped to 21-10 and 10-8 in the league. The win secured a share of the conference championship for Kansas, who will split it with Baylor. However, Kansas will be the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Conference Tournament this week in Kansas City.
Courtney Ramey of Texas hit one of two free throws with 51 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 57. Following a turnover by both teams, the Jayhawks got the ball with 15 seconds left, but a Jalen Coleman-Lands jumper went in right after the buzzer to force overtime and keep the game knotted at 57.
In overtime, Texas struck first with a pair of free throws to go up two, but Ochai Agbaji tied it up with two free throws of his own at 59. Following a bucket from Dylan Disu to go up two, Agbaji hit a layup to tie it back up with 2:37 to play.
The Jayhawks never trailed again. David McCormack, who finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his conference-leading ninth double-double of the season, hit two free throws to put Kansas up two. Jalen Wilson then hit two free throws with 1:02 left to put Kansas up four. Timmy Allen hit two free throws to cut it to two.
But McCormack hit a dunk off a pass from Agbaji to go up four and then the Jayhawks hit three of four free throws down the stretch to secure the 70-63 win. No. 6/7 Kansas held Texas to 1 of 9 shooting from the floor and 0-for-4 from 3-point range. On the flip side, Kansas was 2 of 3 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
The game featured 16 lead changes and 14 ties, with neither team ever leading by more than seven, which was the final deficit.
The first half was back-and-forth throughout. Neither team led by more than six points, which was Texas’ largest lead of the half. The largest lead by Kansas was four. There were five ties and four lead changes by the time Kansas took a 35-33 lead into the locker room.
Wilson was hot in the first half, with 13 points and seven rebounds. His seven rebounds led all players in the first half, and he was the only Jayhawk in double figures at the halftime break. Texas was hot from deep in the first half, knocking down five of eight attempts from 3-point range.
It stayed tight throughout the second half, setting up the late-game drama to force the extra period. The second half alone featured 10 lead changes and seven ties. Texas never led by more than two in the second half.
Kansas had three players with double-doubles. Joining McCormack was Wilson with 17 points and 13 rebounds and Christian Braun with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Agbaji had eight points and six rebounds.
Courtney Ramey led Texas with 18 points and seven rebounds in 40 minutes.
The Jayhawks will travel to Kansas City for the Big 12 Tournament. First round play begins Thursday at the T Mobile Center.