Jayhawks clinch outright league title by beating Texas

Earlier this week, Kansas locked up its 13th straight Big 12 conference title. After beating Texas on Saturday, the No. 3 Jayhawks locked up the outright title.

Kansas beat Texas, 77-67, to improve to 14-2 in league play. It was just another night at the office for the Jayhawks, who took care of business to secure an outright Big 12 regular-season title.

Last year, the Jayhawks came to Austin looking to secure an outright conference title, and they jumped out to a 15-0 lead. In a game that was never close, Kansas routed Texas by 30 in a dominant statement. This time around, it wasn’t quite 15-0, but Kansas once again got off to a fast start, opening the game with a 9-2 run.

Fewer than three minutes into the contest, Shaka Smart called a timeout, and his Longhorns responded with a spurt of their own. Texas’ only lead was 20-19, but Kansas answered with a 12-0 run to seize control. The key to the Jayhawks’ successful first half was Dwight Coleby, who led KU with 10 points before halftime. With Landen Lucas and Carlton Bragg in foul trouble, Coleby picked a great time to have his best game in his KU career.

After halftime, the Jayhawks struggled to put Texas away. The teams played about even for the second half, though the Longhorns never got it closer than a six-point deficit. Frank Mason took over after a lackluster first half to finish with 16 points. Josh Jackson led the team with 18.

It was a pretty “meh” game for the Jayhawks, who made just 32% of their threes and turned the ball over 11 times. They’re now 8-1 in road games this year, though, which is remarkable. It’s incredible that this team can play “meh” games and get away with it, but I think that’s a staple of being a team that’s as tough as these Jayhawks are.

Heading into the night, Coleby had made eight baskets all season, and he had scored more than three points in a game once. He scored a career-high-tying 12 points on Saturday night.

It’s the fourth straight year KU has won the conference title outright, and the eighth time in the last nine years.

Incredibly, Kansas has won 30 straight games against teams from Texas, all of which have been conference foes – Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, and Baylor. Their last loss to a Texas team was February 1, 2014 in Austin against the Longhorns.

The Jayhawks, at 26-3, have secured the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big 12 tournament. They also essentially have secured the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional in the NCAA tournament, which is at Sprint Center.

Notes:

  • Frank Mason: 16 points (5/15 FG), three assists, and three rebounds. He played 39 minutes. It seems like he couldn’t get a shot to fall, yet he still finished with 16 points.
  • Josh Jackson: 18 points (5/14 FG), five rebounds, and five assists in 38 minutes. He had eight points before the first TV timeout and missed tons of layups that could have made his scoring total much higher.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk: 2 points, but 0/5 from the floor in his 19 minutes. It’s the first time all year he hasn’t made a basket in a game. He is definitely trending downward.
  • Dwight Coleby: 12 points (5/6 FG) and four minutes. He played 13 minutes. It’s his best effort of the season, and he certainly needs to be playing more.
  • Landen Lucas: 8 points (4/4 FG) and eight rebounds in 27 minutes. He was rock-solid.
  • Devonte’ Graham: 12 points (4/9 FG) and four assists in 37 minutes. Like the TCU game, he took over at the beginning of the second half to set the tone.
  • Lagerald Vick: 7 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. He had an Andrew Wiggins-esque transition lob dunk.
  • Carlton Bragg: 2 points in limited (three) minutes. The time he normally plays went to Coleby.
  • KU: 46% from the floor, 32% from three, and 77% from the line.
  • Texas: 47%, 19%, and 71%.
  • The Jayhawks out-rebounded the Longhorns, 35-30, and forced 15 turnovers.
  • It’s the first time in Big 12 play that Texas lost a home game by more than one possession. The Jayhawks made it look pretty easy.

Ryan Landreth

I’m a recent graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University. In addition to writing for Rock Chalk Blog, I host the Inside the Paint podcast that covers KU basketball, and I write for Royals Review in the summer. My grandma has had season tickets to Jayhawk basketball for 30 years, and I have the privilege of going to most games with her.

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