Kansas Holds Off Oklahoma in Triple OT Thriller

We knew heading into Monday night’s clash that the #1 vs. #2 narrative would be hyped up. Fans wondered if the game could possibly live up to the hype. The result? Yes…and then some. It was one of the best games I’ve ever seen.

The game started off close with back-and-forth action. Kansas made the first couple of pushes in the first half, as Perry Ellis took over the game early by scoring 11 in the first half.

Through the game’s first 14 minutes, the Jayhawks were in control. Kansas was hot from behind the arc in this sequence, and Brannen Greene nailed a three to put the Jayhawks up 32-21. Oklahoma called a timeout. Towards the end of the sequence, Wayne Selden got his second foul, sending him to the bench for the rest of the half. It wound up hurting the Jayhawks badly, as Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield immediately went off. He keyed an immediate 23-8 run over the next six minutes, including a 12-0 spurt to end the half.

Cheick Diallo played extremely well early, providing great interior defense and despite being surrounded by thee OU players, tipping a rebound to Mason that resulted in a three-point play. He also did not take a shot, which was a big reason his performance had little blemishes.

The Sooners kept the game close by cashing in at the line. They had 15 first-half free throw attempts compared to only one (!!!) for the Jayhawks. The foul disparity was 12 fouls on Kansas, 5 on Oklahoma.

This is a Kansas Jayhawks blog, so this may seem biased, but out of 12 fouls called on the Jayhawks, at least half of them seemed legitimate. The tension was mounting all half, and with three seconds to go, Allen Fieldhouse exploded. Frank Mason appeared to strip Hield, but he was called for a foul. Bill Self snapped and earned a technical foul, putting Kansas in a deeper hole and disgusting the sellout crowd.

Something that shouldn’t be overlooked: Self getting that technical so quickly probably saved Mason from getting a tech for slamming the ball down, which would have been his second personal.

In the second half, the Sooners continued their push by stretching the lead out to 11 at one point. Emotions were still high, as a double technical was called on Selden and OU’s Jordan Woodard. Kansas’ gradual comeback was highlighted by a huge block by Jamari Traylor and a dunk over two Sooners by Selden. Oklahoma led 68-60 with eight minutes left, but the Jayhawks put together an 8-0 run to tie the score at 68. The noise prompted Dick Vitale to declare, “this is the loudest basketball arena I’ve heard and I’ve been doing this for 37 years.”

From there, the game was completely, totally even.

Back and forth action continued, with Kansas obtaining its first lead since the first half on a Graham and-one layup after a steal.  Kansas led 73-72 with 3:31 left.

Woodard hit a three with 1:35 left to put the Sooners back up two, but Kansas answered quickly with an Ellis bucket to tie. After getting a defensive stop, Ellis proved his consistency by rebounding his own miss and putting it back in to put the Jayhawks up two with 38 seconds left.

Frank Mason played outstanding defense on Buddy Hield, but a foul was called and Hield shot his 13th and 14th free throws of the game. As a comparison, the entire Kansas team had six at this point. He made both. Tie again, this time at 77, with 22 seconds left.

After a Mason missed layup, a very questionable over-the-back was called on Landen Lucas. Oklahoma’s Khadeem Lattin, a 52% free throw shooter, had the opportunity to put his team in front with a one-and-one with just 0:03 left. Self nearly got his second technical and boos rained down on Allen Fieldhouse.

Lattin missed. Some would say that the ball does not and never has lied.

Overtime.

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The teams traded buckets to begin the OT, but Buddy Hield soon took over, hitting shot after shot. Kansas wouldn’t stay down, as Graham hit a deep two and Ellis nailed a three to tie the game at 86.

After a few empty possessions, it came down to one last play in overtime. Kansas ball, 2.4 seconds left. Wayne Selden. Open corner three.

Miss.

Double Overtime.

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The second OT started with Hield and Graham trading threes, followed by another bomb, this one by Woodard. Landen Lucas got fouled, made his first free throw, missed his second, grabbed the rebound, and tipped it in to tie it up once again. After both teams traded free throw makes, it was tied at 94 with two minutes remaining.

Mason misses a shot at the buzzer. Both teams are dead tired. How about another overtime?

TRIPLE OVERTIME.

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The third overtime period starts with a Wayne Selden three. He was fouled, but couldn’t convert the four-point play.

Hield hits a scoop layup to bring his point total to 43. Graham hits a free throw. Lattin ties the game at 98 with a layup of his own.

Kansas broke 100 points on a pair of free throws by Ellis, and Graham brought the Jayhawks lead up to four on two more from the stripe. After a scramble for a loose ball, Hield buried another three. He’s up to 46 points. Kansas by one.

Both teams traded layups, then Woodard hit another three. Mason is fouled, but only makes one free throw. 106-105, OU. 36 seconds left.

Hield turns the ball over and Devonte Graham is fouled on a layup. Woodard fouls out. Graham to the line to shoot two, down one.

Hits the first. Tie game.

Shoots the second. Swish. Kansas, 107-106. 11 seconds left. OU ball.

Frank Mason is guarding the inbound. He tips it straight up. He comes away with the steal. He is fouled with eight seconds remaining.

First shot: Swish. Jayhawks by two.

Second shot: the arena is so quiet, you can hear the net. Swish. Jayhawks. By three.

Hield finally misses a shot at the buzzer.

You’ll definitely be hearing the “BIFM” drop on the next episode of Inside the Paint.

Notes:

  • Perry Ellis: 27 points (11/28 FG), 13 rebounds, three assists, 53 minutes. He kept the Jayhawks in the game and played even better than what these great stats show.
  • Wayne Selden: 21 points (9/17 FG), five rebounds, and two assists in 43 minutes. He had a crazy dunk and turned anyone who wasn’t a believer (me) into one.
  • Devonte’ Graham: 20 points (6/12 FG), seven rebounds, three assists, 46 minutes. With him and Mason running the show, I do not see any way that Kansas doesn’t make a deep NCAA run this year. They are studs.
  • Frank Mason: 15 points (5/20 FG), seven rebounds, six assists, three steals. He was clearly off all game, but he made the biggest two plays of the night to ice the win for KU.
  • Landen Lucas: seven points (1/3 FG), 5/6 from the free-throw line, eight rebounds in 25 minutes.
  • Brannen Greene: six points, five rebounds, two assists in 17 minutes.
  • Jamari Traylor: six points (3/3 FG), four rebounds, and three HUGE blocks in 15 minutes.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk: three points (1/2 FG) in six minutes.
  • Hunter Mickelson: two points and three rebounds in nine minutes.
  • Cheick Diallo: one rebound in five minutes.
  • Carlton Bragg: two points, one rebound in three minutes.
  • Kansas made half of its threes (11/22), and excluding the prayer last-second bomb, Oklahoma (16/33) did too.
  • 60 rebounds for KU. 55 for Oklahoma.

Notes: Oklahoma Edition

  • Buddy Hield: 46 points (13/23 FG, 8/15 from three, 12/14 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists. In 54 minutes.
  • I am 100% on the ‘Buddy Hield for National Player of the Year’ team now. He was Kevin Durant-crazy tonight.
  • Actually, on second thought…that game by Buddy Hield was better than the Kevin Durant game. He hit all those shots over and over again, against great defense. Mason was right in his face all night.
  • I don’t know if there’s any precedent to a team losing and not dropping in the rankings, but if it’s possible, this OU team shouldn’t drop. This was such a great game that could have gone either way multiple times.

Dylan King

Staff writer for Rock Chalk Blog. http://twitter.com/_DK22