Here are a few summaries of what’s going on with Kansas Athletics this week, March 6:
1. Frank Mason, Landen Lucas, and Tyler Self end their Allen Fieldhouse careers with a bang
A game in which the Jayhawks looked pretty bad for a while ended in glory once again as KU made another miraculous run (31-9 over the last few minutes) to beat Oklahoma. This is why I think this team can win it all. They do not, under any circumstances, quit. Whether it’s a basically meaningless game against a bad team or a College Gameday matchup at Kentucky, this team fights to the end. In Frank Mason’s Allen Fieldhouse finale, he scored 23 points and had six assists. If he hadn’t missed his first four or five shots, he would have had 30. Mason has had a fantastic season, of course, but if you think this is his first really good year, go back and look at some of his old stats. The dude was lighting it up then too, just not to the level he is now.
Also in his final home game, Landen Lucas finished with eight points and eight rebounds. He’s the ultimate glue guy. Not flashy, but he doesn’t screw up either. Devonte’ Graham and Lagerald Vick accounted for some huge threes down the stretch and combined for 27 points. Josh Jackson had yet another double-double and a momentum changing alley-oop dunk late in the game. Last but not least, fellow senior Tyler Self had….a nice speech. But who doesn’t love Tyler?
2. The regular season ends and a lot of awards are won
What a fun game to watch between KU and Oklahoma State on Saturday. Kansas chalked up a 90-85 win to secure their 28th victory of the season. They officially have a better record than they did at this point last season (28-3 this year, 27-4 last season). Frank Mason added to his legend by putting up a very impressive stat line of 27 points, nine dimes, and eight rebounds. He has officially won Big 12 Player of the Year and been named First Team All-Big 12. Josh Jackson also had a nice stat line, accounting for 17 points, nine boards, and five assists. He was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and was also put on the First Team All-Big 12. Devonte’ Graham had 13 points, Landen Lucas had 10, Carlton Bragg had 11, and Lagerald Vick had nine points and eight rebounds. Of course, that’s what happens when you score 90 points. In other awards news, Bill Self was named Big 12 Coach of the Year on Sunday. You could probably give this award to him every year and only K-State fans would have a problem with it.
3. KU’s top four wins of the 2016-17 regular season
November 15th vs Duke: After dropping 30 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists against Indiana, you thought there was no way Frank Mason could follow that. You were wrong. He had 21 points, five assists, (less stats, yes, but equal impact) and hit the game winner with under two seconds left. Such a fun game with KU taking a decent-sized lead late, Duke coming all the way back to tie it, and the Jayhawks closing it down in the final moments.
January 28th at Kentucky: In a game where KU was given almost no chance to win and had their backs against the wall early, the ‘Hawks proved the doubters wrong and came out victorious. Josh Jackson had 20 and 11 in this one and had the play that won it for Kansas down the stretch. This was the first game that showed what KU can do under pressure.
February 13th vs West Virginia: The comeback. I’m pretty sure we still don’t know what happened. It’s just a blur of Devonte’ Graham threes, Frank Mason free throws, and me doing hip thrusts at the television. This game is a major reason why I think KU can win a title. They do not quit.
February 18th at Baylor. Two good teams playing at a high level. Kansas needed an 8-0 run to win it, but won nonetheless. The Jayhawks really played with guts in this game. Mason had 23 and eight assists to lead his team to victory. This win all but wrapped up a 13th straight (which was officially won in the next game).
4. Tournament week people!
The major conference tournaments start this week, so find a comfy spot on the couch and settle in for some great hoops. KU will play the winner of TCU-Oklahoma on Thursday at 1:30. Kansas should already have wrapped up the number one overall seed for the NCAA tourney, but a Big 12 title certainly wouldn’t hurt that case.
Landen Fields is a contributor for Rock Chalk Blog. You can check out his archive here.